Category: News

Iran’s Beach Soccer to meet Brazil in the semi-finals.

Iran 2-1 United Arab Emirates

Iran came from behind to defeat the United Arab Emirates in front of a raucous Dubai Design District Stadium crowd and reach the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup™ semi-finals. 

The hosts took the lead in the second period when Ali Mohammad crossed for an unmarked Abdulla Abbas to head home. Just over three minutes later, though, Iran were level when Mohammad Masoumi scored a header of his own, before goalkeeper Seyed Mehdi Mirjalili netted with a terrific volley.

While the UAE, who had not trailed at any point in the tournament before Mirjalili struck, tried to get back into the game, they couldn’t find a way through a staunch Iranian rearguard.

Mirjalili’s goal is the fifth goal scored by the two Iranian goalkeepers in this edition of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

Team Melli will now face Brazil in the semi-finals on Saturday. In the other semi-finals, Italy will meet Belarus.

Iran goals: Masoumi, Mirjalili

United Arab Emirates goals: Abbas

Player of the Match: Seyed Mehdi Mirjalili

Ghalenoei and Ghoddos on touchline

A close look at Amir Ghalenoei’s work.

Amir Ghalenoei’s tenure as coach of Team Melli has been marked by dedication and effort, but the ultimate measure of success in titles and championships has proven elusive. Despite his best intentions, Ghalenoei faces inherent challenges, including skepticism from a portion of Team Melli fans who question the efficacy of a local coach for the national team.

Before the AFC Asian Cup 2023, Ghalenoei’s approval rating hovered below 40%, influenced in part by the partisan nature of Iranian football rather than solely reflecting his capabilities. However, certain aspects of his coaching style appear at odds with championship standards.

There’s a poignant analogy that encapsulates Ghalenoei’s situation: a sick person who denies their illness cannot be cured. Similarly, Ghalenoei’s reluctance to acknowledge tactical shortcomings and penchant for attributing setbacks to bad luck hinder Team Melli’s progress. His recent televised remarks, attempting to justify defeats with comical reasoning, only exacerbate the situation, eroding his credibility with fans and critics alike.

This persistent denial impedes Team Melli’s ability to address performance deficiencies under Ghalenoei’s leadership. Many of the team’s issues, from player selection to tactical decisions, ultimately rest on his shoulders. Despite warnings about the team’s aging defense, Ghalenoei persisted with his choices, resulting in vulnerabilities exploited by opponents like Qatar.

Ghalenoei’s player selections, particularly in crucial matches, have come under scrutiny. Questions linger about his decisions regarding Ghayedi and Mohebbi in the semi-final, as well as his persistence with Taremi despite the Porto forward ineffectiveness. While Ghalenoei offers explanations for his choices, the efficacy of his decisions remains dubious.

In his post-match conferences, Ghalenoei acknowledges responsibility for defeats but continues to lean on the excuse of bad luck. However, in international football, results are paramount, and Ghalenoei must shift focus from blaming luck to addressing tactical shortcomings, player selections, and fostering a winning mentality.

This isn’t Ghalenoei’s first stint with Team Melli, yet it appears lessons from past experiences remain unlearned. Despite sympathetic media coverage, Ghalenoei’s leadership may be reaching its limits. While he may guide Team Melli through World Cup qualifiers, the prospect of meaningful success in major tournaments remains uncertain.

Ultimately, Ghalenoei’s tenure raises questions about his suitability for leading Team Melli to greater achievements. While his dedication is commendable, tangible results must follow. The football-loving nation of Iran demands nothing less.

Goalkeepers inspire Iranian comeback in FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2024

Goalkeepers ran riot for Iran as they turned things around to defeat Tahiti 5-3 and top Group B.

The goalkeepers proved the heroes for Iran as both stoppers netted three between them to help Team Melli to victory over Tahiti at UAE 2024 Dubai™.

Two quick-fire second period goals from Tahiti put them in control of affairs, before Iranian goalkeeper Hamid Behzadpour scored a brace either side of a superb strike by fellow stopper Seyed Mirjalili to give Iran the lead.

Mohammadali Mokhtari eventually made the game safe with 90 seconds on the clock with a wonder goal, securing the victory and top spot in Group B for Team Melli. Tahiti, for their part, also advance to the quarter-finals in second place.FIFA Beach Soccer Woel

Team Melli Beach Soccer wll play the Host UAE in the qualkter finals of the FIFA Beach Soccer 2024 World Cup.

Iran 5-3 Tahiti

Iran goals: Behzadpour (2), Mirjalili, Tehau OG, Mokhtari

Tahiti goals: Labaste, Tinirauarii, Tepa

Player of the Match: Hamid Behzadpour (IRN)

Ghalenoei invites Afhsin Ghotbi to join Team Melli coaching team.

Amir Ghalenoei, the head coach of Team Melli, has invited a former head coach to work with him as an assitance/advisor.

In a TV show, Amir Ghalenoei, after praising Afshin Ghotbi’s past performance, invited the American-Iranian coach to help the national football team by being in Iran.

Afshin Ghotbi was in charge of Team Melli in the AFC Asian Cup 2011 where Iran were eliminated in the quarter finals against Korea Republic.

It is not known whether Ghalenoei, after his failuire to take Team Melli to the final of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 following a 3-2 defeat against the eventual champions Qatar, has officially invited Ghotbi through FFIRI or is it one of his ususal praises that he casually extends to lots of people.

Afshin Ghotbi was the head coach of Team Melli from 1st April 2009 until 22 January 2011. He manged the team in 30 matches winning 16 , drawing 6 nd 8 losses. He is currently the head coach of Canadian Premier League side Vancouver FC.

Iran is one spot higher in FIFA Ranking.

Team Melli climbed one spot higher to number 20 in the world in the first FIFA Ranking published in 2024. Iran is also closing the gap on Japan which slipped one spot down to 18th, however, despite the loss in the quarter-finals to Iran, Japan is still the top-ranked Asian Team followed by Iran.

Korea Republic climbed one place up while Australia climbed to 23rd.

There is plenty of movement further down the standings following the matches contested in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations and the AFC Asian Cup. Amongst the African sides, Ivory Coast jumped 10 spots to be placed 39th, reaping the rewards of their continental triumph on home soil, secured following an eventful AFCON campaign.

The FIFA rankings serve as a testament to the current global football landscape, reflecting the performances and achievements of national teams worldwide. As the football calendar progresses, these rankings will likely witness shifts and changes based on upcoming tournaments and events. Football enthusiasts eagerly await the unfolding of the year’s sporting events that will inevitably impact these influential standings.

AFCON runners-up Nigeria sit at 28th after jumping 14 places making significant strides but are no match for Angola (93rd, up 24), a side they ousted in the last eight, who are the biggest climbers in the latest installment of the global ranking. Two-time Asian Cup winners Qatar (37th, up 21) chalk up the biggest tally (92.04 points) after capitalizing on home comforts to successfully defend their continental crown.

Elsewhere, Jordan (70th, up 17), who was edged out in the Asian Cup final, make good ground, as do Thailand (101st, up 12), whose journey came to an end at the last-16 stage.

Iran Beach Soccer defeats Giant Spain

Spain 6-6 IR Iran (1-3 PSO)

in its opening match of FIFA Beach Soccer WORLD CUP 2024, Iran’s Beach Soccer team defeated Spain in the penalty shot out in Dubai. The match ended 6-6 in regulation time.

La Roja and Team Melli put on one of the most gripping group-stage games in recent history. The woodwork was rocked on multiple occasions, but nets still rippled 12 times. Spain led 3-0 and 5-2, but Iran, thanks to four Mohammadali Mokhtari goals and an emphatic penalty shootout display, emerged victorious.

Team Melli Beach soccer team enjoyed tremendous support from the fans in the stands. Iran is one of the leading candidates for the title.

Spain goals: David (2), Chiky (2), Kuman, Jose Arias

Iran goals: Mokhtari (3), Mesigar, Amiri

Player of the Match: Mohammadali Mokhtari


“We played a very good game. In phases of the match we should have had a little more control to take the three points. They turned the result around. We will have to see what we did wrong to take the three points.” Chiky, Spain player “We followed exactly what our coach told us. He kept telling us we could win the game. Iran will never give up. When you wear this shirt, you never give up.” Moslem Mesigar, Iran player

False claims by Beiranvand

The current Team Melli player’s dream of perpetuating their name with the right of being “the best generation in Iran’s football history”, lacks credibility and proof for perpetuation!

“I firmly state that this generation is the best generation in our (football) history.” After apologizing several times for failing in Qatar, Alireza Biranvand quite seriously uttered these words to a group of journalists
who had gone to welcome the defeated Team Melli in the Asian Nations Cup.

The goalkeeper, who conceded 7 goals in 6 games in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 and failed to keep a clean sheet except against Hong Kong, considers himself and his teammates to be the best generation in the history of Iran’s football, for

The current Team Melli player’s dream of perpetuating their name with the right of being “the best generation in Iran’s football history”, lacks logic and proof for perpetuation!

“I firmly state that this generation is the best generation in our (football) history.” After apologizing several times for failing in Qatar, Alireza Biranvand quite seriously uttered these words to a group of journalists who had gone to welcome the defeated Team Melli in the Asian Nations Cup.

The goalkeeper, who conceded 7 goals in 6 games in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 and failed to keep a clean sheet except against Hong Kong, considers himself and his teammates to be the best generation in the history of Iran’s football, for no good reason. As soon as you hear this sentence of Beiranvand, the question begs, what have the current Team Melli players achieved to lay such a claim, and how does he (Beiranvand) consider this squad as special and unrepeatable? The answer is very short: nothing!

no good reason. As soon as you hear this sentence of Beiranvand, the question begs, what have the current Team Melli players achieved to lay such a claim, and how does he (Beiranvand) consider this squad as special and unrepeatable?
The answer is very short: nothing!


The best generation that this 31-year-old goalkeeper is talking about did not make it to the next round from the group stage of the World Cup in two attempts (2018 and 2022) and in two tournaments of
the Asian Cup (2019 and 2023) disappointed the fans by not even reaching the final let alone lifting the trophy. In terms of achievements, the current Iranian team is clearly nowhere near being labeled the best generation in the history of |Iran’s football. Perhaps Beiranvand means the presence of some
players abroad, which is also a misleading claim. Apart from Mehdi Taremi in Porto, Sardar Azmoun in Rome, and Saman Ghoddos in Brentford, no other players are active in the top 5 prestigious European leagues. Yes, that’s right, none!

Could it be that Beiranvand is referring to his performance in the team? Even that is incorrect in every sense.

To remind Beiranvand and other players of Team Melli as well as some fans who have not experienced the true meaning of the success and joy of Team Melli, so far, the best generation in the history of Iranian football were the players who won the AFC Asian Cup for 3 consecutive terms, 1968, 1972 and 1976. With such a unique achievement, yet to be repeated in the history of the AFC Asian Cup, no player of that generation made such a claim. 12 years of success and unbeaten in Asia until the semi-finals of the 1980 edition, under very difficult circumstances while the country was attacked and invaded by the Iraqis with players’ morals at their lowest, Iran lost to |Kuwait, the eventual title winner, in the semifinals.

Team Melli, under the leadership of Mahmoud Bayati, Mohammad Ranjbar, and Heshmat Mohajerani, won the Asian Cup three times but none of the players of that team ever called themselves invincible even after this hat-trick of championships. even though in in the last Asian Championship, Iran was so brilliant with Mansour Rashidi in goal that they had a clean sheet in all matches winning the championship without conceding a single goal. Maybe if Beiranvand had achieved such records, he would have considered himself the best goalkeeper in the world.

Iran has had no shortage of failures during the Asian Cup tournaments, but the point is that if, for example, the team of 2004, in which Mehdi Rahmati, Javad Nekounam, Yahya Golmohammadi, Ali Daei, Ali Karimi, Arash Burhani and… were playing. They could have claimed to be the best generation, some would have accepted it because it was only a penalty kick that deprived them of the finals. A similar can be claimed from the 1996 squad with the likes of Daei, Khodadad Azizi, Minavand, Karim Bagheri, and Mahdavikia.

The generation that became the champion of Asia for three consecutive seasons with unrepeatable honor is not much remembered these days, but do Beiranvand and his teammates expect to be remembered as the golden generation? A nickname that they believe in even though they have not won a single medal?

The game against Qatar is history now, as is the defeat against the USA, the bitter defeat against Japan in the semi-final of AFC Asian Cup 2019, or even the regret of Tarami’s last-second header against Portugal which missed by inches, It is better that instead of making such false claims like the best generation in history, Beiranvand or any player who thinks like that, face the reality that does not cast a shadow on the countless efforts for the success of the national team and the good name of Iran.

he elite of Ira’ns football are names such as Parviz Ghleechkhani, Hossein Kalani, Ali Jabbari, Hassan Habibi, Nasser Hejazi, Homayoun Behzadi, Hassan Rowshan, Gholam Vafakhah, Ali Parvin, Mostafa Arab, Ebrahim Ashtiani, Jafar kashani, Karo Haghverdian and loads of other that acheived glory for Iran. They can lay claim as being the best, not Beiranvand.

Perhaps after a short period when the national team players realized that one of the most attainable championship chances in the history of post-revolution Iranian football was lost in Qatar, they should have a nice apology from a generation that has not yet tasted success after 48 years. A generation that only a few people will know about them these days.

Team Melli loses in thrilling semifinal
Qatar moved within one match of retaining their AFC Asian Cup™ title after emerging 3-2 victors against Iran in their Qatar 2023 semi-final at the Al Thumama Stadium on Wednesday.

Almoez Ali, the 2019 Most Valuable Player and top scorer, struck the winner eight minutes before the end in a thrilling last-four tie which saw the Maroons snap a six-game losing run against Team Melli to set up a final meeting with Jordan.

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Both teams made two changes each to their starting lineups, Iran’s Ardeshir Ghalehnoy reinstating Ehsan Hajsafi and Mehdi Taremi while Marquez Lopes gave starts to Yusuf Abdurisag and Homam Ahmed.

It was Team Melli who got off to a spectacular start, Sardar Azmoun capitalising on Qatar’s inability to deal with a throw-in to hook an acrobatic effort past a stranded Meshaal Barsham in the fourth minute.

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Qatar, however, did not trail for long, drawing level 13 minutes later with Akram Afif’s cutback setting up Jassem Gaber for a shot that took a deflection off Saeid Ezatohali, looped over Alireza Beiranvand and settled in the back of the net.

Iran continued to dominate possession with Qatar relying on counterattacks, and it almost paid off for the hosts in the 32nd minute when Afif pounced on a loose back pass to surge unchallenged but hit his shot straight at a grateful Beiranvand.

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The Al Sadd SC star, however, was not to be denied two minutes before the end of the first half when after receiving a pass from Ahmed Fathy on the left, he took a couple of steps before unleashing a powerful drive for his fifth goal of the tournament.

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Iran were quick to assert control when the second half got underway and needed only six minutes to restore parity, a VAR review determining Ezatohali’s shot had hit Fathy’s hands. Jahanbakhsh calmly slotted home from the penalty spot for his second goal of the tournament.  

Qatar’s response was almost immediate, but for the heroics of Beiranvand who pulled off a smart save near his post to deny Abdurisag with Shojae Khalilzadeh then making a goal-line clearance of Pedro Miguel’s header from the subsequent corner.

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Having had to rely on counter attacks for glimpses at goal, Qatar burst into life in the 82nd minute when Abdulaziz Hatem laid the ball to an unmarked Ali, who had ample time to pick his spot before slotting home, the goal taking his overall tally to 11 as he moved into second place in the all-time topscorers list.

Thirteen minutes of additional time gave Iran hope, but a surging Afif run was checked by Khalilzadeh, with a VAR review replacing an initial yellow card to red.

Even then, Iran twice came close to drawing level, Jahanbakhsh’s attempt hitting the left upright and Barsham getting his palm to a goalmouth scramble as Qatar held on for victory. 

Super Jordan stun Korea Republic to reach historic final
Al Rayyan

Goals from Yazan Al Naimat and Mousa Al Tamari secured Jordan a sensational 2-0 win over Korea Republic as the West Asian side advanced to the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ final at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday.

A dominant performance from start to finish saw Jordan upstage a Korea Republic side who simply couldn’t match the pace and determination of their opponents, who booked a spot in the AFC Asian Cup final for the first time in history.

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Jordan didn’t waste time in taking the game to Korea Republic, with their fast start almost catching the East Asian side by surprise, Al Naimat’s low strike in the fourth minute from just inside the area forcing goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo into a diving save.

The West Asian side looked dangerous every time they transitioned into attack with Al Tamari waltzing his way past three defenders before setting up Noor Al Rawabdeh, who brought the best out of Jo.

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Korea Republic slowly grew into the match, with Son Heung-min’s effort in the 19th minute ruled out for offside while Lee Kang-in failed to find the target from inside the box in the 24th minute.

Jordan, however, looked menacing each time they ventured forward but wasted a flurry of chances, with Al Naimat missing from inside the area before pulling his effort just wide in the 27th minute, while Al Tamari blazed his shot over the bar from just above the box.

At the other end, Korea Republic had a penalty overruled following a VAR review in the 30th minute before Lee Jae-Sung hit the upright from Hwang In-beom’s cross.

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A mazy Al Naimat run in the 43rd minute saw him waltzing past three defenders into the six-yard-box before unleashing a powerful drive straight into Jo, with the rebound falling nicely for Al Rawabdeh but his effort struck the Korea Republic custodian before going out of play. 

Despite having mostly played second fiddle, Korea Republic should have taken the lead into the break but Seol Young-woo’s cross from the flank was sent skywards by Hwang. 

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Jordan’s pace at the start of the second half was not as intense but they continued to dictate terms, with Korea Republic struggling to keep the ball.

The West Asian side’s positive play finally delivered dividends in the 53rd minute when Al Tamari pounced on a poor back pass from Jung Seung-Hyunto to send a well-timed pass to Al Naimat, who lobbed the ball over the advancing Jo for the opening goal.

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Having fallen behind for the fifth time in six matches, Korea Republic sent on Cho Gue-sung to add more depth to their attacks but the No 9 failed to find the target at the hour mark when he sent his headed attempt off Kang-in’s corner over the bar.

That was to prove costly as Jordan struck again six minutes later, Al Tamari brilliantly cutting inside from just above the area before unleashing a low drive past a despairing Cho.

Korea Republic’s attempts to find a way back were easily repelled from there on as Jordan held on for a well deserved place in the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 final. 

Iran vs Qatar: Head-to-Head

The records show Iran’s clear superiority in all competitions and friendly matches against Qatar. Only 3 defeats in 25 and just one of these defeats was in an official game during Mayeli-Kohan’s coaching. The last meeting was in October last year in Amman, Jordan when Tea Melli defeated Qatar, where the former Team Melli coach Carlos Queiroz was the head coach, 4-0.

Home862019 – 4+15
Away1593318 – 12+6
Neutral22006 – 1+5
Total25175343 – 17+26

DATEAttendanceVENUESCORESTADIUMAzadi Stadium, Tehran
17.10.2023Jordan 4 asideN4 – 0Amman international stadium1,500
31.12.2018FriendlyA2 – 1Khalifa Stadium, Doha50
23.03.2017World Cup QualifierA1 – 0Jassim bin Hamad, Doha
01.09.2016World Cup QualifierH2 – 0Azadi Stadium, Tehran80,000
15.01.2015Asian Cup / Group ‘C’H1 – 0Stadium Australia – Sydney22,673
04.06.2013World Cup QualifierA1 – 0Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium , Doha11,872
12.06.2012World Cup Qualifier / Round 4H0 – 0Azadi Stadium, Tehran80,000
29.02.2012World Cup Qualifier / Round 3 – Group EH2 – 2Azadi Stadium , Tehran55,000
06.09.2011World Cup Qualifier / Round 3 – Group EA1 – 1Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium , Doha8,125
28.12.2010FriendlyA0 – 0Khalifa Stadium, Doha3,000
28.12.2009Friendly / Qatar Intl. Friendly TournamentA2 – 3Suhaim Bin Hamad-Doha Qatar Stadium3,000
09.11.2008FriendlyA1 – 0Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium , Doha5,000
11.08.2008WAFFH6 – 1Khalifa Stadium, Doha5,000
10.01.2008FriendlyA0 – 0Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium , Doha2,000
24.03.2007Friendly / FriendlyA1 – 0Thani bin Jassim Stadium, Doha7,000
13.10.2004World Cup Qualifier / WCQA3 – 2Thani bin Jassim Stadium, Doha3,000
18.02.2004World Cup Qualifier / WCQH3 – 1Azadi Stadium, Tehran45,000
08.04.2002Others / WAGN2 – 1Al Qadisiya Stadium, Kuwait City
01.08.2001Friendly / FriendlyA1 – 2Khalifa International Stadium, Doha3,000
27.09.2000FriendlyA2 – 1Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium , Doha5,000
07.11.1997World Cup Qualifier / WCQA0 – 2Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium , Doha20,000
03.10.1997World Cup Qualifier / WCQH3 – 0Azadi Stadium, Tehran70,000
01.06.1996Friendly / FriendlyA1 – 0Hamad bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha10,000
17.05.1996FriendlyH2 – 0Takhti Stadium , Tabriz30,000
02.12.1988Asian Cup / Group 1A2 – 0Hamad bin Khalifa Stadium , DohaAzadi Stadium, Tehran