Current Fifa Ranking : 33rd with 720 points
World Cup Appearances : 1978, 1998 and 2006
Best Achievement : First Round
Head Coach : Carlos Queiroz
Captain : Javad Nekounam
Iran have managed to qualify for the most prestigious tournament in football history by stuttering through their campaign. They almost risked not qualifying midway through their route to Brazil yet managed three straight victories in the end after even beating South Korea away. Carlos Cueiroz, former Manchester United assistant coach and Portugal manager, has built up a squad with a domestic-based majority, which could prove to be a crucial factor once the tournament is upon us.
A tough tournament lies ahead for the Princes of Persia, as they shall come up against the likes of Argentina, one of the tournament favourites, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Japan. Iran will want to make sure not to be taken lightly, yet they must understand that much tougher opposition lies ahead than the teams they’ve already toppled in order to secure qualification.
Esteghlal’s Javad Nekounam is both captain and country talisman, and the midfielder will want to make sure the squad will work in tandem with Queiroz’ orders. Other players worth mentioning are Standard Liege midfielder Reza Ghoochannejhad and Rubin Kazan’s Sardar Azmoun, who are both capable of sparking moments of brilliance for their team.
The Iranians have a relatively poor record in the World Cup, managing only one win in nine games throughout the tournament history. Although they have the potential to cause upsets, even to one of the favourites, chances are they will bow out at the first round, unless the opposition experiences a slip in form and fortune.