Tag: Ando Teymourian

Mission China; Team Melli needs all the 3 points in Azadi.

Iran’s match against China on Tuesday will be a real test for the newish look Team Melli after their fine display against Qatar in Doha which ended in a 1-0 win scored by Mehdi Taremi. In retrospect, it was not an impossible task in Doha and the win was achieved with certain level of comfort unlike the match in Azadi at the beginning of the competition.

Azmoun & Taremi celebrating

Mehdi Taremi was one of 3 up front strikers in what look a sweet adventure by Carlos Queiroz. Team Melli has reached this status, undefeated, top of the table and not conceding a single goal in the competition yet, as the result of Queiroz philosophy of tight & solid defense. A solid back , be it three or four , has served Queiroz well and his omission of Seyed Jalal Hosseini , the most expected and senior player in the squad , but who is also performing quite awfully for his club, proved how much importance Queiroz puts on reliable, steadfast and consistent defenders. Pouraliganji replaced Hosseini at the heart of the defence and he hardly put a foot wrong. It was a clever move by Queiroz who must have considered Pouraliganji’s familiarity with the Qatar players as an added advantage on top of his excellent form.

Queiroz was rewarded for it.

The midfield was another spot of worry since the regulars were all missing. Ashkan Dejagah & Ando Teymourian have not even made the list, while the squad was lacking strength in depth in the defensive midfield area.

However, Saeid Ezatollahie , a young an upcoming player, Ehsan Hajsafy, already a veteran at 27 years only and Ali Reza Jahanbakhsh created a solid trio in the center of the field and excelled in both their offensive and defensive duties. The midfield, maintaining a pace of the match that suited Team Melli tactics, creating lots of opportunities for the forwards, helping out in defense, and  finally controlling the match with time ticking away, was a major factor in this victory.

In the forward line, Carlos Queiroz is spoiled for choices and every single one of them in addition to the benched Reza Ghoochannejad had excellent season with their respective clubs. The dilemma with Queiroz was which one to pick. Granted, the forwards missed many chances to kill the game as early as the 60th minute, but their performance and contribution to backing the midfield during oppositions attacks, was a delight to watch.

Carlos Queiroz

Now about the goalkeeper. Team Melli have not been successful with keepers after the era of the AhmedReza Abedzadeh. Young Biranvand has certainly some potential, but there are some mentality and behavior issues with this keeper. His petulant acts is a source of concern, in the match against Qatar, it earned him a yellow card, but more serious than these juvenile roleplays , is his tendency to get his choices wrong while jumping for crosses or when he needs to save a shot.  He needs a lot of growing up and some real good coaching on his timing and when to use his fists rather than the palm of the hands.

  Overall , it was an excellent performance by Team Melli.

China seems to experiencing a revival of their own as their narrow but valuable win against their perennial rivals South Korea proved. will be a good test for Team Melli. Last time round in China, the home team frustrated Team Melli and closed the roads to their goalkeeper very well. The style of play has improved under Marcello Lippi and the Chinese seem to play a better game, more confidence and with some superb passing moves. The style is more of ground passing and less dependence on aerials. The Chinese forwards are perhaps not so effective in finishing and there are a few question marks about their defense marking, but the team looks much more solid and capable of beating any opposition.

The predication for this encounter is difficult, suffice to say it will be tight and difficult affair.

Azadi passionate crowd will have a major role to play. The vociferous and enthusiastic support will assist in gaining all the three more points of the match. This might not translate in early celebrations for Team Melli as that fate will be delayed until this summer. Direct qualification will only be known after the game with Uzbekistan on 12th June, if that.

Qatar vs. Iran : Preview

The last time the two teams met in Azadi , it took Team Melli two late goals to defeat Qatar which excelled in defending their goal before a calamitous goal keeping error allowed Gucci to score the first then Jahanbaksh to seal the win in injury time.

Carlos Queiroz’s side are the only unbeaten team in Group A but, after Sardar Azmoun’s goal secured a 1-0 victory over the Taeguk Warriors on Matchday Four, Iran saw their lead at the top of the standings cut four days later when they played out a goalless draw with Syria. Two main players are missing from squad. Ashkan Dejagah injury put him out of match practice , while Ando Teymourian dip in form rendered the duo unfit for duty.

Opponents Qatar got off to the worst possible start on the Road to Russia by suffering three defeats on the bounce, but responded well by defeating Syria 1-0 and claiming a point in China on Matchdays Four and Five respectively.

The home side, though, will be without four players through suspension with Khalid Muftah, Ahmed Yasser, Abdelkarim Hassan and Meshaal Abdulla all unavailable for selection.

Photos: Lagardère Sports


5 3 2 0 4 0 4 11  DWWDW
5 3 1 1 8 6 2 10  WLWDW
5 3 0 2 5 3 2 9  LWLWW
5 1 2 2 1 2 -1 5  DLWDL
5 1 1 3 3 6 -3 4  DWLLL
5 0 2 3 2 6 -4 2  DLLDL




23 MAR 2017 – 19:35 Local time
Helong Stadium
Changsha , Hunan
China PR     CHINA PR vs   KOREA REPUBLIC Korea Republic
11:35 (GMT)

23 MAR 2017 – 20:00 Local time
Hang Jebat Stadium
 Syria     SYRIA    vs.   UZBEKISTAN    Uzbekistan
12:00 (GMT)

23 MAR 2017 – 19:00 Local time
Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium
 Qatar     QATAR     vs.     IRAN     Iran
 16:00 (GMT)



Home/Away / Neutral Matches Iran Wins Draw  Lost Goals + / –
H 8 6 2 0 19 – 4 +15
A 13 7 3 3 15 – 11 +4
N 0 0 0 0 0 – 0 +0
Total 21 13 5 3 34 – 15 +19


Tough test for Team Melli.

Team Melli will host Oman in the final round of Group D Asian zone FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers on Tuesday. The match is of a crucial importance to Oman while Team Melli will be entering in the match in a much calmer attitude.

With a superior goal difference by 15, Iran are almost certain to finish on top even if they lose their three-point lead with a defeat to second-placed Oman at the Azadi Stadium.

The Omanis are currently seventh in the rankings of the runners-up but, with only three points separating second from eighth, could make a final day surge by beating Iran.

Oman has always been a tough opponent for Team Melli. In the away match in Muscat , Team Melli managed a draw in a match that the Omani’s were the better team and exposed some vulnerabilities in Team Melli midfield and defense lines.

However, this match will be quite different.

Azadi is like no other venue for the guests, especially when it is filled with passionate Persian mass  fever. The biggest stadium in Asia can hold up to 110, 000 fans and the noise generated buy such mass can take the opponents apart before even the kick off. The Omani’s will find it that much harder to play their football under such environment. Although Azadi is not expected to be full, the fact that the match admission is free and many Iranians are still in Nowrooz holiday, the crowds numbers will be significant.

Carlos Queiroz embarked in another brave move by selecting what was virtually his second team last time against India, Despite some glitches the new look Team Melli managed to score four past India the weakest team of group D. It could have easily been double that figure, though.

Oman on the other hand did not find it so smooth against the resilient and vastly improved Guam in their last match in Muscat. They barely managed to score late in the game to keep their hope of qualification to the next round alive,

Oman is still the underdog in tomorrow’s match, but surprises are aplenty in football. The Wiley Queiroz , will be having a different team this time round as Dejagah , Teymourian and the rest of the first choice players will be back in the lineup to prevent any possible surprises by the Omani’s.


Match analysis: What went wrong in Dasgouz?

Being held by minnows such Turkmenistan is not exactly complimentary for a team that has high ambition such as Iran, although it is not a disaster either.

The new look Team Melli that Carlos Queiroz has gathered for the two match series in mid-June 2015 looked quite promising against Uzbekistan. In fact, the team style of play, the pace and the tactics used to beat Uzbekistan was breath of fresh air for the usually dull and defensive style of Queiroz.

But the same team came down to earth in Daşoguz , and it seems like “back to the drawing border” time.

The Portuguese coach was so prophetic when he said a day before the match that we should not look at friendly matches and official matches in the same level. He was so right as if he was expecting his troops to falter in a competitive match where results are quite important unlike friendly matches.

If we have to dissect this forgettable match in Daşoguz, the share of the blame is divided. This weak result by Team Melli is the outcome of several factors. If we start at the top, we have to look at the coach and his team line up first.

The Coach culpabilities

Queiroz started the match with a line up close to the one that exceled in Tashkent 5 days ago. No one can fault him for that and within 4 minutes it looked quite bright as Azmoun looked like he has just opened the floodgate. But poor finishing and some hints of profligacy was evident in the players as they failed to find the net time after time. The performance of one player, in particular, was so disconcerting it was like Iran was playing with 10 men. Shojaei kept losing the ball, losing one to one battles and sending wrong passes one wonders if he was being forced to play against his will. Of course, he was substituted in the second half, but Queiroz is guilty of having this player in the squad in the first place. We would never know if his replacement would have been a better choice, but since Queiroz is gallantly embarking in transforming the team with younger players, why insist on Shojaei?

Since the 1st half saw many scoring chances missed, Queiroz rightly changed tactics and players in the second, however further chances were missed. The team then changed tactics and focused on attacking from the flanks, though only the right flank one was truly functional and the Turkmen coach quickly realized that and altered his defenses accordingly.

The hosts piled up the defenses as they parked the bus while Queiroz and his men had no way to open them up. Finally another tactic was deployed, long range shots. It was a spectacular Ando special but also far too late to change the result. Teymourian rattled the goalkeeper in the 88th minute.

So tactical failure was one reason that Iran failed to beat the much inferior hosts. While it seems that in the absence of some key players, the coach seems to have difficulty to adapt.

One also needs to question Carlos Queiroz mental stability. The coach was involved in a longish pre-match press conference the morning of the match in which he was clearly and visibly upset about many shortcomings and the way the squad was treated. Regardless to whether he had a case or not, Queiroz always had issues with emotions and self-control. He is an angry man by nature. Quick to shoot off his mouth and quick to condemn anything and anyone that he does not fancy. His hyper emotional status, anger and stress in the morning of the match perhaps affected his mental stability. Perhaps such state of mind was contributory in his failure to fully concentrate on the match and arrange the team in a much calmer situation. A man working in anger is certainly much more liable to commit errors than a cool, calm and collected one.

The Players.

It is amazing what 5 days can do in football. The players in Tashkent performed so well even beyond expectations, they were the shadow of themselves in Daşoguz ! We would not know whatever happened in those 5 days to turn a group of exciting, energetic players into lethargic, impassive and unresponsive ones. Only Azmoun really deserves a special mention, not because he scored the goal, but because of his running, perseverance and skill during the whole of the match. Teymourian as a leader was disappointing, Hajsafy in the midfield role was peripheral, Amiri who is one of the most exciting players of the season was calm and mild, Shojaei, a calamity, the back four, quite shaky and alarmingly passive. In goal, Haghighi is far from confident. His positioning while the goal was conceded shows a lack of awareness.


In general, the players had a bad day despite their efforts. It is remain to be seen if there were circumstances behind this off the field or was it one of those dark things about football that no one can answer for certain. How come excellent players perform so badly the next time they play?

Looking at the bigger picture, the most vivid of Team Melli’s players composition is the lack of creative midfield players and strong leaders. A player that can control the midfield and spread the football in a skillful manner. The last one known of such caliber was one Mojtaba Jabbari but he left the team. Such caliber of players are quite unique. Many teams suffer from them too.

The Ground and the atmosphere.

Turkmenistan is an odd country with its ruling clan. Even thousands of miles away and on TV, one feels the pressure and the tension surrounding the stadium. Nowhere in the world have I experienced the whole stadium being orchestrated and controlled like robots such as the fans in Daşoguz. The fans were dressed more like a floral arrangement rather than any ordinary ones wearing their team’s jerseys or whatever they like to wear. They seemed to be controlled remotely by some government agents and told to sit without too much movement. I also have never known of any stadiums in the world that Team Melli played in which had no Iranian fans in it , except for this one. If there were any Iranian fans, and we were told that Azmoun Family was there, the TV would not show it. Perhaps Azmoun Family being Turkmen were given a special treat and entry visa.

Such environment creates pressure on the opposition players and such tactics used by the Turkmen perhaps was effective enough in creating some sense of fear and tension amongst the opposition.

The pitch itself was one of the worst I have seen for ages. It was certainly not the type that a team can play smooth passes and fast football. This type of pitch is good enough for teams that have the route one tactics but a nightmare for the teams that playing a passing game.

Administration and Management.

Carlos Queiroz was very bitter about the way his team was treated while departing Tehran. Being stuck in the coach(the bus) that took the players to the aircraft for 50 minutes, not being allowed to embark the plane , then returned back to the terminal to a hall that had no seat waiting for over three hours forcing the players to sit on the floor, is not exactly the treatment you provide to players who are representing your country. Distinct lack of respect , as Queiroz rightly said.

No matter how much exaggeration was built into that shameful treatment, such things take its toll on players and any human being for that matter. This all stems from the unprofessional, poor management of the football federation which has time and again failed to acts dutifully and professionally.

But the shameless attitude goes well beyond the federation failing to properly organize a charter flight. When a team wins a match, the least that the federation and those in charge could do is to verbally express their appreciation by saying well done to the squad. Even that is not being extended to the players and the coaching staff. Truly pathetic attitude that only serves to dishearten the players and make them think if it is worth the effort.


Whatever the reasons behind this poor performance, the team will bounce back and perhaps even excel. There are always lessons learned in the se circumstances. However , only smart people learn from their mistakes, the others keep failing.

Team Melli , one last chance to excel under Queiroz.

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The Iran’s vs. Chile friendly match in St. Polten, Austria on Thursday , is overshadowed by the resignation of Carlos Queiroz on the eve of Nowrooz , the Iranian New Year.

The match has lost a major part of its significance as a new coach will most likely deploy different team game plan , different strategy and for sure , he will have his own sets of players in mind after a period of familiarization with Team Melli and Iranian football in general. Assuming of course that the next coach will likely be a foreign one.

No surprises !

As far as the match goes, there is not going to be many surprises in the game plan and line up unless Queiroz, for the only time, changes his mind-set and decides to give the offensive game plan a go against powerful opposition. Otherwise, it will be the usual tight at the back and counter at the front for Team Melli. There are no new players to look forward to except for the gifted young striker Masoud Hassanzadeh of Zob Ahan, who might be given his debut.

Masoud Hassanzadeh
Masoud Hassanzadeh

Defensive prowess

The lineup for this match will be quite close to the Asian Cup matches except that Queiroz managed to get his two injured defenders back. Pejman Montazeri and Hashim Beikzadeh were on the injury list and did not make the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. Queiroz had to significantly change the defense as he was short of options. Whether Montazeri and Beikzadeh will claim their posts back is an interesting question as their replacements, Morteza Pouraliganji in the heart of defense and Vouriya Ghafoori in the left back position, did a marvelous job in the competition and both performed to the admiration of the critics and observers.

Midfield Woes

The middle of the field is where Iran is lacking and will continue so with the aging players, lack of creativity, lack of pace and dearth of offensive capabilities hurting the team. Nekouman ,  Teymourian and Shojaei are on steady decline and despite their significant efforts during the Asian Cup , they were found wanting as they were no match for younger, energetic and more creative opposition players. UAE and Iraq matches, highlighted the weakness of Iran midfield. Ashkan Dejagah remains the main midfielder who can make a difference.

Up front , there is a very healthy competition developing between the established forward Reza Ghoochannejad who has a terrific scoring record with Team Melli and up and coming star , Sardar Azmoun.

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Although Azmoun and Alireza Jahanbakhsh will be absent from the team due to commitment of Omid Team in Tehran, which lead to Queiroz wrath and subsequent resignation , the addition of Masoud Ahmadzadeh is another shot in the arm for Team Melli offensive capabilities. On a perturbing note, Karim Ansarifard has lost much of his sparkle and abilities since moving to Spain to join Osasuna. His inclusion in the team as a striker without scoring a single goal in the season and not even providing a single assist, is one of those Queiroz special mysteries !.

Goalkeeping Calamities

Goalkeeping will remain the biggest of Iran’s worries for the forcible future, unless the new coach changes the keepers altogether. Haghighi is still the number one choice of Queiroz however; it is unlikely that he will remain so for long. The selection of calamity Sousha Makani is yet another of Queiroz mysterious rational that defies logic. Makani has been consistently unreliable for Persepolis

The star performers

The Chilean team, La Roja ,  is one of the contenders for Copa America.  Head coach Jorge Sampaoli is expected to field his strongest line up including the Chilean household names of Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Arturo Vidal (Juventus), Claudio Bravo (Barcelona) and Gary Medel (Inter Milan) for the two games series against Iran and then Brazil in Emirates Stadium in London. . Because most Chile player play abroad, the chances of the team training together on regular basis is small hence these FIFA days represent the most important times for the coaches to impliment their game plans.

sanchez training chile

 Players’ Fatigue

Sampaoli is quite lucky that he has no major injury except for Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile) custodian who dislocated his shoulder during the victory over Palestino in the league match at home and did not make the trip, However , in  Claudio Bravo (Barcelona)in goal , such absence is the least of his worries.

Artur Vidal
Artur Vidal

The European contingent join the squad after some heaving playing schedules. Sanchez and Vidal in particular had  busy schedules with significant number of strong matches played in the League and the Champions League. Fatigue might be a factor for these two games for Chile. Sampaoli might think it is wise to conserve their energy and refrain from playing them the whole 90 minutes.


Queiroz slams Iranian coaches.

After exiting the Asian cup in a penalty shootout, Carlos Queiroz talked to the press and expressed his disappointment and regrets about many issues surrounding Iranian football but reserved his most venomous attacks on two of the Iran’s top club coaches, according to Mehrnews.

Amir Ghalenoei , head coach of Esteghlal and Hamid Derakhshan , head coach of Persepolis , the two clubs combined that have the lion share of Iranian fans, where singled out by Querioz as saboteurs !

The tongue lashing started with Ghalenoei whom Querioz accused of back stabbing. “He promised me that he will release Esteghlal players and fully cooperate with Team Melli program, but when the time arrived for the release, he refused and started giving excuses.” Queiroz said about Esteghlal and former Team Melli coach Amir Ghalenoei.

“Look how he treated Nekounam and Teymourian , both of whom are pillars of Team Melli. Ghalebnoei , in essence , was leading a campaign to destroy the morale of Team Melli players.” Queiroz added.

Amir Ghalenoei

The Portuguese coach, earmarked Hamid Derekhshan for  special ridicule and Sarcasm ” What does a coach of 17 years old team , who has faked the birthdays of some of his player and was busted for it, know about football and Team Melli? All he achieved was shame and dishonor for Iran as a country and for the football federation that received a 4 years ban from youth competition because of Derakhshan cheating.”

Queiroz also recapped some of Derekhshan’s history “As a player, he does not have a clean sheet either. He has a record of misdemeanor and dishonorable acts, including his mutiny on Team Melli with some 13 other players who revolted against the late Team Melli coach Parviz Dehdari. What virtue does he holds to start criticizing us? ”

Amir Ghalenoei has been one of chief antagonists of Queiroz and repeatedly criticized him for long stoppage of the league program. Derkhshan, although publicly saying that the long break because of Team Melli is in the benefit of his struggling Persepolis, he has been known to criticize Queiroz on players’ selection and other tactical issues.

Somewhow, we think that this is not the end of the story. Niether of the coaches will take these lightly, especially Ghalenoei who has already filed a slander case against Nekounam in court. The hearing was adjourned until after the Asian Cup.

5 Iran players to watch at the World Cup , with a twist

John Duerden is a well know sport journalist who has a vast knowledge of Asian football. His work, news and analysis of football in Aisa has been carried by several Websites and News agencies. In this article , Mr. Duerden has compiled the list of 5 Team Melli players for the Associated Press, which will no doubt have a global distribution. As our bread and butter is Team Melli of Iran , we have some reservation on Mr. Duerden list , but will publish it nevertheless and have our comments at the end of the list.


by JOHN DUERDEN, Associated Press – 31 May 2014 
With several European-based players in the squad, Iran will be heading to the World Cup with plenty of top level international experience.

Forward Reza Ghoochannejhad was born in the Netherlands and plays in England, while winger Ashkan Dejagah was raised in Germany and spent much of his career in the Bundesliga before moving to Premier League club Fulham. Goalkeeper Daniel Davari is another, born in Germany and playing in the Bundesliga.

Combined with Javad Nekounam, the team’s captain and one its most experienced players, Iran will need to come together as a team to have any chance of making it out of Group F.

Here are five players to watch:




Reza Ghoochannejhad is a relatively recent addition to the team — visa issues delayed the debut of the Dutch-born player — but the fleet-footed Charlton forward played an important role in Iran’s successful qualification campaign, scoring three goals in his first three qualifiers.

He has now scored nine goals in 11 games.

A January move from Standard Liege to Charlton in England’s second division has increased his playing time ahead of the World Cup and now the player dubbed “Gucci,” who has become one of Iran’s biggest stars, should arrive in Brazil fit and ready for action.




Long-serving Iran captain Javad Nekounam has been a mainstay of the national team since making his international debut in 2000.

The dynamic Al-Kuwait midfielder has a habit of coming up with a goal just when his team needs it most and has found the target 37 times in his 136 international appearances.

Now 33, Nekounam does not cover as much ground as he once did but he reads the game as well as any.

This year’s tournament is likely to be his last World Cup.




Although talented attacking midfielder Masoud Shojaei can be inconsistent, the Las Palmas midfielder can also make a difference. When he plays well, Iran plays well.

Injuries have prevented him from showing Spanish fans his best, but there have been enough flashes to demonstrate an eye for an unexpected pass and a fancy flick.

Shojaei doesn’t score as many goals as he possibly should, but he can make things happen for others.




German-born Daniel Davari could make or break Iran’s chances in Brazil, although with only three international appearances to date there is still something of a question mark hovering over the Eintracht Brauschweig goalkeeper.

Davari’s European experience is one reason why Iran coach Carlos Queiroz holds him in high esteem. While Eintracht Brauschweig may not be in the Bundesliga for much longer, being a goalkeeper for the bottom team at least results in plenty of practice.

Davari made a positive initial impression on the international stage but made some major mistakes against Guinea. He still has much to learn, but if he can settle with the defense before the World Cup, he could be what Iran needs.




Fulham forward Ashkan Dejagah can play on the right side or as the main striker.

Dejagah came to prominence in Germany with Wolfsburg, making 150 appearances for the Bundesliga team before moving to the Premier League and Fulham in August 2012.

It took Dejagah, now 27, time to settle in England but he has since showed his value with direct running and the ability to take on defenders and chip in with regular goals.

Injuries curtailed his first season in the Premier League but if he can stay fit, Dejagah will have a major part to play for Iran in Brazil.


While we have no argument about the selection of Ashkan Dejagah and Reza Ghoochannejad in the list , we have our reservation on the other 3 in the list. Incidentally , Ghoochannejad was born in Iran in the City of Mashad. He immigrated to the Netherlands with his family as a boy. 

Davari has shown very poor form in the matches he played so far for Team Melli. His latest was against Angola in the last friendly match a couple of days ago. Even if he makes the final list , and that would be due to the obsession of Queiroz with players playing outside Iran , he will be a serious liability . We also need to remember he was relegated with his team in the Bundesliga. Davari will be playing in the Swiss league next season with Grasshoppers. We have a great hope for him in the fy=uture, but as of now, he is a long way away from being a star performer.

Masoud Shojaei , perhaps due to his long injury and several failed operations, has not performed well for Team Melli for as long as one cares. As with Davari , it is the fact that he plays in Europe that has endeared him to Queiroz. Shojaei’s repeated poor performance in front of the local fans in Azadi has resulted in him being booed by the fans. That is very unusual for Team Melli fan , but shows the level of their frustration with this player. It is true that Shojaei has some magical touch and crowd pleasing moves, however , he has not delivered for a long time. We doubt that he will be a star performer in Brazil , but we do not mind miracles.

Javad Nekounam is going through a soft patch. It is unfortunate as the most senior player and the Captain of the team is suffering from loss of form perhaps consistent with his age. He was a shadow of the player he was with Osasuna when he made his move to Esteghlal. He is still a valuable player , but not a five star performer he used to be. Again , we do hope for miracles here as well.

Our list will include



A reliable , solid and highly dedicated player. His defensive qualities and ability to mark and neutralize the best of the opponents players, has been remarkable. Teymourian has also a lethal shoot and scored some beautiful crowd pleasing goals. A tireless runner who is full of stamina, the type of players that Queiroz always yearns for. He is also one of the few players with World Cup and English Premier league experiences. With such background, Teymourian has all that it takes to be a star performer for his team.



There is no guarantee that this young tenacious player will even make the list , we, however will bet on him. As a rookie in the Dutch Eredivisie, the young Jahanbakhsh has performed beyond expectation. He scored goals , and assisted too. 2 of his goals in the final day of the regular season , saved his club from direct relegation and those were scored against the recently crowned champions Ajax.  He has pace and power , two combinations that he helped pass defenders and score. Jahanbakhsh is a daring player , not shy of trying anything in front of the goal. He can play in several position and is comfortable as a striker, midfield player or a winger. It is very difficult to ignore this type of quality player.  


Football instead of politics

Arian Faal

  • Iran national football team prepares for the World Cup in Stegersbach  – a site inspection of the “Wiener Zeitung”.

Steger Bach. No one wants to talk about politics here, only about football, the World Cup in Brazil and the “honor of Persia”. The slogan that unites national pride and hope to bring the Iranian soccer team luck and will also be featured on the World Cup bus.


Iranian national football Team (Team Melli)

(af) Team Melli is next to Saudi Arabia, Japan and South Korea one of the strongest Asian football teams. Qualified three times to the finale of AFC Asian Cup (1968, 1972, 1976), all of which were won and became champions. Five times (1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2004) in the semi-finals of Asian Cup , three games of them involved  penalty shoot-out losses (1984, 1996, 2004). In addition to four World Cup participation (1978, 1998, 2006 and 2014), the national team qualified three times for the Olympic Summer Games (1964, 1972, 1976). 

Even if the Islamic Republic was present in the past few years more by the nuclear issue news headline  and the former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the European media, The Iranians wants their national football team (Team Melli), which has gathered in May for three weeks in Austria for training,  to be in the news.

The daily routine of the 28 nominated players is minutely regulated. In addition to a strict diet and fixed workouts, there are always intermediate dates such as the FIFA doping test or one or the other interview. There are only a few who dare to speak to Western media. Tricky questions by reporters swarming around the camp automatically creates cautious and reserves responses. Apparently no one wants to be put into hot water by discussing controversial issues at home and answer questions by the authorities.

“Football has nothing to do with politics,” is what  the 31-year-old regular player Andranik Teymourian believes when engaged in a scarce conversation with the “Wiener Zeitung” . “But football can create a bridge of friendship,” he adds.

That was a few days ago. About the lack of jerseys of the team that received much exposure by the world ptress and the shrinking after wash. “The issue with the jersey is finished. We have plenty of them here and hope that they will be of better quality in the future,” said Teymourian a key player in the World Cup qualifiers.

“It is difficult,”
“We have been training really hard in this one and a half months, and I believe there never was in the past few years as a national team as now. Nevertheless, we know that it is difficult,” admits the professional. Three friendlies are in those three weeks of the program, one of them being, namely Belarus, already took place and ended in a draw. In this match at Kapfenberg before 1500 spectators,  the Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz almost used his entire squad. Only Daniel Davari and Ashkan Dejagah, who has previously played in the German Bundesliga were not used.

Several hundred of the approximately 30,000 people living in Austria Austro Persians traveled for the first game to support their team Melli. One of them was Arash K. “We have to be present at the games, so that the world sees that Iran has to offer other than the nuclear issue. Iranian national football team is one of the best and strongest teams in Asia. It is therefore self-evident that we qualified for the World Cup in Brazil. On the Fifa ranking of May 2014, we are ranked with 750 points 37th place, “he says with obvious pride. Why the training camp held in Austria, has several reasons. There are good relations between Vienna and Tehran, and it is a good opportunity to force the sports exchanges with Europe.

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Players trickling to Team Melli camp in South Africa.

Mehdi Mohammad Nabi , the Manager of Team Melli has announced that more players will be joining the camp in the next few days

Mohammad Nabi who is the chief administrator and the supervisor of Team Melli , himself did not join the squad on the day of their departure to Johannesburg via Dubai, which irritated Carlos Queiroz. The Portuguese coach sarcastically commented on Mohammad Nabi’s absence from he group especially since many problems developed including the refusal of Sepahan and Esteghl;al to release their players. Neither Mohammand Nabi nor Kaffashian were in Tehran at the time.

According to the FFIRI official  , the Qatari club Um Salal has agreed to release Pezman Monatzeri in order for the defender to join the South Africa camp. Qatar league season is over, but the Cup matches are still on going. Um Salal is not involved in those cup matches. Montazeri will join the team on Sunday

Mohammad Nabi stated that Hamed Lak has arrived in Johannesburg Saturday morning while Ansarifard, Makani , Bakhtiyar Rahmani , Mehrdad Jamaati and Alireza Biranvand will be arriving Saturday afternoon and start training with the rest of the squad on Sunday. The Esteghlal contingent includes Sadeghi, Ando Teymourian, Heydari , Beigzadeh in addition to Majid Saleh the assistant coach , will be arriving on Monday.

Mohammad Nabi also said “We are continuing our effort with AL Kuwait FC in order to release Nekounam ” Such a move seems quite illogical especially since Nekounam is a key player for Al Kuwait FC which is challenging for the league title and the season is not over yet in Kuwait.

There was no comment on Sepahan players who were crossed off by Queiroz for unknown reasons.

Iran vs. Thailand. Fans Reactions.

  • The coach and players were hoping for a capacity crowd to turn up at Azadi to support Team Melli for two reasons. One it is the first match that Team Melli plays after the qualification to the World Cup, and two , it was hoped that in addition to the usual support , this match would be like a tribute to the Team Melli players from the fans.  Disappointedly, only 12000 fans turned out at the start of the match. The stadium security had to shift the scattered fans in the upper stands down to lower stands. This is a standard practice unique to Azadi stadium!

  • The total number of fans eventually rose to 17,330 or %17 of the total capacity of Azadi.

  • Around the hours from the match, some disgruntled fans started protesting and expressing their disapproval of what they are watching from Team Melli. Two sets of fans even started arguments that led to security forces intervention before escalating to a clash.

  • Some fans started cheering their clubs and calling the name of their club players.

  • With time passing and the team still performing poorly, a sudden crescendo calling for “Ali Daei” started echoing in the stadium from the fans. No doubt mostly Perspolis fans.

  • Some fans then started chanting against individual players for their poor performance. The main object of their derision was Masoud Shojaei. The Las Palmas player who was not having a good match (but then again he has not performed well for Team Melli for years ) was one easy target for the boo boys.

  • The scoring of the goals came at the perfect time to calm the discontents in the terraces. Those two quick goals silenced the boo boys and the supporting chants started again for Team Melli players.

  • Thailand scored in the 80th minute from a tremendous drive and unstoppable shot that Team Melli goalkeeper Rahman Ahmadi had no chance against. However, that goal conceded quickly changed the mood of the fans again as some of them started calling for “Daniel Davari” and shouting his name. The recently joined German-Iranian goalkeeper was on the bench at the time. Talking to  a reporter after the match , Davari thanked the fans for calling his name, perhaps not aware that in Iran , this is a form of protest against another player or a coach.

  • After the match, Ando Teymourian was upset by the fans who booed Shojaei while defiantly and sarcastically called for all those fans to call Queiroz and ask him to remove Shojaei from the Team Melli squad, if they dared!!   The uncharacteristic remark by Teymourian indicates the level of distraught Team Melli players feel when verbally attacked by the fans.

  • Jalal Hosseini was another player who commented about the fans and said that Masoud Shojaei, who was substituted on the 78th minute, was quite upset by the fans hostile comments.