Tag: FIFA World Cup 2018

Carlos Queiroz set to lead Iraq.

The former Team Melli head coach will aim to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with Iraq, a feat that has failed the Iraqis for 35 years.

Carlos Queiroz is the No. 1 candidate to lead the Iraq team, in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, after the team parted with coach Srecko Katanec.

Srecko Katanec has led the Iraqi team since 2018, helping the team qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup as well as advance to the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup. However, on July 15, he decided to leave the Iraqi team after 6 months without receiving a salary.

Very quickly, the Iraqi Football Federation targeted the famous coach Carlos Queiroz as a replacement. The Portuguese born in 1953 is currently unemployed, after terminating his job with the Colombian team in December 2020.

Carlos Queiroz is one of the most famous coaches in the world. He led the Portuguese team with Ronaldo to the 2010 World Cup. After that, he had 8 years with Team Melli, achieving a historic back-to-back qualification to the World Cup 2014 and 2018. Before that, he also twice. helped Portugal’s U20 team win the FIFA U20 World Cup in 1989 and 1991.

Carlos Queiroz is likely to lead the Iraqi team to the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Photo: Twitter Iraqi Football Federation.
Carlos Queiroz is likely to lead the Iraqi team to the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Photo: Twitter Iraqi Football Federation.

At the club level, Carlos Queiroz worked as an assistant to Alex Ferguson at Man United in his prime. In addition, he also had a season as a coach of Real Madrid, with the team winning the Spanish Super Cup.

According to local media, Carlos Queiroz is excited about the prospect of leading the Iraqi team. However, he also asked the Iraqi Football Federation to pay him 80% of his salary in advance, which is expected to be up to 1.75 million USD/year. It is expected that this week, the two sides will agree on the final terms.

In the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup, Iraq is in Group A with Iran, South Korea, UAE, Syria, and Lebanon. They will open the World Cup qualifying campaign with a match against South Korea away on September 2. On September 9, they will meet Iran at home. Historically, Iraq has only attended the World Cup once, in 1986.

Beiranvand signs for the Portuguese side Boavista

Boavista is about to reinforce its goalkeeping with the signing of the Iranian international goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand in a deal that involves a loan with a purchase option, according to Maisfutebol .

The 28-year-old player, Iran’s regular first-team player, left Antwerp’s camp this Wednesday to travel to Portugal until the end of the week.

Beiranvand was the goalkeeper who defended Iran’s colors at the 2018 World Cup and who saved a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo, in the match between Iran and Portugal in the group stage of the competition, in Russia.

Last season, Beiranvand played 12 games for Antwerp, in his first season with the Belgian club.

In his native country, Alireza Beiranvand represented Naft Tehran from 2011 to 2016, having then moved to Persepolis, from 2016 to 2020, in a club where she played with Mehdi Taremi, current FC Porto forward. He has 44 games for the national team.

The player’s manager shared a photo this evening on social media with the signing of a contract with Boavista.

Team Melli marches on to the Quarter Finals.

Iran defeated Oman 2-0 to book a place in the quarter finals stage of the AFC Asian Cup 2019. Alireza Jahanbakhsh scored Iran’s first ON 32nd minute when he cleverly stole the ball from Oman’s central defender and smartly slotted it in on the advancing Oman keeper, while on the 41st minute, Captain Ashkan Dejagah scored from a spot kick awarded after a foul on Mehdi Taremi

The first half ended 2-0 for Team Melli.

The match started with a real scare when the Omani forward, closely marked by Majid Hosseini , received a long ball that bounced luckily for him, leaving Hosseini chasing behind. The Young Team Melli central defender clumsily tripped the advancing Omani forward in the box for the Mexican referee to whistle for a penalty.

Ahmed Mubarak Al-Mahaijri, Oman’s Captain took the spot kick but the excellent reflect by Alireza Beiranvand manged to save the ball which was aimed at the far right corner. This is the second Penalty save of Beiranavnd in as many game, the first being the penalty save against Cristiano Ronaldo in the FIFA World Cup 2018.

After that scare, Iran took over the play and dominated throughout the match. All figures and stats indicated Iranian superiority. Oman could not match Iran player’s skills and physical game and depended on long balls to break the solid defense marshaled exquisitely by Mortaza Pouraliganji who did not put a foot wrong. Unfortunately, the same could not be said of Majid Hosseini. Apart from the penalty he gave away because of a reckless challenge and being caught out, Late in the second half, another situation led to him committing a foul on the runaway Omani winger. He was a lucky boy not to get a second yellow and marching order.

Ashkan Dejagah was majestic in this match. He was the maestro of the team with his excellent vision and distribution of the ball.

This is the fourth clean sheet for Team Melli, although Beiranvand, except for that penalty, was not really tested in this game.

The forward line, were far from clinical today. Sardar Azmoun , could have scored a hat trick on his own while Taremi wasted two golden chances. There have been quite a few profligate performances by the strikers which could be a serious concern as Team Melli advances further.

Vahid Amiri picked up his second yellow card of the tournament , so he will miss the Quarter final’s match in four days time.

In an earlier match, China recovered from a goal down to beat Thailand 2-1. China will meet Team Melli in the next round in Abu Dhabi.


1 Alireza Beiranvand GK
5 Milad Mohammadi DF
8 Morteza Pouraliganji DF
9 Omid Ebrahimi MF
11 Vahid Amiri FW
17 Mehdi Taremi MF
18 Alireza Jahanbakhsh 32 MF
19 Seyed Majid Hosseini DF
20 Sardar Azmoun FW
21 Ashkan Dejagah 41‘(PK) MF
23 Ramin Rezaeian DF


4 Roozbeh Cheshmi 69‘ -> (Jahanbakhsh)
7 Masoud Shojaei 88‘ -> (Azmoun)
14 Saman Ghoddos 78‘ -> (Dejagah)


Carlos Queiroz

Sardar Azmoun returns back to Team Melli

After the FIFA World Cup 2018 , Sardar Azmoun decided to abandon Team Melli citing fans abuse and his mother’s ill-health.

Querioz, however, always insisted that this is a temporary measure and he will bring back the Rubin Kazan back to the team as he considered Azmoun as a key player for Team Melli for the AFC Asian Cup.

After missing the Uzbekistan game, Azmoun , who has scored his team winner this weekend, reported to the Team Melli camp to resume training today.


Saeid Ezatolahi finally expected to arrive at Reading

From Rostov to Reading, via Belgium, Uzbekistan and France.

The deal to bring Saeid Ezatolahi to Reading has been far from straightforward, but the Iranian international is set to finally arrive in England this weekend.

The 21-year-old completed his season-long loan move from Russian outfit FC Rostov on August 31, the final day of the summer transfer window.

But he is yet to arrive at Hogwood with all previous stages of the deal completed elsewhere across the globe.

“He hasn’t reported yet,” explained Reading FC boss Paul Clement.

“As we speak (on Thursday afternoon), he is in Paris.

“He was on international duty with Iran and they played Uzbekistan. He played a good, significant amount of the game and he set up the goal, so that’s good.

“He is in Paris to get his visa. Everything is in place now, the visa has been approved and we’re just waiting for it to be collected. Ezatolahi has spent a few days in Paris
“So he’s got to go back to the office to collect it, that’ll probably be on Friday and then he’s free to travel to the UK.”

“We expect him to arrive here either Friday or Saturday. He’ll do some light training on Saturday, on Sunday the players are off and he’ll start fully with everybody on Monday.”

Clement added: “After the World Cup he had some rest time. He did go back to Russia, Rostov for a couple of weeks where he was training and then there has been a period where he hasn’t been there and he’s been back in Iran.

“He lost a little bit of time but fortunately during this period where he was with the national team, clearly he’s been training and he’s already played a game.

“So he might need a bit of time, but I don’t think he’ll need that much. I’ll assess it as soon as I see him.”

Paul Clement insists there are no problems behind the scenes at Reading

The announcement of Ezatolahi’s arrival came as a surprise to many, with the deal accelerated during the final week of the transfer window.

Reading had been chasing Swansea City midfielder Jay Fulton on a permanent deal, but when that fell through they moved to snap up Ezatolahi on loan.

But Clement hopes that could turn into a longer term deal.

“I hope he has a long future here,” said the Reading manager.

“The situation with the deal at the moment is he’s on a loan for the season because when we signed him, it was obviously outside the period where we could do a permanent, so it’s on an initial loan.

Paul Clement is hoping Ezatolahi will be here for longer than one season
“Hopefully he does really well and it’s a long-term thing.

“It was brought to my attention late in the window. We had a week. During that week it was about gathering as much intelligence as possible, speaking to people he had worked with.

“A really complicated deal.”       – Paul Clement

“Fortunately I was able to have a good conversation with Carlos Queiroz (Iran’s national team boss), who spoke really highly of him.

“Then I spoke to the player and got a really good feel about him and we’re really pleased to get it over the line.

“It was a little bit complicated. You’re dealing with Russia, you’ve got the situation where he’s Iranian so you’ve got the visa issues, international clearance and those type of things.

“He had his medical in Belgium at Roeselare because it was difficult to get him here to do the medical because of the visa, but in the end we got it over the line.

“A really complicated deal.”

“We’re looking forward to working with him. I think he’s going to be a good addition to us.”

A Weak performance is turned into heroics, claims Ghalenoei.

Amir GhaleNoei, was interviewed in a Radio Talk show, spoke about the conditions of his team, Sepahan and the recent performance of Team Melli in the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.

In response to a question on the status of the Team Melli and what he thought about the renewal of Carlos Queiroz’s contract Ghalenoei said “If we say any word or comment, they immediately accuse me of being negative and say that GhaleNoei, only criticizes. Given the little time  that we have, if  Queiroz is to stay , it better be on the basis of a proper defined framework, but must include everything (these words are half-finished), but what we have  right now is a group of promoters and a series of advertising teams who are the de facto decision-makers, not the minister, not the President of the football federation. Everything they want, they seem to get. Team  Melli in the FIFA World Cup, was in many ways , the fifth ranked team in Asia, but these gentlemen in the national media made such a racket it  and used superlatives . it confuse us  so much we thought they were taking about ,France, Noyt Iran’s Team Melli! As I said, the head of the federation or the minister is not influential or decision maker. It is those who hype , those gentlemen whom I do not want to mention their names (….)”

The Head coach of Sepahan, who hardly munches his words, was speaking to radio Javan,. Referring to his tenure as Team Melli head coach “They were prosecuting us for the slightest of things. While we were suspended for a year by FIFA with no the federation president at the helm, we still managed to  be high in the FIFA ranking . In this country, many people who are not competent are assigned responsibilities , but consider how this is weak performance (Iran’s national team performance in the FIFA World Cup 2018) was overturned to become a national victory and champions. So, do not ask these questions from me or the head of the federation or the sports minister, ask the gentlemen!”

At the end of the interview ,Amir Ghale Noei was asked about his opinion on the cancellation of the Super Cup match between Persian Gulf League Champions and Jam Hazfi winner, he said: “What is right in this country?” When our country is like that, and the dollar is around  8 thousand Tomans, such things will happen. We will no afford to hold the Super Cup. Well, that’s the law. In our country, the law is created by the whim of a certain person, and whatever they want to do, it becomes their law.  We must thank the efforts of the League organization and Mr. Fatahi, but we must find out who were culpable for this fiasco”

Ardeshir “Amir” Ghalenoei  is the most successful coach in the Iranian professional league . He managed several clubs, including Esteghlal, Mes Kerman, Sepahan and Tractor Sazi, with two of which he won a total of five championships titles and  lifted two Hazfi Cup. He was also the head coach  Team Melli from August 2006 to July 2007 where he managed the team for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup. Team Melli was eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Omid Ebrahimi to sign for Qatar’s Al Ahli club.

The Qatari al-Arab newspaper reported that Omid Ebrahimi joined the Al Ahli football team in a one-year contract.

According to the newspaper, the one-year contract with Ebrahimi will be signed with Al Ahly today.

Yesterday, Esteghlal’s German coach Winfred Schafer officially confirmed  that his midfieleder will be leaving.

The 30 years old Omid Ebrahimi was one of the finest players for Team Melli in the last FIFA World Cup.  He joined Esteghlal from Sepahan in 2014. Ebrahimi has played 33 times for Team Melli which included AFC Asian Cup 2015 in Australia and the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Jittery Spain Face Iran Challenge

Kazan: Spanish playmaker Isco say Wednesday’s match against Iran will determine their World Cup destiny as they seek to register their first win in Russia following a gripping 3-3 draw against Portugal.

Champions in 2010 and among the favourites this year, Spain’s World Cup ambitions were kept in check, almost single-handedly, by a stunning Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.

The draw came just two days after Spain’s campaign was thrown into disarray by the shock sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui following an untimely announcement by Real Madrid that he would join the 13-times European champions after the tournament.

Fernando Hierro, Spain’s sporting director, is now at the helm but barely a week into the tournament La Roja — expected to join Brazil, Germany and France in the latter stages — have endured more drama than they would have wanted or expected.
“It’s a crucial match that will determine our World Cup destiny,” said Isco. “We want to score from the opening minute, even though that won’t be easy.

“We will stick to the style that defines us as a team, but we have to pass the ball around a lot more and maintain possession. If we play quickly across the pitch, the chances will come. I hope we score quickly.”

Iran kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 win against Morocco, thanks to a late own goal by Aziz Bouhaddouz, piling the pressure on Spain at Kazan Arena on Wednesday.

Iran sit top of the pile as the only Group B team with a win so far, an achievement that sparked incredible celebrations in the streets of Tehran and elsewhere throughout the Islamic republic.

Coach Carlos Queiroz concedes Iran now face one of the biggest challenges in their World Cup history, but maintains they can “make the impossible possible”.

– ‘Universe Cup final’ –
“If the game against Morocco was the World Cup final for us, the game against Spain will be the Universe Cup final,” said the former Real Madrid coach.

“It was not a miracle that we won. What can happen once in a while is a group of people, when they are united, can create super stories and super things.

“Our attitude is to try and make the impossible possible.”

Yet keeping the Spanish armada at bay to claim the point that would boost hopes of qualifying for the last 16 looks a tall order.

Iran have never beaten a European side at a World Cup — their only previous victory was a 2-1 win over the United States in France in 1998.

Despite the frustration of conceding an 88th-minute equaliser to Ronaldo following two goals from Diego Costa and a stunning strike from Nacho, Isco believes Spain’s resolve remains intact.

“We had a setback but we stuck together and got on with the job,” he said.

“We saw that in the first match. We never gave up, even after conceding a goal in the fourth minute. That shows what this team is all about. We’ll never stop fighting.”

Roozbeh Cheshmi out of the World Cup

FFIRI has announced that Roozbeh Cheshmi, Team Melli center-right defender, has suffered an injury during training yesterday and will no longer feature in the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.

It is a real blow for the defender who has pivitol in the defence of Team Melli against Morocco.

With that injury, Carlos Queiroz equation changes for the second game against Spain. Iran edged Morocco 1-0 in the their first World Cup match at the St. Petersburg Stadium on Friday following a stoppage time own goal from Aziz Bouhaddouz.

“It was a great football match. Our strategy was exactly since the first minute to create a mental collapse in the Moroccan players. And now we tried to do that creating frustration and block all the playmakers, The players that can create something. The most open opportunities [to strike] in the first half belongs to Iran and since we were able to create panic in the defensive line of Morocco the game changed. Now it’s time to rest and think about the game against Spain,” Queiroz told at the press conference.

Roozbeh Cheshmi was in the heart of defence that frustrated the Moroccans.

In the game against Morocco, Cheshmi  alongside Morteza PouraliGanji in the middle of defense was able to protect and cover Alireza Beyranvand to keep a clean sheet. Now, with this injury, who should be seen as a substitute for a defender who has been labeled by Queiroz as “the most modern” defender of Iran in the past 10 years.

Queiroz , with all the criticisms that he sustained before the start of the Russian World Cup for playing from Roozbeh Cheshmi in the heart of the national defense, called him the most modern defender of the last 10 years in the national team. A strange claim since Queiroz has not been in Iran for 10 years. Now that Cheshmi is injured and can not play for the Team Melli, that piece of brief news has hit the team and considered as a great shock for some and certainly for the squad.

Majid Hosseini

However, it is not like a lost cause as Queiroz has three options for Cheshmi. Majid Hosseini, Pejman Montazeri and Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh.

Majid Hosseini, who was substituted in the final minutes of the game with Morocco, experienced his first appearance at the World Cup. The young defender of Esteghlal Tehran, who had developed quite rapidly from a youth team all the way to Team Melli senior team, was preferred to the much experienced of Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh, who has been playing for a long time at club and the national team.

Of course, Queiroz has proven that he has tricks up his sleeve and not shy from taking bold decisions such as using a player with one cap only, in an important match in the World Cup. That is what he did with Majid Hosseini. A surprise that no one guessed.

However, It’s unlikely that Queiroz will opt for young Majid Hosseini this time against Spain. Most likely he will use Khanzadeh and even Pejman Montazeri instead of his modern advocate.

Late strike by Ansarifard gives Iran a narrow win against Lithuania

Karim Ansarifard scored a late winner to give Iran a 1-0 victory over Lithuania in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Friday.

Carlos Queiroz’s side, who will face Morocco, Spain and Portugal in Group B at the World Cup, went into the game on the back of a 2-1 friendly defeat against Turkey in Istanbul and struggled to create chances against Edgaras Jankauskas’ lively Lithuania side.

After going in goalless at half-time, Iran spent much of the second half pinned back by waves of Lithuanian attacks, with Justas Lasickas firing over the crossbar before substitute Povilas Leimonas failed to hit the target after a neat passing move culminated in a chance on the hour mark.

Iran came to life in the last 10 minutes of the game, piling forwards and creating a number of chances before Olympiacos striker Ansarifard tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area and found the net in the 88th minute.

While the result – Iran’s fourth victory in their last six international friendlies – will have pleased Queiroz, the manner of his side’s performance will have given him food for thought ahead of their group opener against Morocco on June 15.

This was the last friendly of Team Melli. Due to a mixture of issues, games against Greece and Kosovo were cancelled. At the last minute it was been able to arrange this game against Lithuania. The Iran was the first team to arrive in Russia and has been in Moscow for 3 days, where it will play. its fifth participation in the World Cup.

Lithuania is a fourth tier team of Europe, which has not played in any World Cup, nor is it expected to do so in the short and medium term. The team consists of local players who play in their country’s, infima league, where their first division players, would have problems playing in the third division of Spain, for example.