Tag: Team Melli

Iranian domestic coaches.

Since the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup 2022, Team Melli has had no coach or program. It is in fact, disbanded.

Mehdi Taj hinted recently that the FFIRI will be looking much closer at domestic coaches for Team Melli citing difficulty in wages payment and bank transfers.

The problem is, there are NO suitable, competent Iranian coaches who can effectively lead Team Melli.

Iranian candidates for Team Melli

Of the domestic coaches’ names, there are several that can be considered but are not necessarily capable at this time to coach at the international level. Beginning with Ali Daei and Amir Ghalenoei. They are the only two who have led Team Melli and are qualified to do so again. Daei however is in the bad book of the regime, and he himself has no interest whatsoever to coach the team again. He has also been away from football for some time. Ghalenoei, on the other hand, is active and coaching a flourishing club in Gol Gohar. Ghalenoei however, has never been popular with the establishment, and a person whose demeanors and constant finger-pointing at others for his own failures and defeats, have ranked low in popularity and competence.

On the newer generations, we have Yayha Golmohammadi, Javad Nekounam, and Alireza Mansourian. The latter is out of work since he parted company with Sanat Naft Abadan, while his coaching career is not considered successful in general. Nekounam, former Team Melli captain and record holder of most games played for Team Melli, currently is the head coach of Foolad Khuzestan. Nekounam, attitude, antics, and general lack of leadership skills, controversial, ill-spoken, and on the technical side, uncertified coach, he cannot possibly be a serious candidate.

That leaves, Yayha Golmohammadi as the most serious candidate. The current coach of Persepolis has a successful CV which includes two Persian Gulf Pro League titles in the 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons with Persepolis. Political dissent and possible reluctance by the club to release him might create difficulties in getting the job at the helm of Team Melli.

Apart from these five aforementioned, no other coach comes even close to making the mark.

But national coaches are not everyone’s cup of tea.

Lack of domestic Iranian coaching talents.

Jalal Chiragpour, the former head coach of Iran’s Team Melli, rejected the idea of an Iranian coach or Queiroz or Bronco to lead Iran’s national football team. In justification,  Chiragpour said: “We want a coach who can educate the players and teach them the style and mentality of modern football; Not a coach who does not allow anyone to see the training sessions, play friendly matches behind closed doors, and not allow journalists to attend the training. Team Melli team needs a “teacher-coach”.

With less than two months left until the next FIFA day (20–28 March 2023) the window of the national team’s games, the FFFIR continues to proceed slowly and calmly and seems in no hurry to choose a head coach. Some coaches and experts believe that the federation can choose a temporary coach (Caretaker) for Nowrooz at least and finally, after the end of the current season of club competitions, can make its final decision.

Jalal Chiragpour said “I have to say a few things about the Iranian coach. If we had an Iranian coach who had received coaching degrees from outside Iran, we could count on him. In this case, we would say that this Iranian coach is more educated than FFIRI’s Education Committee.

Referring to the state of the football federation’s Education Committee, whose task is to promote local Iranian coaches,  Chiragpour said: “Iran’s Education Committee is 30 years behind the modern science of the world football. Our resources are 30 years behind the world. We still teach handouts from 1974 and earlier. That’s why I say that no Iranian coach can become the head coach of the national team because they all got their coaching certificate from an outdated, archaic training institution. If FFIRI had sent a number of coaches to five or six countries like Germany, Portugal, Brazil, England, Spain, or France five or ten years ago and paid for their training, we would have a cadre of competent and certifies coaches. Our football would have changed for the better, but because they have not done anything to train the future coaches, and the football federation does not care much for coaching education, our domestic football has fallen behind even smaller neighbors.”

Teacher-coach vs. Manager coach

Chiragpour said: a “Teacher coach” is the type of coach whose work ethic is like a teacher, educator, or instructor. “Manager-coach” is  manages the team in a professional and commercial way. He deals with ready made, skilled players who need or require only little guidance. If he does not have quality players, he buys talent and brings it to his team. Queiroz is a “Manager-coach”,

Queiroz was a manager and ordered to summon such and such a player some of them with dual nationality. Or he would find talent in Manchester. No one knew why, but he made good choices about talent. The technical committee or the board of the football federation should specify whether they want a “teacher-coach” or “manager coach”?

“Team Melli requires a Teacher Coach”  Cheraghpour stated. “the foreign coach of the national team should teach Iranian footballers. We want someone to teach these players skill sets and tactics that they are not exposed to at club levels.

Is Ghassimpour even qualified to pass important judgment.

A member of FFIRI technical committee, Ebrahim Ghassimpour took the initiative to announce to the media the decision of the FFIRI Technical Advisory Committee that Dragan Skocic is not suitable to coach Team Melli!

The official spokesperson of the federation counteracted Ghassimpour and said such decisions on Team Melli coaching appointment are the sole responsibility of the Head of the federation and the Board Members. It is not a technical committee’s responsibility as their role is advisory only. Furthermore, the FFIRI has an official spokesperson whose job is to communicate with the media. It is not the domain of the technical committee to do so.

So, without even being authorized to talk to the press, Ebrahim Ghassimpour decided to be a Maverick by declaring to the public that he and his colleagues did not find the coach that qualified Iran for the World Cup, as suitable to coach the same Team Melli!!

Let us look at this person and his own qualifications and achievements in management and coaching career. After a successful career as a footballer, Ghassimpour retired from playing in 1996 and went straight to coach. His qualification as a football coach is suspect as he has not successfully attended the recognized FIFA or AFC courses. Since he was appointed an assistant coach in his club Pas, nobody cared much about qualification or certification. From then on, he managed 15 teams without achieving any championship titles. That appointment included the coaching of the Omid Team which he failed to qualify for the Olympics and was subsequently sacked from his post in 1999.

After the Omid team, he managed 11 clubs almost all were lowly clubs in the league including a couple of short stints in the UAE league with Hatta ((less than 1 season) and then Emirates clubs of Ras Al Khaima.

Ghassimpour hardly finished one complete season with those clubs which he coached as he was frequently sacked or resigned when the going was getting tough. His last coaching appointment was 9 years ago at the then newly relegated Sanat Naft on 12 June 2013. After his failure to achieve promotion back to the first division, he was sacked by the club in 2014.

From 2014 up to now, for a good 8 years, Ghassimpour failed to get any coaching job even with second-division teams in Iran!

Is this the qualification of a person who decides for the nation if another coach is good enough to Lead Team Melli in the biggest show on earth, the World Cup?

What has Ghassimpour achieved as a coach to give him such a task? What criteria or mechanism do he and his colleague use to decide if Skocic or any other coach for that matter is good enough for Team Melli?

A person who has a track record of failures and does not understand official protocols, or does not respect it, shall not be allowed to pass judgment affecting 90 million Iranians. It is as simple as that.

Dragan Skocic is sacked.

After months of lobbying and pressure exerted from outside including the Minister of sport, despite the official denials, Dragan Skocic who managed to take Iran to the World Cup with immaculate results and recovery,  was officially sacked this evening.

According to the reports, a meeting of the technical committee of the FFIRI was held this Monday evening. This committee finally voted to dismiss Skocic; This follows the continuous and firm stand by the football federation that strongly dismissed the idea of sacking the present coach in the past days and weeks.

At the end of today’s meeting, Ebrahim Ghassimpour, a member of the technical committee of the Football Federation, confirmed Skocic’s dismissal but provided little justifications in this regard. Ghasimpour said:” Decisions were made today, the details of which will be announced on the website of the Football Federation. We reached a conclusion that the federation will announce!; We have both an Iranian option and a foreign option.”

In response to this question, is Skocic’s dismissal certain? He replied: “Yes. The technical committee did not confirm Skocic’s suitability (..). I can say this.”
Ghassimpour, in response to the question, why such a decision was not made much earlier? He said ” The federation did not refer the case of the suitability of Team Melli coach to us before. We didn’t confirm his appointment either, but we made suggestions about the next options, which can be both domestic and foreign”

According to Mehr reporter, Skocic was appointed to the bench of the Iranian national team on February 17, 2018 as a replacement for the Belgian Marc Wilmots, who put Iran on the brink of elimination from the World Cup qualifiers. The Croat Skocic managed a huge turnaround by winning 10 matches in a row and making it an easy job to qualify for the FIF World Cup 2022.

Iran under Skocic managed one official loss only 0-2 to South Korea in the World Cup qualifiers.

Rendulic joins Team Melli coaching staff.

TEHRAN – Croatian coach Krunoslav Rendulic has been added to the Team Melli coaching staff.

The 49-year-old coach, who has most recently worked as head coach of Croatian club Gorica, has joined Iran’s training camp in Doha, Qatar.

He has previously worked as assistant coach of his countryman Luka Bonacic in Iran’s Foolad in 2014.

Iran prepares for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where the Persians are drawn with England, the U.S., and Wales in Group B. Team Melli is meeting Algeria in Doha in its only friendly match during the international break which lasted t weeks.

Geopolitics of Football.

The recent news of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s criticism against “Canada Soccer” for arranging a friendly international match against Iran in Vancouver, reflects on how geopolitics is affecting the game as much as how hypocritical and biased the western politicians are becoming.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the geopolitics of the invasion crept into the world of football. FIFA, the world governing body, under pressure from the west addressed the Russian invasion by suspending Russia and its football clubs from all competitions on February 28, including the ultimate one: the 2022 World Cup tournament in Qatar. The Justification was poor and unprecedented. There was no global and agreed UN resolution of any kind. FIFA never suspended the USA for invading Iraq or Afghanistan and committing genocides in the process.

The non-western world was shocked by such influence of politics on football. while FIFA always enforced its policy against the government and political interference in the game, it has historically tried to avoid geopolitics impacting the sport in principle. However, it is now clear that the game is not played on even grounds.

Nevertheless, the biggest shock that exposed the mentality of prejudice was the western Media’s hypocrisy and double standard. Although nothing to do with football, white reporters kept on highlighting the plight of civilized Ukrainian refugees, with white skin and blue eyes, in such acts of duplicity, prejudice, and downright bias that exposed the inherent bias against non-whites and people of other ethnic groups, races and/or religions. Embracing hate against non-whites, was perhaps subdued and carefully vetted but Ukraine made it flagrantly clear that extreme right and white supremacy is on the rise and sometimes flagrant.

It also highlighted that when it comes to their self-interest, the spirits of Olympics, sports, and others are dumped in the bin.

Russia’s suspension by FIFA was significant for two reasons. First, FIFA historically doesn’t punish countries for intrastate conflicts. Secondly, this is the first time that FIFA sided with boycotters. Moreover, the integration of politics with the World Cup goes beyond the Russian invasion, as the choice of Qatar as the host nation invited a significant backlash.

Normally, it is the role of the United Nations (UN) to sanction countries and member states following the resolution agreed upon. FIFA’s speedy suspension of Russia marks the first time since 1950 that FIFA allowed the intrastate conflict to play a role in its disciplinary decision-making without a prior United Nations (UN) resolution preempting it. Since World War II, most intrastate conflicts haven’t resulted in suspensions from FIFA. Two prominent examples stand out. England and Argentina participated in the Spain World Cup in 1982, despite the UK considering withdrawal during the Falkland War occurring earlier that year. Additionally, Iran and Iraq fought a brutal eight-year war during the 1980s, but FIFA suspended neither nation from the 1982 and 1986 World Cups (with Iraq being the aggressor).

Iran, itself has been condemned umpteen times for mixing politics with sport. Its boycott of the state of Israel is well known in every sport. Its Judo federation was finally suspended due to that. It is fortunate that Iran and Israel are far apart when it comes to football with The Jewish state not qualifying for the World Cup since its only appearance in Mexico in 1970. Can you imagine if Iran refused to play a country it does not recognize in a World Cup?

We have to face reality and that this world is controlled by the mighty powerful and the rich. Equality, human rights, peaceful existence, friendship, and understanding are all slogans that the west preaches to us and will use in their quest to dominate and influence the world. Unfortunately, football has fallen victim to this strategy. A character such as Trudeau, who is a known vehement anti-Iran politician with a special bias against the theocracy of the Mullahs, is part of such domination strategy and thus feels obliged to express his objection against a football match!

Fortunately, Canada is a democratic society where one person cannot dictate his whims or rules without the consent of the parliament. That cannot be said of Iran, of course.

And hence, Canada vs Iran match in Vancouver is on and 95% of the tickets have already been sold. Take that!

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.

Players Rating : Syria vs. Iran

Team Melii players ended the match against Syria as clear winners. In arguably the best performances of the qualifiers, every player played his part well. Discipline, which marred the Team Melli performance on many previous matches, was excellent. No player was given a yellow card.

The absence of two key players in Jahanbakhsh, Taremi and Dragan Skoci on the bench, hardly dented the team display. This is evidence of a big team with a strong bench, with available players capable to replace any of their teammates no matter how important they have been. It proves that Team Melli reached a maturity that the absence of one or two key players hardly matters.

The individuals rating are as follows:

Amir ABEDZADEH:  [8.0] Was not really tested but when he was required to act, he did with confidence and control. His ball distribution and aerial balls collection was immaculate.

Shojaa KHALILZADEH  [7.8] As always, dependable and solid in defense forming a steadfast partnership and understanding with Kananizadeghan. Unlucky at set-pieces despite the large numbers of corners won by Team Melli.   
Sadegh MOHARRAMI:    [7.8] Effective as a wing-back despite the fact that he was less involved on the flanks from the previous match. Remains a valuable asset at right back.
Hossein KANANI-ZADEGAN:   [7.8] Enjoyed an easy day and had no issues defending against the lone Syrian striker. His performance with Khalizadeh in the heart of defense helped Team Melli keep a clean sheet.

Ehsan HAJSAFI:  [8.3] Despite his absence from Team Melli in a few matches, he never lost his touch. Positive and reliable. Scored the Penalty with cool despite the Syrian goalkeeper intimidations.
Vahid AMIRI  [9.0] One of the best performances seen by the winger for many years. Played a decisive role in this game. Full of energy and class Kept the ball moving to build attacks and enjoyed many forays forward down the left side. Provided a world-class assist to Azmoun. Provided many crosses which showed his quality of delivery. Created more chances than any of his teammates in another good demonstration of his quality and versatility.

Ahmad NOUROLLAHI  : [8.8] Another sterling performance. Unlucky not to be on the scoresheet after three very well taken shots on goal, which saw two being magnificently saved by the Syria keeper.
Saeid EZZATOLLAHI   [7.6] Dependable and solid in the midfield. Won many balls back swiftly for his side on the rare occasions they didn’t have it and showed his passing precision too.
Omid NOORAFKAN: [7.8] Had a quiet game although there were some signs of nervousness, especially when he losses the ball. Could be reckless at times.
Ali GHOLIZADEH : [8.9] Scored a magnificent goal that showed his wizardry. He was a constant menace for the Syrian defense. His timely use of his dribbling skills can break solid defenses. Had an excellent game. 
Sardar AZMOUN:  [8.9] Scored a wonderful goal that shows his class and how far he has improved in Europe. He remains one of the best assets of Team Melli. However, he could have scored a hat trick but for missing two easy chances. 


Milad SARLAK : [7.8] Replaced Hajsafi and had a quiet match without exerting too much effort. A solid player and a valuable one to support both the defense and midfield.


Shojaa Khalilzadeh to sign for Al Rayyan in Doha

Shojaa Khalilzadeh, Persepolis, and Team Melli central defender has turned up in the Qatari capital Doha to sign a contract with Al Rayyan club. According to Al Arab daily newspaper, Al Rayyan has already concluded the negotiation with the Iranian defender and just awaiting the signatures on the contract.

According to sources, after accepting the conditions of a contract renewal with Khalilzadeh, Persepolis is now dealing with the news of his departure from Iran to sign a contract with Al Rayyan of Qatar Star League. The news caused the club to send a letter to the Qatar Football Federation and Al Rayyan Club regarding the legality of any contract between Khalilzadeh and any Qatari club.

Khalilzadeh, whose contract with Persepolis runs for another season, unilaterally terminated his contract with Persepolis due to the club’s breach of payment clauses. It seems that Persepolis has not paid the player, which is a very common practice in Iran’s football, and hence the player is legally allowed to cancel that contract.

Recently recalled to Team Melli after a seven years gap, the Persepolis defender was supposed to sign his contract extension and amendments at 10:30 AM on Wednesday at the club premises. However, Khalizadeh was upset by some contradictory behaviors of the club’s managers and left for Qatar.

Before traveling to Qatar, Khalilzadeh was contacted by Yahya Golmohammadi, the head coach of the team, Attempts to reach him was futile, because Persepolis defender mobile was turned off. However, Khalilzadeh, after leaving for Qatar, sent a message to Yahya Golmohammadi informing him of his intention to leave the team while wishing him personally and Persepolis’s success in the final of the Asian Champions League.

The message shocked the Reds’ coach, but Golmohammadi has decided not to react to it for the time being.

Khalilzadeh has left Persepolis while there is no news of his official agreement with Qatar’s Al Rayyan Club. However, it is possible that his contract will be signed today, given the player’s presence in Qatar.

What is the story behind Di Biasi ?

The saga of Iranian football managements ( or mismanagement, to be more accurate) continues unabated with the latest revelation that an Italian coach is being considered for Team Melli after the debacle of Marc Wilmots!

Notwithstanding the truth behind this story and lack of an official confirmation, it is prudent to analyze such possibility and dissect the pros and cons of appointing a foreign coach who does not have the slightest clue about Iranian football culture to head Team Melli at this critical juncture.

Who is Di Biasi?

Giovanni “Gianni” De Biasi is an Italian coach who started his career in 1990 and managed several clubs in Serie C, B, and A, the most famous of them was Torino. Di Biasi never seemed to stay with one club for more than two seasons. During his playing days, he played with Treviso, Inter Milan ( 10 matches only) Brescia, Palermo but never managed to make it at top grade.  The same can be said about his coaching career until the big break came when he was recruited by the Albanians to coach their national team.

It was with Albania that Di Biasi enjoyed his best days in coaching. In his 6 years with Albania, he succeeded in qualifying to the Euro Finals in 2016. He left in 2017 to coach Alaves in La Liga.

Clearly, Gianni Di Biasi is not in the elite category of world coaches however, his success with the Albanian national team was remarkable considering the status and standard of the tiny European nation.

DI Biasi and Iran.

While Marc Wilmots had a similar resume as Di Biasi, perhaps a little bit better for coaching a powerful team like Belgium, he struggled to succeed with Iran. In fact, his poor familiarity with his players’, poor reading of the game and sub-standard knowledge of the opposition, resulted in two major defeats for Team Melli against teams that should have been beaten.

That Marc Wilmots was not familiar with the Team Melli players was a direct result of the guy living and working remotely with minimal contact and communication with the team members. It is only natural that a coach cannot employ the capabilities of the players to the full if he does not understand those skills and abilities. There are other factors too, but nothing like the poor technical and tactical leadership of the game which resulted in these diabolical defeats and possible elimination at an early stage.

Di Biasi is in the same boat as Wilmots was before taking the job. A person who has no knowledge of football in Iran, perhaps unable to name more than two or three players and is totally alien to the Persian culture and football politics. To settle in Iran in the first place, is a challenge for this Italian, assuming he is not going to be a suitcase flying coach. It will take him time and we are talking months if not years to be comfortable enough to deliver the goods.

The establishment, environment and the politics of Iranian football is a steep learning curve for any outsider. Expecting a foreign coach to deliver in a short time is unreasonable and unfair on both sides.

Team Melli has just about two months for the next match in the World Cup qualifiers vs. Hong Kong in Azadi. Granted, it is not an intricate mission but it still needs preparation, the familiarity between the coach and the players and building the best team line-up. The real test is against Bahrain and Iraq at home, two matches that must be won for Team Melli to be in contention for a place in the next round.

The contract!

It is not clear what has changed since Wilmot’s dispute with FFIRI which turned sour mainly due to non-payment or delay of wages by FFIRI.  This will repeat with any other coach if it is not sorted out.  Will Di Biasi suffer the same as Wilmots, Branko Ivankovic, Calderon and Andrea Stramaccioni who all had disputes with their paymasters on payments of dues? It is highly unlikely that the FFIRI has suddenly created a magic wand to manage to circumnavigate the American sanctions to enable paying the wages of its foreign coaches, so what has changed in FFIRI policy to assure the respect of contractual obligations?

It is particularly this subject that can turn a good relationship into a fractured one. It is a big challenge and a bigger risk for the federation as they have already been burnt, although no one takes responsibility or accountability.

This administration of the FFIRI is far from a competent operative. Although the fans of Team Melli should not be normally bothered or concerned with the administrations or contract details, with FFIRI and as we have experienced previously, it is a major concern. A lot is dependent on how he FFIRI respects its contractual obligations. By track records, it is not too promising. If there is anything that this administration excels in is, making excuses, fabrication & twisting of fact and diverting blame.

Chances of success

Assuming all is well with the contract, It is not an absolute requirement for a top-level coach to handle Team Melli. It needs a strong person, knowledgable, dedicated and tactically astute. Di Biasi can tick a few boxes here. His lack of familiarity can be addressed as he can develop that depending on how happy the man is at his job.  Iran can be both a pleasant place to live and frustration at the same time. He can do the job as well as any although from the onset it looks a lot more complicated for a newbie foreign coach than having a domestic one at the helm.

The Ghalenoei’s, Daei’s or Golmohammdi’s have their advantages as Team Melli coaches but also we must not forget a certain stigma attached to them, after all, in Iran, a local coach has an automatic label of being biased! A foreign coach is revered even if he struggles. The fans seem to be more tolerant of foreign coaches but unforgiving to a local. It is the Iranian culture.

A very absent coach !

  • walfoot.be.
  • 30-Nov-2019

The case of Marc Wilmots unleashes the passions in Iran. Team Melli is badly embarked in qualifying for the World Cup 2022 (and the Asian Cup) and the former coach of the Red Devils, in conflict with his federation, is pointed.

Just search the net to find a pretty eloquent hashtag: #WilmotsOut. Clearly, the Dongelberg Bull is not popular among supporters of Iran’s Team Melli who blame him for a certain lack of passion. His financial conflict with the Iranian federation would only be one of the reasons for this malaise. “I think that Wilmots does not ’feel the passion’ the job of coaching Team Melli” says the administrator of the Twitter page Iran Team Melli, which covers the news of the Persian selection. “It’s the same team that got good results under Queiroz, to explain such failures, one needs to focus on the coaching responsibility.

A very absent coach

Beyond the tactical side, Wilmots is criticized on all sides for his limited presence in Iran and his lack of general involvement. “I know of course that living in Iran is complicated, especially at the family level. The former coaches did not live in the country,” explains our speaker. “But I think he could have done much more work on this.” Which another Iranian supporter confirms “Queiroz spent twice as long in Iran, sending his assistants to scouting, Wilmots comes to the country as much as I go to the movies,” he laments.

“I respect Wilmots, I was happy with his choice, Iranian fans are divided into two types categories, the nostalgic for Queiroz era and the anti-Queiroz crowds, the latter often being the Iranian media, but I think Wilmots is not comfortable with his job in Iran, he is afraid of not being paid to play in Iraq (the match was finally relocated) … “, details the admin of Team Melli. “Payments: here is where the rub and for once, Marc Wilmots is in his right, even his critics recognize. “

“Sanctions are the reason for late payments for Marc Wilmots,” confirms Alireza Mohamadi, Iranian journalist, who adds however that the former coach of the Red Devils “has always been respectful in its relations with the media and supporters of Iran”. And while Carlos Queiroz is still highly respected in Iran for his work, he too had shouted fury at FFIRI. Not only for himself but also to defend the rights of his players, also paid late.

If the situation seems stalled for a few days and the public statements of Marc Wilmots, who ensured that the case is now handled by his lawyers, one thing is almost certain. Willy’s Persian adventure is close to an end, in good or bad. A failure was difficult to judge on the sporting level. To forge the greatest success so far with the Red Devils, Wilmots had placed his bets on the human aspect and his skills as being a great motivator, counting on his qualities of leadership to weld the group.  Difficulty in communication with barely Anglophone Iranian players will have made this impossible, just like an obvious cultural shock and a virtual impossibility to live on the place where he would work.

Of course, if Marc Wilmots accepted the challenge of Team Melli, it is probably for remunerations justifying this risk-taking that had a perfume of failure from the beginning – it is the opinion of Romain Molina, specialist of football in the Middle East. “Huge stupidity,” he says on social networks. This may be the best possible conclusion – for all parties, Wilmots and  Iran … “