Team profile: Iran

The three time Asian Champions have had to carry the burden of their country's international political disputes in preparation for the World Cup. With Ali Karami "the Persian Maradona" pulling the strings 'Team Meli' might just be able to navigate their way out of a tricky group.

    FIFA Ranking: 23

    Coach: Branko Ivankovic

    Key players: Ali Daei, Mohammad Nosrati, Vahid Hashemian

    World Cup record: Third appearance

    Best finish: First round 1978, 1998

    Last appearance: First round 1998

    Qualifying route: Second in Asian Group B.

    Key question:  The side have had more than their share of hurdles to jump in preparation due to political reasons, can they put it all behind them and become a competitive force?

    Squad:

    Goalkeepers #
    Ebrahim Mirzapour 1
    Hassan Roudbarian 12
    Vahid Talebloo 22
    Defenders
    Sohrab Bakhtiarizadeh 3
    Yahya Golmohammadi 4
    Rahman Rezaei 5
    Hossein Kaabi 13
    Sattar Zare 18
    Amir Hossein Sadeqi 19
    Mohammad Nosrati 20
    Midfielders
    Mehdi Mahdavikia 2
    Javad Nekounam 6
    Fereydoon Zandi 7
    Ali Karimi 8
    Anderanik Teymourian 14
    Mehrzad Madanchi 21
    Masoud Shojaei 23
    Forwards
    Vahid Hashemian 9
    Ali Daei 10
    Rasoul Khatibi 11
    Arash Borhani 15
    Reza Enayati 16
    Javad Kazemian 17

    Group matches:

    v Mexico, 16:00 GMT, Sunday 11th June - Nuremberg

    v Portugal, 13:00 GMT, Saturday 17th June - Frankfurt

    v Angola, 14:00 GMT, Wednesday 21st June - Leipzig

     

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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