Tag: Portugal

FIFA First ever Futsal Ranking

  • Futsal nations around the world ranked globally for the first time
  • Brazil tops both men’s and women’s charts; Portugal and Spain complete top three
  • Rankings will be key reference point for world futsal

FIFA has launched the official FIFA Futsal World Ranking, with powerhouses Brazil the first number-one nation on both the men’s and women’s chart as the rapidly growing sport takes another major step forward.

Iran’s Futsal Team Melli, recently crowned as AFC Futsal Asian Cup 2024 is ranked 4 in the list which will be regularly published, but unlike the FIFA Football Ranking, this will not be monthly!

Although the FIFA/Coca-Cola Men’s World Ranking for football has existed since December 1992, and women’s senior national teams have been officially ranked by FIFA since 2003, that has not previously been the case for futsal. However, the indoor game has enjoyed exponential growth in recent years and this milestone moment represents the natural next step, as well as being the first time that FIFA men’s and women’s rankings have been launched concurrently.

Broadcasts of the FIFA Futsal World Cup™ in Lithuania in 2021 attracted an average of 2.42 million viewers per match, a massive 130 percent increase from the previous edition in 2016. The FIFA Futsal World Cup Uzbekistan 2024™, which will be the first FIFA tournament staged in Central Asia, is likely to improve even on those impressive numbers, and a historic first FIFA Futsal Women’s World Cup™ will be held in 2025. Against this backdrop, FIFA has rolled out global rankings for its member associations’ women’s and men’s senior futsal national teams in recognition of the dynamic development of and global interest in the sport.

The initial rankings have been based on statistics gathered from over 4,600 FIFA ‘A’ matches. FIFA defines an international ‘A’ match as a match between two FIFA members for which both members field their first representative team (‘A’ team).

The new ranking system will also serve to seed teams for all upcoming editions of the FIFA Futsal World Cup – including during the recently announced draw for the 2024 competition in Uzbekistan. The system will likewise be used for qualification processes and enable comprehensive and consistent data to be gathered to monitor member associations in accordance with the FIFA Regulations Governing International Matches. That will support the prevention of practices that jeopardize the integrity of the sport, such as match manipulation.

In the nine editions of the FIFA Futsal World Cup to date, the inaugural top-ranked men’s side, Brazil, have been crowned champions five times and only failed to finish on the podium once. They are closely followed on the chart by Portugal, who arrive at this year’s FIFA Futsal World Cup as the holders and have won the last two European crowns. Spain, the two-time world (2000 and 2004) and seven-time European champions, are third in the standings.

Brazil’s women’s national team have been just as dominant as their male counterparts, having won all seven of the South American championships that they have contested. Spain and Portugal are again behind them on the women’s ranking, albeit in reverse order: three-time European champions Spain are second, with Portugal – who have finished runners-up to their Iberian rivals in two continental finals – in third.

Fans interested in attending the FIFA Futsal World Cup Uzbekistan 2024™ can register to receive ticketing updates here.

Medi Taremi registers another milestone.

Porto FC and Team Melli forward scored four goals, a (poker), in the match held late Saturday evening against middle-of-the-table team Famalicao in Liga Portugal.

This is the first time an Iranian player has achieved such a milestone in a single match in any European League. Three of the goals came from the spot kick. The match ended 2-4 for Porto who has now reduced the deficit with the league leaders Benfica to one point only. Benfica, the favorites to win the title this season has a game in hand.

Taremi was substituted a minute before the regulation time to receive a standing ovation from the visiting Porto fans as they sang his name.

Taremi has enjoyed unprecedented success with Porto in his third season with the club which he joined in season 2020/21. He has also increased his goal tally to 21 goals to leapfrog Benfica’s striker Goncalo Ramos who is on 18 goals, Taremi first played for Rio Ave which he joined in 2019 for one season. He scored 18 goals and provided 2 assists for the small club a fact that caught the interest of the 3 top clubs in Portugal. He was on the brink of agreeing terms with Benfica before Porto stepped in with a lucrative offer.

In his first season with Porto, Mehdi Taremi scored 16 goals, next season he was on 20 goals. So far this current season he has already surpassed those records with 21 goals and one match left.

Team Melli fans are the least excited for the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Although the result is a bit of a surprise for Iran, which has one of the most passionate football supporters in the world, looking back at the event of the last few months, it is hardly a surprise that the fans have lost faith in their team.
Poor preparations of Team Melli. lack of friendly games, disunity and internal conflicts between players, the saga of Head Coach   Skocic disqualification and reinstatement, the shambolic management of FFIRI, political interference, the desperation of the nation with daily economic hardship, a great number of fans migrating towards Iran’s volleyball team and many other factors have dampened the enthusiasm of the Iranian fans toward Team Melli in the World Cup 2022.

The experts over at CasinosCrypto.com have analyzed Social Media sentiment data from the last 12 months using the social listening tool Linkfluence in order to determine which nations’ supporters are most hyped about the upcoming  2022 FIFA World Cup.

Saudi Arabia is the most excited country (33%) in the world.

Portuguese fans are the most excited country in Europe about the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with almost a quarter of fans already excited (25%).

Costa Rica, despite not being among the front-runners, is the most excited team across America (29%).

The European Nations Most Excited for Game Day

Comparing Social Media data across Europe, it’s clear that Portugal is the most excited country about the  2022 FIFA World Cup. With almost a quarter (25%) of Portuguese citizens speaking positively about the event, it’s clear that they are hyped to see Cristiano Ronaldo back playing for his nation.

Belgium, who came in third place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow, is found to have over a fifth of their fans (21%) ready for the action.

2018 winners France are joint-third with Spain (20%) and both teams are full of talent. The pair will be aiming to reach the latter stages of the competition, with France hoping to take home their third trophy.

The English are equally excited about the tournament (13%) as the Welsh despite the Premier League being interrupted mid-season for the first time.



Nation    (FIFA Ranking)  Positive

Portugal     8th                   25%

Belgium     2nd                  21%

France        3rd                  20%

Spain          7th                  20%

Denmark    11th               14%

England      5th                 13%

Wales         18th               13%

Croatia       16th               12%

Switzerland 14th             11%

Germany     12th              6%

Serbia         25th               17%

Poland.      26th                 7%

Netherlands 10th              7%


Costa Rica

The Americas’ Most Excited World Cup Countries

Eight North and South American countries have qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and fans of Costa Rica are not holding back. Despite having the worst odds of the tournament, 29% of people in Costa Rica are excited about the tournament’s kick-off on the 23rd of November.

Uruguay, who are hoping to improve on their 2010 semi-final finish with the aid of star strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, recorded a 24% positive sentiment.

Perhaps surprisingly, the USA  which is facing Iran, England, and Wales in the World Cup, has ranked bottom of the excitement list.

Nation     (FIFA Ranking)   Positive

Costa Rica     31st                29%

Uruguay         13th                24%

Ecuador         46th                21%

Mexico          9th                 18%

Brazil             1st                  18%

Canada         38th               16%

Argentina     4th                 15%

USA               15th                8%

Rest of the World: Countries Ranking Among Most Excited

With the tournament being held next door in neighboring Qatar, Saudi Arabia ranked as the most excited team around the world with a high 33% positive score across Social Media.

In fact, Qatar is also among the most excited, with a positive score of 28%. Little wonder, given that they are the hosts.

Senegal has recently won the Africa Cup of Nations and the hype has not stopped with fans having a 31% positive sentiment score across the last 12 months. Supporters will be hoping that the in-form team led by the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, and Sadio Mane can better the nation’s previous best quarter-final finish.

Iran lies at the bottom with only 2% positive score.


Saudi Arabia

Nation     (FIFA Ranking)   Positive

Saudi Arabia  49th              33%

Senegal          20th              31%

Qatar              51st               28%

Ghana            60th               27%

Cameroon      37th              26%

Japan             23rd              22%

Australia        42nd              22%

South Korea   29th              17%

Morocco          24th             9%

Tunisia            35th             5%

Iran                 21st             2%

Details of Alireza Beiranvand’s return to Persepolis

Alireza Beiranvand’s separation from Persepolis did not last more than two seasons.

Beiranvand, who joined Royal Antwerp FC in the Belgian First Division in the summer of 2020, after going through an unsuccessful period in this team, preferred to transfer to the Portuguese team Boavista on loan to have a better chance of playing and gain a new experience. His main objective, however, was to become the first choice keeper.

The Team Melli keeper who lost his place to Amir Abedzadeh became a bench goalkeeper for Boavista as well and played only 9 games for the team in one season so his dreams of shining in European football would be very short-lived. At the end of this season in Portugal, the Boavista club refused to activate the € 1 million clause in Beiranvand’s contract so that the Iranian goalkeeper could return back to his club Antwerp; At the same time, he saw Persepolis Club as a serious destination again.

Beiranvand, whose contract with Antwerp is for another season, announced that he would prefer to go to a team where he could play in the year of the World Cup. As a bench keeper, his selection for Team Melli will be in serious doubt otherwise. In the meantime; What better team than Persepolis, which is both a customer of his and can play in the team to regain his place in Team Melli’s starting line-up.

It is believed that the Royal Antwerp FC initially demanded 1 million and later reduced it to 700 thousand Euros as a release fee for the transfer of Beiranvand to the penniless Persepolis club. Shortly afterward, it was announced that Antwerp had agreed to give Beiranvand to Persepolis for less than this amount. Meanwhile, a Belgian media reported that Beiranvand’s transfer from Antwerp would not cost Persepolis any money. However, Antwerp will not pay anything to the goalkeeper from the remaining amount of Beiranvand’s contract, which is apparently a significant amount.

The news site nieuwsblad reported the news and wrote: “You may have forgotten him before, but Alireza Beiranvand (29) will normally return to Antwerp this summer. The Iranian goalkeeper was hired by Boavista, who did not use the option of buying him for one million euros. However, there is no prospect of the goalkeeper returning to Antwerp. He is about to sign a contract with his former club Persepolis.” The website added “Persepolis does not have to pay for Beiranvand’s transfer, but the fact that his high wages (and the significant amount of his contract signing) will be lost is positive for Antwerp,” the report said.


Team Melli is enjoying the view from the top in Group A of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying rounds. A statistical analysis rather than a scientific one gives Team Melli a 68% chance of qualifying to Qatar as the table stands now. With just one match short of halfway, that is a high percentage and a source of confidence for the fans in the team looking ahead for a historical milestone, the third consecutive qualification to the World Cup finals.

However, there is as always, a lot of room for development as all is not well. The focus of this article is on the coaching and the vital role the whole staff played in these results.

To start with and to make things clear, anyone who discredits the coach and places the success of the team purely on the individual players or other factors is either ignorant or has a grudge against the coach, and by God, there are a lot of them in Iran.

When the name of the new Team Melli coach was announced, many people asked, “Dragan who?”. The fans and critics should not be blamed because the reality was that Skocic was not a household name, and his CV contained the name of uninspiring Persian Gulf league clubs only. Not exactly on the same level of coaching Manchester United, Portugal National Team, South Africa, and even UAE which Carlos Queiroz had. Even the doomed Marc Wilmots had a much better CV.

So, the pessimism of the fans could be justified, and the doubters started growing in numbers as some mainstream Iranian media looked like it was on a mission to subconsciously destroy the Croatian Dragan Skočić. Reminiscing about the glorious days of Carlos Queiroz while finding faults in Skočić tactics or players selection, to the extent of making up stories. The fact that the Portuguese coach did not achieve any championships or titles and failed to win the AFC Asian Cup twice, seemed not to matter!

Others, in the minority, had a different idea and believed anything is better than Marc Wilmots, which in reality, made sense as Belgian has to go on record as one of the worst coaches who sat on the bench of Team Melli.

But Dragan Skočić proved his doubter wrong. He prevailed and did not give up against his domestic opponents winning one match after another, breaking records in the process, and having a high chance of qualifying to the World Cup while we have not reached even the halfway stage.

Football is not exactly rocket science. It is popular because it is such a simple game to play and understand (although offside rules and when a handball is a handball is still confusing millions of people across the World).

As such errors by players and coaches are easily recognized especially in these days of technological advances. So, although the coach and his assistances, know them inside out of the team, the capabilities of his player, physical condition, and most importantly the emotional and the psychological status of his players which always remains out of view for the fans, the team mistakes in many areas can be singled out by expertise and critics.

Provided there is no ill intent, the criticism of a coach can benefit him.  Dragan Skočić, who undoubtedly and unequivocally has done a marvelous job since his appointment, can really gain pointers and benefits from the view outside the box.

Here we will only mention three areas of concern with the way Skocic manages the team

Game Plan: Predictable, lacks diversity, and seems like an open book to the opposing coach. Team Melli is heavily suffering in the midfield that has no imagination and low effectiveness. With a lack of pace, which is no fault of the coach, he does need to offer a solution which is not doing right now. Players like Azmoun and Taremi need services to be effective and they are not getting it. When a player in the caliber of Saman Ghoddos is available but warming the bench, one must question the coach’s reading of the game.

In modern football, it is the midfield where battles are won and lost. The tactics of the world’s leading teams are fundamentally midfield dependent, Skocic chose otherwise. It is his call of course and his selection of game plan, but it is clear that ignoring the midfield might become a  risky matter especially against the pressing teams.

Perhaps Taremi, Azmoun, and Jahanbakhsh in one line forward is not the right strategy for Team Melli. He needs to experiment with one forward and pack the midfield with players using the flanks with pace and ball crossing skills. Never mind the ego of these superstars, the interest of the Team is above the interest of the individuals.

 Many past coaches on Team Meli had some obsession of playing a certain limited number of players, hardly changing the squad or the starting lineup. it seems Skocic is joining that league. It is not an effective mindset and detrimental to the team and the capable players sitting on the bench waiting for a possibly 30-second cameo show.

Substitutions: This is where many coaches excel or fail. While Skocic has made a few effective substitutions, he is guilty of not utilizing his expensive and experience players. And what is this with minute 90+5 substitutions that he is been using? Such substitution is an utter waste of time, bordering idiocy. In fact, many coaches do that for no logical reason and the rest have the herd mentality and simply imitate. A player needs at least 15 minutes to be effective, anything less than that is just a game of luck nothing more.

Preparations & Readiness: It is quite embarrassing for Team Melli to go into an official match with absolute minimum preparation. There is where the character of the Team Melli coach needs to stand out and prevail. If the lack of international friendly matches is due to Skocic, then he needs to rectify his way and start planning and programming for FIFA days like a professional. If the fault is because of Azizi Khadem and his bureaucrats in FFIRI, then Skocic needs to impose himself and strongly demand proper perpetration for the National Team with international friendly matches as a priority. Skocic cannot afford to do trial game plans and tactical changes in competition match as it may turn out costly. Every respectable team in the world arranges friendlies, Iran is becoming the odd exception and frankly a disgrace. it is worrying by all accounts.

Cristiano Ronaldo finally breaks Ali Daei’s record.

Cristiano Ronaldo was able to change the outcome of the game on the night of his outstanding solo performance.

Equal with Ali Daei as the Worlds Top international striker, Ronaldo needed just one goal to hold the record on his own. The chance to achieve that came quite early in the match against the Republic of Ireland in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 European qualifiers.

Portugal was awarded a penalty and after a long-drawn discussion and VAR which seriously took a long time, Ronaldo took the penalty but Ireland’s young keeper Gavin Bazunu saved.

But despite a lackluster performance by the 36 years old, the ending was a thriller. In the 89th Minute, Ronaldo scored the equalizer for Portugal and in the dying seconds of the match, he scored the winner in injury time,  both goals coming from headers.

In midst of his excitement, the Manchester United forward took off his jersey in celebration and was given a yellow card.

Later, Cristiano Ronaldo has extended a heartfelt apology to his Portugal teammates despite guiding them to a thrilling 2-1 comeback win over the Republic of Ireland. Ronaldo missed a penalty in the opening exchanges of the game but made up for it with his late brace that sealed the win for Portugal.

 After achieving this record, he thanked Ali Daei on his personal page on Instagram, with the following message:

Mohammad Mohebbi to Santa Clara

The flight of Iranian players to pastures new continues. This time, Sepahan and Team Melli midfielder Mohammad Mohebbi has joined the Portuguese first division team, Santa Clara in a swap deal. The Azores-based club has swapped their current Iranian asset, Shahriyar Moghanlo for Mohammad Mohebbi.

The Azores logo had already officially announced the deal, with the Iranian player, declaring that the two parties had agreed to a contract valid for the next three seasons, that is, until 2024.

Also, according to the statement issued by Santa Clara, the other Iranian involved in this deal, Shahryar Muganlo – the striker who, in the first half of last season, played in 13 matches for the island’s team, and scored a goal – will be transferred to the old Mohebbi team, Sepahan Esfahan. There does not seem to be any cash involved in this deal as it seems as a straight swap between the two clubs with Sepahan getting Moghanlo who was on loan to Persepolis last season.

Mohebbi is a versatile player who can fill the role of a forward upfront, midfield, or winger and such versatility will surely satisfy the Azurian coach. In the past two seasons, Mohebbiscored with Sepahan nine goals in 41 matches.

Upon his arrival in the Azores, Mohamed Mohebbi expressed his joy on the occasion of signing for the islanders. “I am very happy being here and looking forward to playing in a  European League. I will do my best to leave my mark on Santa Clara,” said the Iranian, in comments carried by communication channels in the Azores.

Recently Kanaanizadegan, Nourollahi, Ghaedi, Hajsafy, and Naderi have all left their Iranian clubs to play abroad.

Payam Niazmand to Portuguese club Portimonense.

Seyed Payam Niazmand, 26-year-old goalkeeper, who is playing for Sepahan Esfahan will join the Portuguese club Portimonense until June 2024, with a 10 million euros termination clause.

In Portugal, several clubs competed for the signature of Team Melli goalkeeper, with some notable foreign teams in the race, however, Payam Niazmand opted for the Algarve team, which has managed to secure his signature.

The Iranian international who played the AFC Asian Cup in 2019, represented the teams of Paykan FC and Sepahan, before arriving at Portimonense.

The club issued a statement confirming the arrival of Niazmand with a welcome message that said “the administration of Portimonense Futebol SAD, thanks Payam Niazmand for having faith in the project that was presented to him and wishes him the greatest personal and sporting successes in defending the alvinegra goal.”

Niazmand joins Ali Alipour in Portimonense.

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.

Taremi signs for FC Porto

TEHRAN, Sep. 01  – Primeira Liga’s defending champion FC Porto announced the signing of Team Melli striker of Rio Ave Mehdi Taremi on a four-year contract.

Porto has reportedly paid around €4.5m plus 25-year-old forward Andre Pereira for this transfer.

The Iranian striker impressed Portugal’s league with 21 goals and five assists in the last season, being named one of the top goal scorers of the league. He had reportedly been under the radar of other Portuguese giants including Sporting Lisbon and Benfica.

Porto hopes to defend its title with goals that will be added by Taremi.

After signing the deal, Taremi said he seeks to score more than 20 goals for Porto in the next season. The team’s aim is to win the league’s and Taça de Portugal’s title in the coming year, he added.

OnWednesday, FC Porto defeated Académica 5-1 a training game held at the Olival internship center, in Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto District, with Sérgio Conceição using 24 players including the new signing Mehdi Taremi.