Iran World Cup 2014 Team Profile

Iran - World Cup 2014 Team Profile

Iran.

Road to Brazil

Iran topped Group A in Asian Qualifying ahead of South Korea winning their last three matches in dramatic style including a 0-1 win against the odds away in Seoul. Charlton striker Reza Ghoochannejhad scored in all those games to clinch qualification.

Fixtures

Iran team jersey kit 1 (c) Soccerphile. Iran team jersey kit 2 (c) Soccerphile.

Iran Kit 1
Copyright © Soccerphile

Iran Kit 2
Copyright © Soccerphile

Iran v Nigeria 16 June; Curitiba
Iran v Argentina 21 June; Belo Horizonte
Iran v Bosnia - Herzegovina; 25 June; Salvador

Analysis

Iran last reached the World Cup finals in Germany in 2006 and played in Group D against Mexico, Portugal and Angola, gaining a single point with a 1-1 draw with Angola in Leipzig.

Iran's chances of progression from the group stage look equally bleak this time around, though qualifying has been seen as a great achievement. International sanctions mean that many teams will not play friendlies in Iran, which has hampered the team's preparations for Brazil. Iran will be defensive with a 4-5-1 system built around a solid back four with Charlton's Reza Ghoochannejad as the lone striker, hoping to strike on the break.

Key player: Ashkan Dejagah

Fulham's Ashkan Dejagah, along with Charlton's Reza Ghoochannejad, were recruited from the Iranian diaspora by coach Carlos Queiroz and these two players have added much needed international experience to the Iranian squad. Dejagah was a German youth international alongside Mesut Ozil before choosing to play for Iran.

One to watch: Javad Nekounam

Javad Nekounam, now playing his football in Kuwait, is the team's leader in midfield and has La Liga experience in Spain with Osasuna.

Coach: Carlos Queiroz

Carlos Queiroz has overseen a change in fortune for Team Melli and his obsessive attention to detail means the squad will be well-prepared on and off the field for their opponents.

Queiroz has made tough decisions including dropping goalkeeping legend Mehdi Rahmati for Rahman Ahmadi.

FIFA World Ranking

Record

1978, 1998, 2006 First Round.

World Cup Betting

Soccerphile Says

Iran will be well-organized and difficult to break down but a lack of genuine quality in midfield and attack plus a dearth of international experience mean they will not escape Group F which includes Argentina, African champions Nigeria and an in-form Bosnia. Iran are not to be underestimated, though, and may spring a surprise in one of their games.

2014 World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers: Daniel Davari (Eintracht Braunschweig), Alireza Haghighi (Sporting Covilha, on loan from Rubin Kazan), Rahman Ahmadi (Sepahan)

Defenders: Hossein Mahini (Persepolis), Steven Beitashour (Vancouver Whitecaps), Pejman Montazeri (Umm Salal), Jalal Hosseini (Persepolis), Amir-Hossein Sadeghi (Esteghlal), Ahmad Alenemeh (Naft), Hashem Beikzadeh (Esteghlal), Mehrdad Pouladi (Persepolis)

Midfielders: Javad Nekounam (Kuwait SC), Andranik Teymourian (Esteghlal), Reza Haghighi (Persepolis), Ghasem Haddadifar (Zob Ahan), Bakhtiar Rahmani (Foolad), Ehsan Hajsafi (Sepahan)

Strikers: Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham), Masoud Shojaei (Las Palmas), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (NEC Nijmegen), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Charlton), Karim Ansarifard (Tractor Saz, on loan from Persepolis), Khosro Heydari (Esteghlal)