Tag: Vahid Hashemian

Alireza Mansourian to be added to Team Melli coaching staff

Carlos Queiroz has provided the name of Alireza Mansourian for Team Melli staff instead of Javad Nekonam.

According to ISNA, Carlos Queiroz, the Portuguese head coach will arrive in Iran on Wednesday morning, and the team camp will begin on the same day. It will be the first presence of the Portuguese coach since he left Iran in February 2019. Queiroz will bring along several foreign assistants to Iran to start working in the training camp. From the previous staff, two people, Lopez and Mikael, will accompany him on his mission. Also, some new foreign faces will join the Portuguese coach, whose names have not yet been announced yet.

However, it seems that Javad Nekonam, who was Carlos Queiroz’s first choice to be his right hand man at Team Melli turned down the offer and does not intend to leave his post as Head Coach of Foolad Khuzestan, hence Queiroz named Alireza Mansourian as replacement.  On the other hand, the status of Vahid Hashemian is unclear. The former VfL Bochum 87 , Bayern Munich, Hannover 96 and Hamburger SV  player who also caoched in Germany has been quiet about his fate with the arrival of Queiroz.

It is rumored that  a meeting between Queiroz and Hashemian is scheduled to be held, and if there is an agreement, Hashemian will cooperate with the third consecutive head coach of Team Melli. Hashemian has also worked with Wilmots and Skocic with his best and most productive period being with the Croat.

Payment fo the local coaches of Team Melli are still on hold!

Dragan Skočić has arranged the Training camp program in preparation for Team Melli games, but the task of his Iranian assistants and their involvement in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is still unclear. Karim Bagheri and Vahid Hashemian were the assistant coaches of Iran on the way to the World Cup, along with Mehrdad Khanban who is the team analyst. Apparently, the Football Federation has not yet been able to pay the full salaries of the national team’s local coaches, which resulted in a protest by Bagheri and Hashemian.

After the draw for the World Cup in Qatar, Skocic’s Iranian assistants asked for their bonuses and payment as per the contract, but the Football Federation’s response to this legitimate request was even stranger than before. The FFIRI declared lack of money as the main reason for the non-payment of its obligation to the local technical staff of Team Melli and stated that it will not be able to pay these amounts until the funds awed to Iran are credited to the federation by FIFA .

The financial resources of FFIRI are limited and the bank account is just about empty as FIFA is still withholding Iran’s dues from the qualification matches, despite the fact that the team reached the Qatar World Cup early. The most concerning issue is also the failure of FFIRI has still failed to sign contracts for friendly games with the world’s most prestigious football teams. It seems that the priority for Mirshad Majedi, the acting head of FFIRI and members of the board of directors, is still to hold a general assembly of the federation to determine the fate of Shahabuddin Azizi Khadem, the deposed head while Team Melli is still not a top priority despite the promises.

The indiscretion of Mehdi Taremi !

A reliable source close to Team Melli camp has revealed to Khabar Varzeshi that after Mehdi Taremi’s tweet a while ago and on the recommendation of the Football Federation, Dragan Skocic tried to mend his relationship with the Porto star.

On this basis, the Croatian head coach personally contacted Mehdi Taremi in Portugal to explain his interview with a Croatian website and to discuss and resolve the misunderstanding, however, no matter how many times Dragan Skocic calls Mehdi Taremi’s mobile, the Porto player does not pick up to answer the phone of his national team head coach!

Text messages sent to Taremi by the Croatian coach remained unanswered! Dragan Skocic then asks his Iranian assistant Vahid Hashemian to call Mehdi Taremi and help end the misunderstanding while complaining about the unanswered phone call. Surprisingly, Taremi ignores phone calls and messages of Vahid Hashemian too. As a final measure, these two coaches of the national team assign Karim Bagheri the task of contacting Taremi.

Skocic believes that considering Karim’s history and stature in Team Melli and Persepolis, it is impossible for Mehdi Taremi not to answer the phone of his former coach, but still, the calls are one-sided and useless! It is alleged that Mehdi Taremi, has found out that Karim Bagheri had called him because of Dragan Skocic issue, so Taremi ignored Bagheri’s call too.

 On this basis, the Croatian head coach decided to drop Taremi from the squad, because that tweet and this behavior are not justified and will cause more division in the Iranian national team camp.

Taremi is a player who is always close to controversy. His behavior remains unprofessional and poorly disciplined. Currently, in Portugal, there is a campaign against Taremi for his simulation in the penalty box and diving, according to his club coach. Taremi’s disciplinary record in Porto is quite poor for a striker. He has also been dismissed in a UEFA Champions League match for childish behavior right after receiving a yellow card, which lead to another yellow and dismissal.

Dragan Skocic to contact Taremi is commended to reduce any tension. His dropping of Taremi is quite justified especially since Team Melli and Skocic have a rich number of forwards at his disposal. Players like Ghaedi and Sayadmanesh, who form the future of Iran’s football deserve to be given opportunities upfront, while Sardar Azmoun is available and capable and enjoying his most successful seasons in Europe.

Taremi is developing into another Mehdi Rahmati and Hadi Aghili who thought they are above Team Melli. Like Carlos Queiroz, this time Skocic is teaching the renegades a lesson. A strong coach is a necessity for Team Melli and indisciplined players, regardless of their status, must be dropped as they will become a liability in the future and a bad example.

Match Preview: Iraq vs. Iran

There is a solid consensus that Team Melli did not play well against Syria and also Iraq will form a much tougher opposition versus Iran on Tuesday in Doha.

The Performance

It did not need a professional football analyzer to conclude that indeed Team Melli was not at its best versus Syria and the team lacks cohesion and strategy. Despite the superiority in statistics for Team Melli against Syria with a ball possession figure of 69% against Syria’s 31% and total passes of team Melli of 416 against Syria’s 130, the dangerous chances created on the opposition keeper was meager and hardly inspiring.

So, Yes, the Team lacked direction, was short of ideas, and generally poor in the finishing phase and final passes. When one looks at the reasons and preparation of the Team, achieving a win against Syria is actually admirable.

Team Melli came to the match with the worst possible preparation. Even the Syrians were better prepared despite the catastrophic conditions of their country. Iran’s football federation and in particular the body in charge of national teams is world-renowned for their incompetency and poor organizational skills. This body, if it actually exists, has done little in terms of value for Team Melli’s preparation for the World Cup qualifiers. With only one or two proper training sessions, lack of leadership as both Skocic and Hashemian were quarantined, and the hallmark of Iran’s federation (no friendly matches) the expectation of a brilliant performance against Syria with a good result was just wishful thinking. In fact, grabbing all the 3 points was admirable under the circumstances.

Against Iraq, the conditions will be slightly improved in the sense that the full squad would have 3 days of training together and a coach sitting on the bench, but that is about all.  The team still requires strengthening in many areas which have been covered and reported many items over, particularly in the discipline department.

It will not be a bad idea to replay the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Semi-final match against Japan to teach the players a lesson of how the breakdown of technical discipline led to such an embarrassing historical defeat.

The opposition

Despite Iraq’s admirable draw away to South Korea, it is hardly a team that Iran should fear. The tactics that Iraqis deploy have not changed for years. Dick Advocaat in the short time he has taken over cannot change the Iraqis system overnight as what he will focus on is much the same as old Iraq with enhancement here and there.

Being a Dutch coach and a master in the offensive free flow Dutch football system does not mean that Iraq will go for an all-out attack against Iran on Tuesday. In fact, the Iraqis are lacking in offensive areas and lack the power that Syria has upfront. Their general situation is very much like Iran with organization and preparation. Iraq however is stronger than Iran in a few areas. They are a defensively disciplined team, strong mentality, and have a never-say-die attitude. There is intensity in their game but has a vulnerable defense line. In general, the team has a good mixture of physical and mental attributes which makes Iraq a strong opponent.


 The expectation.

The unsatisfactory performance will be truly forgotten when Iran gabs all the 3 points from Iraq, which is entirely possible. The Coaching staff has a few things to sort out, but the expectations from the fans will be nothing short of 3 points. Sardar Azmoun is available and that is a tremendous boost for Team Melli, the Stadium is air-conditioned and ideal for playing football, the team is away from any controversy and drama that is sometimes associated with Iran training camps. It is all set for another victory, but it will not be easy nor granted.

Skocic & Hashemian are cleared and heading to Doha.

Dragan Skocic and Vahid Hashemian, who could not accompany Team Melli in the match against Syria due to covid19 infection, will join the Team Melli squad and the training camp in Qatar after their new test proved negative.

Both the Head Coach and his assistance were absent from the team for over two weeks after their positive tests. On Saturday, both the coaches left for Doha.

As soon as they arrive in Doha, Skocic and Hashemian must undergo the corona test on arrival and enter the quarantine, until their test results are negative. Assuming g being cleared, both Skocic and Hashenian will be sitting on the bench against Iraq on Tuesday.

 Football Federation President Shahabuddin Azizi Khadem will also travel to Qatar tomorrow to attend the national team match against Iraq. Meanwhile, the covid test of all Team Melli’s squad in Doha was proven negative and the team is cleared to train as required in Doha.

Left behind in Tehran, Milad Sarlak has attended the clinic of Persepolis club after he was diagnosed clear from any head injuries or damage. However, he was advised to rest for a few days until he is fully recovered.


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.



Iranian assistant coach for Skocic is to be named.

The Croatian Head coach of Team Melli will soon identify his Iranian assistant among five candidates.

Dragan Skočić, has taken over the post after the mediocre tenure of the Belgian Marc Wilmots in which Iran’s qualification for the next round of FIFA World Cup 2022 Asian zone qualifiers is under threat

Skocic will soon be supported by an Iranian assistant coach. There are 5 candidates in the pot for the post;

According to the reports, Karim Bagheri, Moharram Navidkia, Sohrab BakhtiariZadeh, Pirouz Ghorbani, and Vahid Hashemian are the most likely candidates for the job as Skocic aide.

Karim Bagheri: (46 Years) Assistant coach to Perspolis in two separate periods under Golamahammadi and Daei. Bagheri has not achieved FIFA Class certification but has the strongest international background as a player with 87 caps and 50 international goals for Team Melli.

Moharram Navidkia: (37 Years) the least experienced of the lot. Very little coaching experience with Sepahan. Navidkia has a complex sulky character that is not well suited for coaching.  As a player, he scored one goal in 25 caps for Iran.

Sohrab BakhtiariZadeh: (42 years) head coach of Naft Masjed Soleiman in 2016, followed by  Iran U-23 assistant coach between 2018–2019. As a player, he scored 4 goals, including the goal against Angola in the FIFA 2006 World Cup in 37 caps for Iran.

Pirouz Ghorbani: (42 years) It is not clear whether Ghorbani has any coaching experience in his CV. The former Esteghlal player who retired from football in 2015 with Saba Qom, has not been officially appointed in any coaching position. He played 6 matches for Team Melli.

Vahid Hashemian:(43 years) Selected as an assistant to Wilmots based on his knowledge of German which both Wilmots and Hashemian speak fluently. Hashemian has attended several training coaches courses in Germany and achieved German certification.  he managed  SV Halstenbek-Rellingen, for one season then  Niendorfer TSV in 2013. Hasmeian went to his old club Hamburger SV in 2017 to work in the Academy then became U17 Team assistant coach from 2017–2018 and finally with Hamburger SV (U21) in 2018 as an assistant coach before working with Wilmots.

It is clear from their experience that none of the Iranian coaches have the proper qualification and experience to be of value to the Team. The only advantage is communication which is itself a two-edged sword.

Ashkan Dejagah recalled to Team Melli.

After being surprisingly dropped by Team Melli selectors, Captain and midfield player Ashkan Dejagah has been recalled to the squad.

This is despite the fact that the training of the team which is in preparation for the Hong Kong match in the qualifying rounds of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 started two days ago. According to the FFIRI website, Ashkan Dejagah has been invited to join the rest of his teammates as of today (Tuesday). The federation’s website did not indicate which player Dejagah is replacing as the permitted 23 man squad quota has already been announced by the coaching team. There is no news of any injuries in the current squad.

Dejagah was not on the national team’s starting list for the camp.

It is unclear if Marc Wilmots and his foreign assistants were involved in this selection partly because the Belgian head coach has not been around and yet to be paid by the federation since commencing his duty. Most probably the selection is a reflection of Vahid Hashemian’s views. The Iranian assistant coach probably wanted to make an immediate impact by selecting two new players and ignoring some experienced ones.  Saeed Ezzatollahi has been dropped from the squad, which probably is quite justified because of his lack of match practise, although Jahanbakhsh who has Temporary Email not played for Brighton in the  Premier League is included. Ashkan Dejagah has been one of this season’s best League players in Iran’s domestic football. His exclusion has certainly raised a few eyebrows.

Saman Ghoddos is serving a FIFA ban so he is ineligible for inclusion.

Team Melli starts camp among concerns about Hong Kong riots.

Team Melli started its preparation for the match versus Hong Kong in the qualification rounds of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar.  The team held its first training session at 6 pm on Sunday with 13 players.

Marc Wilmots spoke with his players for about 5 minutes before commencing field training. The Team Melli head coach also held a few minutes of tactical discussion with his technical staff.

The 13 players who attended the camp are all domestic league players, the Legionnaires are due to join as of tomorrow.

Those presents were : Masoud Shojaei, Ehsan HajSafi, Vahid Amiri, Siavash Yazdani, Hossein Hosseini, Vouria Ghafouri, Ali Karimi, Alireza Biranvand, Mehdi Torabi, Ahmad Nourollahi, Rashid Mazaheri, Mohammad Hosein Kanani Zadegan and Mohammad Naderi

The squad started the warm training under the guidance of assistant coach Vahid Hashemian while Wilmots and his assistants observed from the sidelines. There was no goalkeepers coach present at this session.

 Meanwhile, there is a concern in the Iranian federation as to the suitability and safety of the players in Hong Kong which is currently undergoing political disturbances and also disruptions of operations in the International airport. The latest development Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China is that demonstrators have blocked the roads into and out of the airport built on reclaimed land on the island of Chek Lap Kok. It has only one bridge to the mainland.

Marc Wilmots leads first Team Melli practice session.

The first training session of Team Melli lead by Marc Wilmots was carried today with the presence of assistant coach Vahid Hashemian .

Prior to start of the session, the players and technical staff of Team Melli team handed flowers bouquets to the media personnel present at the training ground as a gesture of appreciation. . Persepolis players, who were scheduled to play the final of the Hazfi Cup in Ahvaz were absent today. Apart from Beiranvand, Torabi and Noorolahi, from Persepolis, the injured Rashid Mazaheri and  Sardar Azmoun were absent from the session.

Hossein Hosseini has replaced Mazaheri in the squad. The players started with a warm up run along the ground, then the group training consisted of practice with single-shot passes and stretching exercises. During the training, Ramin Rezaeian made errors in executing one or two moves, which forced Wilmots to give him a reminder.

The training continued in several routines under continuous instructions from Wilmots. Despite the various issues with the official sponsor of Team Melli kit, the team was wearing the Adidas kit, but it seems that the use of this kit is not expected to last for long. Media  were asked to leave after 25 minutes to allow Wilmots the freedom of continuing his work.