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: Al Jazeera