Tag: FIFA World Cup 2022

Former Team Melli coach on his way to Qatar.

Carlos Queiroz, who was the head coach of the Iranian national team at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, is on the verge of becoming the new coach of Qatar, DN, a Portuguese news website, reported on Tuesday.

According to DN, the Portuguese coach is on his way to Doha to sign a contract and will soon be announced as the new coach of the Qatar national team.
The 69-year-old Queiroz is one of the seven Portuguese coaches handling foreign teams.

The list includes Fernando Santos (Poland), Rui Vitória (Egypt), Pedro Gonçalves (Angola), Paulo Duarte (Togo), Hélio Sousa (Bahrain), and José Peseiro (Nigeria).

Meanwhile in Tehran, the local media reported that the Iran football federation has negotiated with the 67-year-old Argentine coach Cuper.

Cuper was sacked by DR Congo after a poor start to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying in June 2022. The coach has had spells in charge of Valencia, Inter Milan, and Egypt.

“I’ve recently seen the rumors on social media but the federation has not negotiated with the coach,” Mehdi Taj said. The federation didn’t renew the Carlos Queiroz coach’s contract after a dismal run in the 2022 FIFA World Cup .

Taj also said the head coach of the Iran U23 football team will be named as soon as possible.

Ali Daei in the news again

Team Melli legend and former Head Coach is being mentioned repeatedly in the media following the recent goal-scoring spree of Lionel Messi in the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Messi with five goals scored is on par with Kylian Mbappe, the French prodigy as the best scorer of the tournament. The Paris Saint Germain teammates will meet on the final on Sunday for their respective countries Argentina and France. With those 5 goals, Messi is fast advancing to overtake Ali Daei in second place among the World’s Top international scorers.

Messi is 13 goals short of Ali Daei’s tally and 22 short of Ronaldo, the record holder. With Messi having a few more years of his best football still in the tank, he is well-placed to overtake Daei and Ronaldo.

Rank Player Country Goals Caps Ratio First cap Last cap
1 Cristiano Ronaldo  Portugal 118 196 0.6 20 August 2003 10 December 2022
2 Ali Daei  Iran 109 148 0.74 6 June 1993 21 June 2006
3 Lionel Messi  Argentina 96 171 0.56 17 August 2005 13 December 2022
4 Mokhtar Dahari  Malaysia 89 142 0.62 5 June 1972 19 May 1985
5 Ferenc Puskás  Hungary 84 85 0.99 20 August 1945 14 October 1956
Sunil Chhetri  India 84 131 0.64 12 June 2005 27 September 2022
7 Ali Mabkhout  United Arab Emirates 80 109 0.73 15 November 2009 16 November 2022
8 Godfrey Chitalu  Zambia 79 111 0.71 29 June 1968 12 December 1980
9 Hussein Saeed  Iraq 78 137 0.57 5 September 1976 3 March 1990
Robert Lewandowski  Poland 78 138 0.57 10 September 2008 4 December 2022
11 Pelé  Brazil 77 92 0.84 7 July 1957 18 July 1971
Neymar 77 124 0.62 10 August 2010 9 December 2022

it is the same old, same old Queiroz! a pentagon of failures.

Team Melli has just experienced its fifth major failure under Carlos Queiroz, meaning that the football federation, after spending billions of tomans (Millions of dollars) in the last 11 years, could not fulfill the two demands of the fans and people of Iran in football.

 11 years ago and when FFIRI decided to choose a renowned head coach for the national team to put an end to the failures and disappointments of Team Melli especially since Iran won the AFC Asian Cup three times in a row from 1968 to 1976, a feat not repeated until now by any nation. and also failing to qualify for the knockout stages of the World Cup, the leaders of the FFIRI did not imagine that even a 9-years tenure by a renowned coach,  still could not achieve anything of worth.

Carlos Queiroz was the option that the Football Federation chose to lead the national team in early 2010 based on analysis and research, as claimed! He was supposed to be the Messiah, able to break the spells of several decades of Iranian football failures and heartbreak. FFIRI objectives for Queiroz were clear and that would be to lead Team Melli into the knock-out rounds of the World Cup and win the AFC Asian Cup for the first time since 1976.  Two objectives had been set for Iranian football for years and the federation members spent millions of dollars to break these spells, but until today, they failed.

Qualification to the FIFA World Cup and winning thirds and fourth places in AFC Asian Cup were achieved by national coaches at a fraction of the cost of appointing Carlos Queiroz. In fact, Iranian coaches had a better performance than his team. Football Federation hired this Portuguese head coach at a very high cost that the FFIRI could not afford,  to break the two spells, but the 1-0 defeat against the United States was the end of the dream of qualification completing a pentagon of Queiroz’s failures with the Iranian national team.

Under Carlos Queiroz, In the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, Team Melli had one draw and two defeats and was knocked out at the group stage.
In the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, the team experienced the same feat with one win, one loss, and one draw collecting 4 points.
Now,  in the FIFA World Cup Qatar  2022, the same thing repeated as Iran was knocked out with one win, two losses, and 3 points.

The Portuguese head coach was supposed to lead the Iranian national team to the title in the AFC Asian Cup, but during these competitions (2015 in Australia and 2019 in the UAE), when he was the head coach, Team Melli could not reach the finals with defeats against Iraq in the quarter-finals 2015 and loss to Japan in the semi-finals of AFC Cup 2019, and hence Iran completed its pentagon of failures under this Portuguese coach.

One of the criticisms that were leveled at Queiroz during this period is that he had a brute defensive mentality, commonly known as Park the Bus. It became synonymous with Queiroz and Team Melli quite unlike the Croatian coaches before him like Blazevic, Ivic, and Ivankovic who believed in offensive and attractive football.

While coaching Iran, Queiroz preferred strong defense detrimental to the offensive side. Whatever the coach’s playing strategy is, must be respected but ultimately he is responsible for the result. In Iran’s case, the defensive mentality of Queiroz failed to yield results.

In modern-day football and with so many advances in every angle of the game, it is rare that a coach survives that long in a team without achieving zilch.  Queiroz is unique perhaps an enigma. Why are they sticking to this man?

There is a logical reason, prepare a few for that. The first of which is the poor communication skills of the FFIRI, the nonexistence of quality international relations, and the twisted way that this federation is run. In Iran, the football federation is an extension of the government. It is an NGO by name only as the de facto leader of the federation is the Minister of Youth and Sports. It was the ministry that shouldered the coact of employing the highly expensive coach.

So, the failure of FFIRI is a natural extension of the failure of the government where loyalty rather than skills, intelligence, and suitability is the main requirement for appointment in every government-controlled organization.

Mehdi Taj has shown that he has a special faith in this coach because, despite past failures, he ludicrously went on to recruit the Portugues while the man who created a miracle that took Iran to the FIFA World Cup was fired with two months left! There was no logic and reasoning behind this but what it highlighted is the culture, or lack of it, of FFIRI leaders. A Culture of deceit, back-stabbing and immoral behavior.

World Cup 2022 Golden Boot

Mehdi Taremi sits on the third rank of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 top scorers list. With two goals against England and an assist to Rezaeian against Wales. France superstar Kylian Mbappe leads the table with 3 goals and 1 assist.


World Cup 2022 Golden Boot standings

Position Player Nation Goals Assists
=1 Kylian Mbappe France 3 1
=1 Enner Valencia Ecuador 3 0
=3 Mehdi Taremi Iran 2 1
=3 Richarlison Brazil 2 0
=3 Ferran Torres Spain 2 0
=3 Olivier Giroud France 2 0
=3 Bukayo Saka England 2 0
=3 Cody Gakpo Netherlands 2 0
=3 Lionel Messi Argentina 2 0

Correct as of November 26, 2022.

Queiroz tells Klinsmann to resign and visit Iran camp after BBC comments

  • German said fouls and confronting officials was ‘in their culture’

Carlos Queiroz has demanded Jürgen Klinsmann resign from his role on Fifa’s technical study group after calling his comments about the Iran team “a disgrace to football”.

After Friday’s 2-0 win over Wales, the BBC presenter Gabby Logan talked about Iran’s “gamesmanship” and said they just stayed on the right side of the law before handing over to Klinsmann. “Yes, that’s their culture,” he said. “Their way of doing it, and that is why Carlos Queiroz fits really well [with] the Iranian national team.”

Queiroz demands that former striker resigns from Fifa role

The former Germany international added: “[Queiroz] struggled in South America, he failed to qualify with Colombia, and then he failed with Egypt to qualify, and then he went back and guided Iran, who he worked already with for a long, long time. So this is not by coincidence, this is done on purpose.

“This is just part of their culture and how they play, then they work the referee, you saw the bench always jumping up, working the fourth official and the linesman, constantly in their ears, constantly in your face. Kieffer Moore will probably tell you more after the game about little incidents that we didn’t see.”

On Saturday evening Queiroz was moved to respond to Klinsmann in a series of tweets in which it was clear the Iran manager was furious. “No matter how much I can respect what you did inside the pitch, those remarks about Iran Culture, Iran National Team, and my Players are a disgrace to football,” he said.

“Nobody can hurt our integrity if it is not at our level, of course. Even saying so, we would like to invite you as our guest, to come to our national team camp, socialize with Iran players and learn from them about the country, the people of Iran, the poets and art, the algebra, and all the millennial Persian culture. And also listen from our players how much they love and respect football.”

“Because, obviously, we expect you to resign before you visit our camp.”

The Technical Study Group is led by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who is FIFA’s chief of global football development, and provides analysis on the World Cup action to identify styles and trends which develop.

It is not Queiroz’s first outburst at the tournament.

He criticized Iran fans for not supporting the team in their opening defeat to England, and then confronted a journalist at a press conference on the eve of the Wales match, wanting to know why England manager Gareth Southgate does not face the same level of questioning on political matters as him.

Pulisic: US still has a ‘lot of work left to do’ to make World Cup’s last 16


AL KHOR, Qatar — United States midfielder Christian Pulisic said he hoped his side’s performance in a 0-0 draw with Group B favorites England “made a lot of people proud” back in the US, but also acknowledged that he and his teammates have “got a lot of work left to do.”

The result leaves the US in third place in Group B, two points behind leaders England and a point behind Iran, who defeated Wales 2-0 earlier on Friday. The US faces Iran in its group stage finale on Tuesday.

It was a game where England had more possessions, but the US created the better chances, with Pulisic rattling the bar with a shot in the first half. England did put the Americans under pressure at times in the second half, but the US defense, ably marshaled by Tim Ream, held firm.

“A draw’s not the worst thing, but I felt like there were stretches of where we showed confidence and had a lot of the play, and created chances, and even could have won the game” Pulisic said.

“But all in all, I thought we managed it quite well.”

The game had been hyped as an opportunity for the US to show it could go toe-to-toe with one of the game’s heavyweights. Pulisic feels the US did that to a degree, but he knows reaching the knockout rounds will do even more to win over new fans.

“Everyone back home watching, I hope we made a lot of people proud,” he said. “But the job isn’t even close to done, so we’ve got a lot of work left to do.”

US manager Gregg Berhalter echoed many of Pulisic’s sentiments, saying his side delivered a “disciplined performance.”

The US now goes into its final group game with Iran knowing it needs a win to advance to the World Cup knockout stages for the fifth time since 1994.

“The final product still could be better… I’m overall pleased with the performance of the group, most importantly the belief of this group because that never wavered,” Berhalter said.

“We played with a ton of spirit but we’re going to have to be up for it [against Iran]. We want a chance to advance… We know it’s going to be a difficult game, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”

Of concern for the US is that it is still struggling to make the most of its chances, with Weston McKennie missing a wide-open opportunity in the first half.

Berhalter said he was happy with the positions his team got into, but noted, “It’s hard to score goals.”

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

Wales coach admits his team ‘weren’t in the game at all’ after disappointing Iran loss

Rob Page struggled to contain his annoyance after saying too many Wales players endured off-days in the defeat by Iran that left their chances of progressing to the last 16 of their first World Cup for 64 years hanging by a thread.

Iran had a first-half goal disallowed and twice hit the woodwork before scoring twice in second-half stoppage time to earn victory. Wales, who salvaged a late draw against the USA on Monday, again struggled to stamp their authority and had Wayne Hennessey sent off on 86 minutes after he inadvertently wiped out the Iran striker Mehdi Taremi when attempting to clear the ball.

Page said he would lift his players, many of whom crashed to the floor at full time, before Tuesday’s final Group B match against England. “We can’t sit and cry about it,” the manager said. “We want to give our supporters something to cheer about. They have shown massive commitment to come over [to Qatar] and it really disappoints me that we’ve given them that. We’ll bounce back. We’ll pick them up and go again.”

Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey were among the Wales players who seemed to wilt in the intense afternoon heat before Iran prospered. “We weren’t in the game at all,” Page said. “Even in the first half, before the sending-off … you can carry one or two players if there are off-days but, when the majority of the team are not quite at it, there is only going to be one outcome, unfortunately. It [qualifying] is out of our hands now.”

Hennessey was initially booked for clattering Taremi as the striker latched on to a through ball before a VAR review led to his caution being upgraded. Page acknowledged his side were second-best.

“Before the sending-off I wasn’t happy with the performance,” he said. “They hit the post twice, they had a goal ruled out for offside, which was marginal. We just couldn’t get going in the game and that disappoints me the most. We fell well below the standards that over recent months have given us the success to qualify for the World Cup … when you do that in top competitions you get punished.”

Carlos Queiroz, Iran’s head coach, said he was delighted with the way his players responded to their 6-2 thrashing by England. Queiroz dedicated the victory to Iran’s fans, many of whom inside the stadium jeered his players singing the national anthem after they had remained silent during Monday’s anthem.

“It was very emotional but special because we rebounded from a difficult situation,” Queiroz said. “Nobody likes to lose and, when you lose with those numbers, it is always a tough job. We went back to our roots. I think we played brilliantly. We wanted to give this gift to Iran fans. This game was a gift to the fans from the north, south, east, west – it’s a gift to all of them.”Rob Page struggled to contain his annoyance after saying too many Wales players endured off-days in the defeat by Iran that left their chances of progressing to the last 16 of their first World Cup for 64 years hanging by a thread.

Azmoun in the starting lineup against Wales

Queiroz realized his blunder against England and opted to change the shape of the team for the match against Wales in Group B of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. In defense, the same poor lineup is maintained though, except for the right back where Ramin Rezaeian is replacing Moharrami. In the midfield, Karimi and Cheshmi are out, replaced by Gholizadeh and Ezatollahi. The biggest surprise was the exclusion of Alireza Jaganbakhsh who had a bad day against England, with Sardar Azmoun.

The line-up is as follows:

Hossein Hosseini

Iran vs Wales: Match preview

Wales and Iran will both be going in search of their first wins of the 2022 World Cup when they face off at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Friday. After the trouncing by England, Team Melli is looking for a strong comeback to keep their qualifying hope alive. Team Melli will be without their main goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand who has a broken nose and will sit it out for the rest of the tournament. Amir Abedzadeh is making a strong claim for a starting place ahead of Hossein Hosseini who conceded six goals against England.

Iran will have to have a major facelift if they are going to beat Wales, as the lineup against England was the catalyst in this big defeat. Saman Ghoddos was sorely missed in the middle of the field so was Kanani to lead the defense.  As for the Forwards, it is likely that Queiroz, who is an aficionado of parking the bus and under immense public pressure, will start with both Azmoun and Taremi up front. The midfield in particular is in a dire need of a leader and orchestrator. Jahanbakhsh needs to stand up and be counted. Says applies to Nourollahi and Eztollahi.

Rob Page‘s Wales side rescued a point against the USA in their opening fixture, while Iran was on the end of a 6-2 pummelling at the hands of England as their World Cup campaign began in the worst possible fashion.

Hopes will be higher of picking up points against Wales, although both sides may be going into the game uncertain of what to expect with the two having only previously met on one occasion.

That contest came all the way back in April 1978 too, when former Cardiff City defender Phil Dwyer scored the only goal of the game on his debut in a friendly in Tehran’s Arayamehr Stadium.

It was not an ideal warm-up for the 1978 World Cup for Iran, who went on to finish bottom of their group behind Peru, Netherlands and Scotland – against whom they picked up their only point – in Argentina.


Wales wins: 1
Iran wins: 0
Draws: 0
Wales goals: 1
Iran goals: 0


April 18, 1978: Iran 0-1 Wales (International friendly)

‘Really good player’: Rio Ferdinand raves about ‘ridiculous’ striker Arsenal reportedly want to sign

Rio Ferdinand has raved about FC Porto striker Mehdi Taremi on BBC today – a striker Arsenal reportedly wants to sign.

According to CBS Sport, Arsenal could’ve signed Taremi back in January as the striker was offered to the Gunners on a loan deal. Mikel Arteta looked to be in desperate need of attacking reinforcements at the start of this year, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of favor before he made the switch to Barcelona. Arteta’s men were left with just Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah for the second half of the campaign.

But A Bola – via Sport Witness – claimed last month that Arsenal are still one of the clubs that could be chasing Taremi’s signature in January. The 30-year-old bagged two goals against England today though as his national side Iran were thrashed 6-2 in their opener at the World Cup. And before the game, Ferdinand was full of praise for the Porto man

Ferdinand raves about Taremi

“This guy knows how to score goals. He’s a bit of a hybrid between a nine and a ten,” Ferdinand told BBC Sport.  “He’s happy to come short or run through. He’s a really good player. This is what I mean if they get on the counter and in transition and chances do fall to this guy, we will have to be worried.”

Ferdinand wasn’t wrong in his assessment of the ‘ridiculous’ Taremi and he looked a real bright spark for Iran. Taremi has bagged 13 goals for Porto this season and opened his World Cup account against Southgate’s men earlier today.

The Gunners probably could have done with a player like Taremi during the second half of last season. They missed out on Champions League qualification to their bitter rivals Spurs and lacked real firepower up-front towards the end of the season. But Arsenal fans probably won’t be losing too much sleep over it, especially now they have Gabriel Jesus leading the line at the Emirates.

The Iran striker could still represent a good option for the Gunners though and would provide quality backup for Jesus in north London.