Iran has a little home advantage going into their sixth World Cup because it is being held in the Middle East. However, a last-minute manager switch and a rift in the locker room pose a threat to their hopes of successfully making it past the group stage.
Team Meli was one goal away from eliminating the 2018 World Cup’s reigning European champions Portugal and claiming a spot in Russia’s Round of 16. However, they will need to get over the disarray within their own ranks if they want to upend Qatar.
After a turbulent summer behind the scenes, Mehdi Taj, the recently re-elected president of the Iranian Football Federation, appointed Carlos Queiroz as head coach. This marked a significant change in the organization’s management.
The preceding eight years of his tenure saw him guide Iran to the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, making him the longest-tenured manager in the history of the nation. However, his appointment follows a disastrous campaign with Egypt, where the Pharaohs lost the Africa Cup of Nations championship and missed World Cup qualification.
Alireza Beiranvand, Amir Abedzadeh, Seyed Hossein Hosseini, Payam Niazmad
Abofazl Jalali, Mohammad Hossein, Majid Hosseini, Milad Mohammadi, Morteza Pouraliganji, Omid Noorafkan, Ramin Rezaeian, Sadegh Moharrami, Saleh Hardani, Shojae Khalilzadeh
Karim Ansarifard, Mehdi Taremi, Saman Ghoddos, Sardar Azmoun
Ahmad Noorallahi, Ali Gholizadeh, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Ehsan Haji Safi, Mehdi Torabi, Milad Sarlak, Omid Ebrahimi, Saeid Ezatolahi, Vahid Amiri
In this football-loving nation, there are bigger challenges at hand right now, but after months of instability, it is possible that Team Melli has found the correct recipe, even if it is just for the short term. Iran at the very least communicated with the other teams in Group B, especially their first opponents, England.
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Sardar Azmoun is a forward for both the Iranian national team and Bundesliga Club Bayer Leverkusen in his professional football career.
Azmoun made his national team debut for Iran in 2014 at the age of 19. He has participated in the 2015, 2019, and 2018 FIFA World Cups as a regular member of Team Melli.
Azmoun is the second-most expensive Iranian player in history, behind Alireza Jahanbakhsh. He holds the record for the most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League by an Iranian player with six goals. He is also the youngest Iranian to score in a Champions League match.
In a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Turkmenistan, Azmoun scored a goal. He scored his first senior brace on September 3, 2015, during a 6-0 victory against Guam in the World Cup qualifying match.