Category: Squad

Team Melli squad announced.

Team Melli will play Hong Kong on June 6th and four days later, will host Uzbekistan in the final match of the preliminary stage of the World Cup 2026. The matches are insignificant to Team Melli as both Iran and Uzbekistan have qualified for the next stage. The match against the Uzbek will decide who tops the group.

Iran is in Group E of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers along with Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, and Turkmenistan. The names of the players invited to the squad for the two last matches of the group were announced by head coach Amir Ghalenoei as follows:


Alireza Beiranvand, Payam Niazmand, Hossein Pourhamidi


Shoja Khalilzadeh, Hossein Kanaanizadegan, Amin Hizbavi, Aref Gholami, Saleh Hardani, Milad Mohammadi, Abolfazl Jalali, Arya Yousefi


Omid Nourafkan, Saman Ghoddos, Mohammad Ghorbani, Saeed Mehri, Allhayar Sayyadmanesh, Mehdi Limuchi, Mehdi Torabi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh


Mehdi Taremi, Javad Aghaeipour, Sardar Azmoun, Javad Hossein-Nejad , Shariyar Moghanlou, Mehdi Ghaeydi and Mohammad Reza Azadi.

Squad announced for Turkmenistan matches.

Iran’s national football team will face Turkmenistan in the preliminary stage of the World Cup on 21st March in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium. This match will be held at 19:30. Iran’s national football team will play the first leg against Turkmenistan on the 21st and then will travel to play away in Turkmenistan on March 26th

Iran is in Group E of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers along with Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, and Turkmenistan. The names of the players invited to the squad for this match were announced by head coach Amir Ghalenoei as follows:


Alireza Beiranvand, Payam Niazmand, Seyed Hossein Hosseini, Aria Shakouri


Shoja Khalilzadeh, Hossein Kanaanizadegan, Amin Hizbavi, Saman Fallah, Ramin Rezaeian, Saleh Hardani, Milad Mohammadi, Abolfazl Jalali, Hossein Goudarzi


Omid Nourafkan, Saman Ghoddos Saeed Ezzatollahi, Mohammad Ghorbani, Ali Gholizadeh, Allhayar Sayyadmanesh, Mehdi Limuchi, Mehdi Torabi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh


Mehdi Taremi, Javad Aghaeipour, Sardar Azmoun, Mohammad Reza Azadi , Saeed Saharkhizan , Mohammad Mohebi, Mehdi Ghaeydi,

Saleh Hardani added to the Team Melli squad

According to the Football Federation website, Dinamo Zagreb right-back Sadegh Moharrami is out of the squad for the Four Nations tournament in Jordan due to an injury in a club match. His replacement is Saleh Hardani.

The updated list is as follows:

Alireza Biranvand, Payam Niazmand, Seyed Hossein Hosseini
Ehsan Haj Safi, Milad Mohammadi, Shojaa Khalilzadeh, Mohammad Hossein Kananizadegan, Morteza Pouraliganji, Mohammad Daneshgar, Amin Hizbavi, Saleh Hardani, Ramin Rezaeian, Roozbeh Cheshmi

Saeid Ezzatollahi, Ahmad Noorollahi, Mohammad Mohebi, Javad Hosseinnejad, Saman Ghoddos,

Mehdi Taremi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Mehrdad Mohammadi, Karim Ansarifard, and Sardar Azmoun

In the first session of training, only 10 players turned up with the rest of the players trickling in from several destinations. Persepolis players were given a rest after their match to recover.

Squad for Jordan Tournament

Amir Ghalenoei has invited 23 players to form the squad for the upcoming Jordan International Football tournament that will be held in the Jordanian capital as of 13th October.

The list, which is hardly exciting includes the return of two former players Karim Ansarifard and Mehrdad Mohammadi but also includes one unfamiliar name in Mohammad Javad Hosseinnejad . the only new invitee.

Several players were dropped for one reason or another including Ali Gholizadeh now playing in the Polish league, Majid Hosseini who is in Turkey along with Ali Karimi, and Persepolis midfielder Mehdi Torabi, who had a slight injury but has already started recovery training with his club.

Other notable absentees are Shariyar Moghanlou. who performed poorly in the last match for Team Melli, Reza Asadi, and Sayyadmanesh who has not been doing well with his English club Hull City.

The list sees the return of the naughty boy KAnanizadegan after her was left out for the last two games due to disciplinary reasons following his childish act during the final of the CAFA Nations Cup in Tashkent.

The 20-year-old Javad Hosseinnejad was one of the few players who played well for the Omid team. He plays his club football with Sepahan.

Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand, Payam Niazmand Seyed Hossein Hosseini

Defenders: Sadegh Moharrami, Ramin Rezaiean, Morteza Pouraliganji, Amin Hizbavi, Mohammad Daneshgar, Shojaá Khalilzadeh, Mohammad Hossein Kananizadegan, Ehsan Hajsafi, Milad Mohammadi

Midfielders: Saeed Ezzatollahi, Ahmad Noorollahi, Roozbeh Cheshmi, Saman Ghoddus, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Mohammad Javad Hosseinnejad

Forwards: Mehrdad Mohammadi, Mehdi Tarimi, Mohammad Mohebi, Sardar Azmoun and Karim Ansarifard

Amir Ghalenoei announces his first squad

Amir Ghalenoei has picked up his first squad ahead of the two international friendlies against Russia and then Kenya both in Azadi Stadium, Tehran.

There were no major surprises as the bulk of the previous Team Melli squad was picked. Ghalenoei, however, did not call eight players from the previous squad of Carlos Queiroz. Karim Ansarifard, Saman Ghoddos, Ali Karimi, Milad Mohammadi, Abolfazl Jalali, Morteza Pouraliganji,  Amir Abedzadeh and Majid Hosseini. Apart from the latter who is injured, the rest have been suffering performance issues or warming their club’s benches.

One of the notable absentees is Allahyar Sayyadmanesh, of Hull City in the championship. Although he is back after a longish injury deprived him of playing, it seems that Sayyadmanesh still requires more time to fully recover.


Of the new players, many of them passed 25 years of age bracket, Hezbavi of Team Melli U19, is the most significant. Despite his good performance in Uzbekistan in the AFC U19  Asian Cup 2023, he was unable to lead the team to the finals, although his selection to Team Melli is a good consolation.


the squad

Position No. Player Club Age Caps
MF 1 Ahmad Nourollahi Shabab Al Ahli (UAE) 29 28
MF 2 Ali Gholizadeh Kasimspor (TUR) 26 29
MD 3 Alireza Jahanbakhsh Feyenoord (NED) 29 66
GK 4 Alireza Beiranvand Persepolis (IRA) 30 54
FW 5 Amirhossein Hosseinzadeh Charleroi (BEL) 22 3
DF 6 Aref Aghasi Foolad Khuzestan (IRN) 26 2
DF 7 Armin Sohrabian Gol Gohar Sirjan (IRN) 27 0
MF 8 Ehsan Hajsafi AEK Athens (GRE) 32 122
GK 9 Hossein Hosseini Esteghlal (IRA) 30 8
FW 10 Hossein Kanaani Al Ahli (QAT) 28 36
GK 11 Hossein Pourhamidi Aluminum( Arak (IRN) 24 0
DF 12 Mehdi Hosseini Mes Rafsanjan IRI) 29 0
FW 13 Mehdi Taremi Porto (POR) 30 63
MF 14 Mehdi Torabi Persepolis (IRA) 29 39
MF 15 Milad Sarlak Persepolis (IRA) 27 11
MF 16 Milad Zakipour Sepahan (IRA) 27 0
DF 17 Mohammad Amin Hizbavi Foolad Khuzestan (IRN) 19 0
FW 18 Mohammad Hossein Eslami Zob Ahan (IRI) 22 0
MF 19 Mohammad Karimi Sepahan (IRA) 26 0
MF 20 Mohammad Mohebi Esteghlal (IRA) 24 3
DF 21 Omid Noorafken Sepahan (IRA) 25 15
GK 22 Payam Niazmand Sepahan (IRA) 27 1
FW 23 Ramin Rezaeian Sepahan (IRA) 32 48
FW 24 Reza Asadi Tractor Tabriz (IRI) 27 0
FW 25 Reza Shekhari Gol Gohar Sirjan (IRI) 24 0
GK 26 Roozbeh Cheshmi Esteghlal (IRA) 30 21
DF 27 Sadegh Moharrami Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 26 21
MF 28 Saeid Ezatolahi Vejle (DEN) 26 50
FW 29 Sardar Azmoun Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 27 68
FW 30 Shahriar Mughanloo Sepahan (IRA) 28 0
DF 31 Shoja Khalilzadeh Al Ahli (QAT) 33 25
MF 32 Vahid Amiri Persepolis (IRA) 34 68

Team Melli flies to Doha after finalizing the squad.

Carlos Queiroz announced Team Melli’s squad for the FIFA World Cup 2022 with predictable familiar names but with a bit of a small twist. The team flew to Doha to start preparation which includes a friendly game behind closed doors against Tunisia in Doha on 16th Nov.

A couple of additions to the squad that was not in the normal Queiroz favorites list are Ali Karimi and Abolfazl Jalali. These two additions plus the surprise omission of Omid  Noorafkan, are generating a few interesting discussions amongst the faithful Team Melli fans.

By selecting these players, Iran’s team is officially the oldest team in the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Confirmed squad

Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Amir Abedzadeh (Ponferradina), Seyed Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal), Payam Niazmand (Sepahan)

Defenders: Ehsan Hajsafi (AEK Athens), Morteza Pouraliganji (Persepolis), Ramin Rezaeian (Sepahan), Milad Mohammadi (AEK Athens), Hossein Kanaanizadegan (Al Ahli), Shojae Khalilzadeh (Al Ahli), Sadegh Moharrami (Dinamo Zagreb), Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal), Majid Hosseini (Kayserispor), Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal)

Midfielders: Ahmad Noorollahi (Shabab Al Ahli), Saman Ghoddos (Brentford), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Saeid Ezatolahi (Vejle), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord), Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis), Ali Gholizadeh (Charleroi), Ali Karimi (Kayserispor)

Forwards: Karim Ansarifard (Omonia Nicosia), Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen), Mehdi Taremi (Porto)

Latest call ups to Team Melli

Team Melli’s second technical evaluation camp was held this evening while 17 players were called up to the camp by Carlos Queiroz. In addition to the previous 16 players, the Portuguese coach called up Tractor goalkeeper Mohammad Reza Akhbari to join the squad.

The amended list of the camp is as follows:

Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Seyed Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal), Payam Niazmand (Sepahan), Mohammad Reza Akhbari (Tractor),

Ramin Rezaian (Sepahan), Omid Nourafken ( Sepahan), Morteza Pouraliganji (Persepolis), Saman Fallah (Peykan), Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal), Armin Sohrabian (Gol gohar)

Mehdi Mahdipour (Esteghlal), Rozbe Cheshmi (Esteghlal), Milad Sarlak (Persepolis), Vahid Amiri ( Persepolis), Mohammad Khodabandelou (Gol gohar)

Mohammad Mohebi (Esteghlal), Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis)

The Iranian national football players introduced themselves to Carlos Queiroz and the management staff of the team at noon today to participate in three training sessions this week.  Today’s list of selected players in the domestic Premier League means that some of the former players such as Mehdi Ghayedi, Danial Esmailifar, Soroush Rafiei, and Shahriar Mughanlou, hopes of taking part in the world Cup have ended.

Iran’s national football team will face England, Wales, and the USA in Group B of the 2022 World Cup.

Quiroz names Team Melli list for Austria camp.

Queiroz announced his final list of players who will be forming the squad for the Training Camp in Austria including two international friendlies versus Uruguay and Senegal.

Alireza Beiranvand, Amir Abedzadeh, Hossein Hosseini, Payam Niazmand

Ramin Rezaeian, Sadegh Moharammi, Saleh Hardani, Hossein Kanaanizadegan, Majid Hosseini, Morteza Pouraliganji, Shojaa Khalilzadeh, Abolfazl Jalali, Milad Mohammadi, Omid Noorafkan

Omid Ebrahimi , Saeed Ezzatollahi, Milad Sarlak, Saman Ghoddos, Ahmad Noorollahi, Ehsan Haj Safi, Vahid Amiri.

Ali Gholizadeh, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Mehdi Torabi, Mehdi Taremi, Karim Ansarifard, Sardar Azmoun.

As expected, Queiroz who was away from Iranian football since early 2019, elected to pick his old guards to take to Qatar. Players like Ansarifard, whose total playing time in the last few months did not exceed 90 minutes are included as are Ghoddos and Ezzarotlahi both fringe players in their teams. Vahid Amiri, a long-time senior player who has been on the injury list was also picked although it is reported that he is not quite ready and short of match practice. Amiri has been given special recovery training.

Queiroz not surprisingly picked another of his old guards, Rezaeian for the right back position. There was a surprise in naming Abolfazl Jalali a player who is not familiar to him, but the biggest surprise was his inclusion of Shojaá Khalilzadeh.

Team Melli’s central defense in the qualifiers, consisting of Khalilzadeh and Kananizadeh was formidable and had a large role to play in the qualification. However, Queiroz and Khalilzadeh have not been on good terms. Some observers were predicting that Shojaá will be ignored by the Portuguese. Perhaps, Queiroz’s peers advised him against excluding Khalikzadeh.

New list of domestic players published for Team Melli camp

The list of invited players has been published while the new/old coach hasn’t set foot in Iran and has hardly seen a single league match in action.

FFIRI on behalf of Carlos Queiroz announced the names of 24 players who are invited to the Team Melli camp. The names of the footballers domestic league players are as follows:


Payam Nazamand (Sepahan)
Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal)
Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis)


Ramin Rezaeian and Omid Nourafken (Sepahan)
Mehdi Shiri and Aref Agassi (Foolad Khuzestan)
Saleh Hardani and Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal)
Saman Fallah (Peykan)
Armin Sohrabian (Gol Gohar)
Mortezapour Pouraliganji (Persepolis)

Mehdi Mehdipour (Esteghlal)
Mohammad Karimi and Yasin Salmani (Sepahan)
Reza Asadi (Tractorsazi)
Mehdi Hosseini (Mes Rafsanjan)
Mohammad Khodabandelou (Gol Gohar)
Milad Sarlak (Persepolis)

Mohammad Mohebi and Mehdi Gheydi (Esteghlal)
Saeed Sadeghi, Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis)
Shahriar Mughanlou (Sepahan)

The above players are required to be present at the Olympic Hotel on Wednesday, September 13th at 12:00. The list of Legionnaire players will be announced later through the official website of the Football Federation at the appropriate time.

Progress of Team Melli legionnaires in Europe

As if the shambolic status of football is not bad enough, the disappointing news from Europe has cast a shadow on Team Melli with less than 100 days to go to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Nine key Team Melli players are engaged in the European leagues plus a possible few more candidates for selection which Dragan Skocic has been keeping a close look at.

Jahanbakhsh, Azmoun, Taremi, Ansarifard, Hajsafy, Mohammadi, and Sayyadmanesh are the main squad players in addition to Alipour who is one of the strong contenders for selection.
Apart from Mehdi Taremi who has started the new league where he left off scoring a brace in the opening match, the news of the rest has been not encouraging and in many cases quite disappointing.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh, the Captain of Team Melli has been having a tough time since he moved to Feyenoord. His chances of continuing with the famous Dutch club are slim as he is turned from a promising start to a fringe player making cameo appearances for the club. It is safe to say that Jahanbakhsh has never fulfilled his potential with Brighton and now it seems that the story is repeating itself in the Dutch league with Feyenoord.

Sardar Azmoun is a similar story in the Bundesliga. Unlike his brilliant displays and goal-scoring traits in the Russian league, the leading forward of Team Melli is finding life tough in German football as he has been struggling with Leverkusen. It will not be long before Azmoun becomes a bench player with the way things are progressing unless he drastically improves.

Mehdi Taremi has no such problem as his country teammates and seems to be enjoying his time with FC Porto who are leading the Portuguese table with 2 wins out of 2. Despite the disappointment of not being sought by major European Clubs in the transfer market as some of his teammates have succeeded in, Taremi seems to be content with doing his job in Portugal and enhancing his reputation in the process.

Allahyar Sayadmanesh who plays for the second-tier English league club has shown enough promise for the club to buy him outright after a loan spell from Fenerbahce. Hull City is leading the Championship table with two wins out of two. Sayyadmanesh is hoping to make a real impression in order for Dragan Skocic to dislodge Ansarifard and pick the young forward for the World Cup.

Karim Ansarifard’s case is perhaps the most disappointing. The Greek club AEK Athens has been having difficulty finding a buyer for the unwanted Ansarifard. It seems that the much-traveled forward is on the move again after a disappointing in the 2021/22 season where he played 29 matches but scored 4 goals only.

Milad Mohammadi and Ehsan Hajsafy seem to have better fortune with AEK Athens. Although the new season has not started yet, it seems that the club intended to keep the two Iranians in their squad for 2022/23 season.

Amir Abedzadeh is experiencing his second season with the second-tier Spanish league club Ponferradina. Although the season has not started yet, Abedzadeh played well for the team and managed to make 35 appearances for the club.

Saman Ghoddos has been perhaps the most disappointing of the lot playing for Brentford, or at least trying to play. He was an unused substitute in his club’s brilliant performance in destroying Manchester United 4-0 on Saturday. All 5 Brentford were used in the demolishing of Man Utd but Ghoddos was nowhere to be seen. He was not even on the bench for the first match against Leicester City on the opening day of the English Premier League. It seems that his days in Brentford are numbered.

Ali Alipour is another forward lurking in the shadow of the big boys of Team Melli.  The 26 years old forward has changed club this season moving to Gil Vicente in the Portuguese League. He started the new season well by scoring in the first match. Alipour is a real contender for a place on the plane to Doha comes the World Cup.