Tag: Hossein Kanani-Zadegan

“Discipline is a top priority in Team Melli,” says Rezaei

In a short interview with Khabar Varzeshi, Rahman Rezaei, the assistant coach of Team Melli, highlighted the importance of discipline in Team Melli and how crucial it is for the overall success of the team.

Rezaaei was asked by the reporter “In the previous camp, Mohammad Hossein Kananizadegan was not invited due to disciplinary issues. Is he on the blacklist for the coming camps or not?”

“Disciplinary issues are a top priority for Team Melli’s coaching staff, headed by Amir Ghalenoei. In any case, in the previous camp, it was decided that Kananizadegan would be excluded from the group. Regarding whether he will be added to our team in the new camp or not, it is all up to the direct opinion of the respected head coach. I would like to emphasize again that Ghalenoei has a special emphasis on maintaining order and discipline in the national team because this issue is directly related to the fate of the team. You must have noticed, in the recent games of the Omid team in the Olympic qualifiers, the yellow cards were the difference between us qualifying or losing the chance to create history.”

“Disciplinary issues cost our football dearly. Previous experiences should be a lesson for us. Lately, football rules have become stricter than before, and both AFC and FIFA are very strict on the conduct of players and coaches, hence we attach high importance to it and should have zero tolerance for indiscipline no matter how important a player is for the team. We continue to advocate good behavior and discipline even in training and around the camps.”

This is an encouraging development for Team Melli’s mentality but it remains to be seen if this strict discipline and behavior will be implemented in competition matches. Historically, lax discipline has been the Achilles heel of Iranian football and that includes tactical discipline on top of behavior on and off the field. The former coach of Team Melli, Carlos Queiroz has done a fine job creating a strict disciplinarian environment in the camp. That discipline waned slightly during Dragan Skocic’s tenure.
it remains to be seen if Amir Ghalenoei is serious about this vital issue. Domestic coaches are known to be more tolerant of players’ indiscretions as evident in the Omid team in recent weeks.

Skocic rep[laces the Esteghlal dropped players. Kananizadegan told to leave too.

the list of Team Melli changed after the expulsion of Hossein Hosseini, Mehdi Mehdipour, Amir Hossein Hosseinzadeh, Aref Gholami and Saleh Hardani from the national team training camp.

y the decision of Dragan Skocic, Payam Niazmand, Soroush Rafiei, Armin Sohrabian, Saeed Sadeghi, and Mehdi Shiri are the players who have been invited to the Team Melli camp instead of the 5 dropped Esteghlal players. On the other hand, Mohammad Hossein Kananizadegan is another player who has left the national team camp. Kanaanizadegan, who went to the Olympic Hotel where the national team was staying yesterday, is apparently unable to accompany the national team in the upcoming friendly matches due to a disciplinary and ethics committee’s ban, and hence he was removed from the national team list. Instead of the Kananizadeghan, Seyed Mehdi Hosseini from Mes Rafsanjan was invited by Skocic.

According to the plan, the Team is scheduled to leave for Qatar today and hold several preparatory matches in Doha and most probably in Uruguay, if the terms for the friendly is agreed.


Kananizadegan is sanctioned by IRIFF disciplinary committee!

The disciplinary & ethics committee of the football federation has suspended and fined Team Melli central defender Mohammad Hossein Kanani Zadegan.

According to the federation’s website, the committee issued its rulings on Kanani Zadegan and Farshid Ismaili, former players of Persepolis and Esteghlal respectively.

the report stated “Due to the violations by Mohammad Hossein Kananizadegan, a former player of Persepolis Club, the committee is hereby suspended for two games, but this suspended suspension is for two years a period. The player is also fined 2 billion Rials!”

In the oddest and most weird ruling, the committee added that “it will be possible for this player to continue his activities after receiving approval from the disciplinary & ethics committee of the football federation!”, which renders the original suspension sentence a farce!

At present, neither Ismaili has a team in the Premier League, nor are the Kananizadegan playing in the Iranian league, so that their suspension is meaningless. It is not clear why it took the committee so long to come up with the sentence.

It is not yet clear whether the ban on a player like Kananizadegan, who is one of the key players in Team Melli’s defense, will be applied to international games of Team Melli or will be applied on his return to the Iranian Premier League. Kananizadegan is currently playing in Qatar.

Farshid Ismaili was also in the national team’s qualifying camp to meet Syria and Iraq but was not amongst the final list. Recently, a video of the Kananizadegan was released in which he insulted the fans and the Esteghlal Club in his private car. This video went viral and may have put him in trouble with the disciplinary & ethics committee.

The committee report did not indicate the reason behind Kananizadegan’s suspension, a player who is known to be notoriously undisciplined.

BOSNIA vs IRAN 0-2 :perfect record for Skocic

Team Melli defeated Bosnia & Herzegovina 0-2 in Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium, Sarajevo. The first half ended goalless. In the second half, Kaveh Rezaei scored the first in the 46th Minute, While in the dying minutes 90+2, the substitute Mehdi Ghayedi scored Iran’s second.  

 Bosnian star player Miralem Pjanic was supposed to be given a rest to prepare him for the crucial match against Italy, but it seems that the coach had cold feet and needed the Barcelona midfielder to inject some experience and creativity against Iran,

Both teams played open football with Iran having a slight advantage over the host in ball keeping. In the second match under Dragan Skočić, the Croatian picked a well-balanced team in the absence of at least half a dozen regular Team Melli starters.

Despite the pre-match statement of the Bosnian coach, who reckoned that Iran’s defense was vulnerable,  this match proved otherwise. Shoja’a Khalizadeh and Hossein Kannanizadegan formed a sold wall in the center while Mohammadi and Sadegh Moharrami were excellent on the flanks. Team Melli hardly worked to their maximum and managed to easily thwart the Bosnian offensive moves. Whatever filtered from the defenders, Abedzadeh masterly controlled his goals with perfect timings and solid catches. The Maritimo keeper is certainly becoming a serious contender for the number one spot in goal ahead of Beiranvand.

Iran played a balanced game and was clearly better prepared than the host. In the first 15 minutes, Team Melli could have been at least 2 goals up if it was not for the brave Bosnian keeper Jasmin Buric who saved Kaveh Rezaei from a close-range shot after Kaveh robbed the ball in the penalty area and was face to face with the keeper. Minutes later, Ali Gholizadeh had just one defender to beat for a clear shot of the gaping goal, in a similar situation but could not dribble past his marker. And finally, Vahid Amiri was beaten in a split of a second when he also was face-to-face with the Buric.

In the second half, Team Melli started unchanged. IN the first minute, Amiri, who robbed the ball on the right flank from the Bosnian defender, found Rezaei just outside the box and he squared the pass to him. After taking a couple of steps, Kaveh Rezaei picked his spot on the opposite end of the gaol and sent a delicious curler that beat two defenders and the keeper into the net. It was a world-class strike by Chreloi forward.

Several changes in the team and the same with Bosnia changed the rhythm and the pace slightly, but both continued the offensive gameplay in what was an entertaining encounter. Saeed Ezatolahi made the team after a long absence and his presence was felt. He could have made a much better pass for Team Melli to score on the counter, but his poor pass was intercepted robbing Iran of a goal. Otherwise, his towering presence and energy were quite refreshing for the team.

Mehdi Ghayedi was introduced late, and the Esteghal tiny forward scored Iran’s second with another cracking half volley on the far side of the keeper to make it 2-0 for Team Melli in the dying minutes

It was a very good performance by Team Melli. The defense line quite assuring, while u front, Gholizadeh, and Rezaei, teammates in Chareloi were quite a threat and made Bosina defenders work hard against them. The only concern about the excellent team arranged by Dragan Skocic was the midfield. which was ineffective and lacked depth the skills to be effective. In big games, that lack of creativity could bite back badly. Omid Noorafkan and Ezatollahi’s introduction improved the midfield, Noorallahi was a disappointment.

In reality, there was no midfield as the balls traveled directly to the forwards from the keeper or defenders to utilize the speed of the flanks and Rezaei limiting the effectiveness of the midfield.

Overall, it was an excellent performance and a perfect record for the Croatian head coach who is assisted by Vahid Hashemian. This performance augurs well for the team in the qualifiers that will start again in March 2012.



Team Melli vs China: players rating and performance review.

It was yet , another majestic display by Team Melli under the guidance of Carlos Queiroz. against China. Team Melli has not only enhanced its reputation as a team that can play modern and beautiful football, it also laid a solid claim and are the Chief contender for the title of AFC Asian Cup 2019.

Yet, neither Queiroz nor any of his players are talking beyond the next match. It is a wise and measured move but it does not mask the fact that from what we have seen in the last two weeks, Iran is the best team that has dominated its opposition and won matches deservedly on merit and perhaps with a class above the rest.

China was well beaten by Team Melli and much credits should go for one player, Sardar Azmoun. The Ruben Kazan forward was on a mission and he succeeded by mixture of strength, skill and determination. The Chinese defense, in truth, had a big role in the defeat of their team with some poor defending and suspect decision making.

China, however, was not a minnow team and did not lack the skills required at such level of football. They are guided by one of the world best and famous coaches in Marcello Lippi. A world Cup winner and a coach who has a trail of trophies behind him. Queiroz, on the other hand, out foxed the master in every department and his team came out a clear winner.

Queiroz has masterfully rotated the team for this tournament. He is the envy of the rest of the teams in UAE because he is spoiled for choices in every department. The absence of Vahid Amiri was not even felt. Hopefully , the same will be true against Japan when Mehdi Taremi will be missing due to his suspension.

Team Melli dominated the center and at times defended deep. their teamwork was a delight to watch. On my occasions, the series of short and fast passes interchanged between the players intimidated the Chinese who were chasing shadows. Despite the fact that most of the goals came either from long balls or route one followed by a Chinese defense blunder, that doe not hide the fact that Iran was the better team in all departments.

To be able to take advantage of the opposition mistakes , you need the quality player to do that. Team Melli had the right quality to punish mistakes by opposition defenders.

If there were some negative points, they were the same ones that were mentioned in other matches too and that is the wastefulness of the forwards, particularly Mehdi Taremi. It is very difficult to criticize a player who scored one goal and provided an assist for another, but Taremi was really appalling when he missed an open goal from a few meters after the ball was given to him on a plate by a perfect header from Kanani-Zadegan. It was a shocking miss!

Overall, it was an emphatic win in the quarter final of the AFC Asian Cup. Now……Bring on Japan.


  • Alireza Beiranvand (7.5): Hardly tested but when required he did his job perfectly.
  • Milad Mohammadi (7.5):  Routine day, defensive work was excellent, however, limited venturing forward to neutralize possible opposition fast breaks.
  • Morteza Pouraliganji (8): Another solid performance. His strong tackling and marking left very little space for the Chinese forwards.
  • Ramin Rezaeian (6.5): Improving with every match despite the fact that Queiroz wise squad rotation is not giving Rezaeian regular starting place.
  • Hossein Kanani-Zadegan (7.5): Only his second start of the tournament, however, he was as good as any of the regular players. When called upon for offensive work on corners, he nearly assisted in a goal but for Taremi’s profligate finishing from close range.
  • Omid Ebrahimi (7.5): Another solid exhibition of sheer power and tenacity. His defensive duties were executed perfectly. Strong and reliable as a holding midfileder. Tireless runner with great stamina.
  • Ashkan Dejagah (8): Continued where he left off. His vision, ability to find players on flanks and timely dribbling made a big impact on the game. Although he did not assist in the goals, his domination of the center of the park was excellent.  
  • Alireza Jahanbaksh (7.5): Continues his recovery and put up a good shift against China. Substituted in the second half.
  • Ehsan Hajsafy (7): Had a quiet game in the midfield zone. Nearly scored from a long range shot from outside the box, but the Chinese keeper saved it with full stretch.
  • Mahdi Taremi (7.5): Scored a goal and provided an assist for the third, however, he is still clumsy and wasteful. A player in his class should not miss an open goal, and that reckless challenge on a Chinese player cost him a yellow card and a suspension. Many rough edges to his game.
  • Sardar Azmoun (10): The best of the lot. A really great performance by Sardar capped with an assist and a goal. He was on turbo mode today running at the Chinese defense and creating havoc. He could have score more goals too.



  1. Saman Ghoddos (7): Proving his quality every time he comes on. He does need to have more playing time to reach the peak of his performance and improve his teamwork.
  2. Roozbeh Cheshmi (7): Had a decent game and stuck to the script.
  3. Karim Ansarifard (8): In his short spell on the field, he scored a beautiful goal which proves that he can be a clinical finisher. He needs to deliver more frequently to dislodge Taremi.


Good start for WC preparation: Iran 2-0 Togo

Team Melli defeated the African Side Togo 2-0  on Thursday in front a disappointing number of fans in Azadi Stadium

Both goals were scored by Karim Ansarifard in the second half within 10 minutes of each other. The first half ended goalless.

Carlos Queiroz gave several players their debut including Saman Ghoddos who was instrumental in the first goal, Ahmad Abdollahzadeh ,   Hossein Kanani-Zadegan, and substitute Akbar Emani. The new look team look solid in defense in the first half despite some gallant efforts from the Togolese team coached by the veteran French coach Claude Le Roy. The front line consisting of Kaveh Rezaei and Karim Ansarifard was disappointing however. Very little chances were created and the African side easily controlled their defense area with ease. Ansarifard in particular was guilty of wasting many easy balls and inability to dribble past his markers.

The second half started with 2 changed in the midfield for Team Melli.. A ferocious shot in the 51 minute by the Swedish born debutant, Saman Ghoddos was only partially parried by the Togolese keeper Sabirou, Ansarifard cleverly slotted the rebound into the net. The Olympiakos Piraeus, forward once again was on the score sheet after an easy slot in after some good work by Omid Ebrahimi on the right flank.

The match was a good start for Queiroz and his selection was successful with some sterling displays at the back lead by Rouzbeh Cheshmi who hardly put a foot wrong. Saman Ghoddos best contribution was his assist , but it is clear than he needs more work with the team. The match saw Hamed Lak in goal after many years of absence.

Russia will be a tougher test in 45 days, but the signs are there that Team Melli under Queiroz can be a tough opponent for any team.