World Cup 2018: Why you should follow... Iran

World Cup 2018: Why you should follow... Iran... 29/05/2018 Sports

Keywords:#AFC, #Africa, #Alex_Ferguson, #Argentina, #Asia, #Asian_Football_Confederation, #Barcelona, #Bosnia, #Champions_League, #China, #Donald_Trump, #European, #Herzegovina, #Iran, #Korea, #Madrid, #Manchester, #Manchester_United, #Morocco, #Nigeria, #Online, #Portugal, #Qatar, #Queiroz, #RT, #Real_Madrid,, #Russia, #South_Africa, #South_Korea, #Spain, #Sport, #Syria, #Team_Melli, #Tehran, #Trump, #United_States, #Uzbekistan, #World_Cup, #World_Cup_2018

By Mikey Stafford
RTÉ Online Sport Editor
As we countdown to Russia 2018, we take a look at all 32 teams and suggest a reason to back them. With 17 days to the big kick-off it is the turn of Iran.
Carlos Quieroz has qualified for his third World Cup and second with Iran

* * * The Asia qualification process is a marathon. To make it to the crucial third round of qualifying you must prevail in a group of five, playing home and away.
Then the serious business begins - home and away fixtures against five of the finest teams in the world's largest continent, contesting with huge journeys as well as opponents fighting for two places from each of the two groups.
After 18 matches in two stages, Iran came out on top of Asian Football Confederation (AFC), conceding just five goals. Amazingly they only conceded two goals in 10 matches against Syria, South Korea, Uzbekistan, China and 2022 hosts Qatar and they came in the final match, at home to Syria, with qualification already secured.
Four 0-0 draws in that final stage suggest a level of belligerence and organisation that Donald Trump can only hope does not extend to the nation's diplomatic corps.
Matched in Group B with Morocco, reigning European champions Portugal and 2010 World Cup winners Spain would make you fearful for Iran, but their coach has pedigree and the ability to organise a team meticulously on the training field. All those 0-0 draws testify to that.

Queiroz and Ferguson worked together in two separate spells at Old Trafford

* * * How fitting would it be, with his former boss and friend Alex Ferguson recovering from a brain haemorrhage, for Carlos Quieroz to guide Iran beyond the group stages for the first time at the expense of either his native land or Julen Lopetegui's highly-fancied Spain?
Having led Portugal to a second round defeat at the hands of the aforementioned eventual champions in South Africa eight years ago, the former Real Madrid manager took the silk road less travelled and has been in charge of 'Team Melli' since 2011.
Back when he was masterminding the 2008 Champions League semi-final win over Barcelona by having the Manchester United players stand on meticulously placed mats during training, could Quieroz have foreseen seven years operating out of Tehran?
Probably not, but he is making the most of it. In 2014 he recorded Iran's first clean sheet in four World Cups in a 0-0 (what a surprise) draw with Nigeria and came within an injury-time winner of inflicting the same result on eventual runners-up Argentina before crashing out to a 3-1 defeat at hands of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Ironically, given the events of the last few weeks, Iran's only World Cup finals victory came against the United States in 1998 and emulating that side would surely provoke a smile from a certain irascible and convalescing Scot.
---With his mentor and friend Alex Ferguson recovering after brain surgery, can Carlos Quieroz make his mark on the global stage with one of the giants of the Asian game? ---

Read more from Source »

Related articles based on keyword density
How Carlos Queiroz turned Iran into Asia’s best World Cup hope ... 21/03/2018 Sports
The former Manchester United coach eased the Iranians through qualification but they now want tangible finals success, something that has always elude...View Details»

Iran FIFA 2014 World Cup Team Guide ... 13/05/2014 Sports
By Sam Tighe , World Football Tactics Lead Writer May 12, 2014 Iran have landed in Group F for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and their reward for coming ...View Details»

How Carlos Queiroz took Iran to the World Cup ... 13/06/2018 Sports
In an exclusive interview, former Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz reveals how he took Iran on a 22-match unbeaten run and became the first team to qu...View Details»

Coach Queiroz weighs up Iran's World Cup 'mission impossible' - Yahoo ... 17/01/2014 Sports
AFP By Cyril Julien Tehran (AFP) - Iran coach Carlos Queiroz told AFP he hopes his side can overcome poor preparations to make an impact at the World ...View Details»

Soccer-World-Queiroz hoping for last laugh in Iran adventure ... 28/04/2014 Sports
By Patrick Johnston April 29 (Reuters) - Carlos Queiroz's tempestuous three-year spell in charge of Iran is expected to end after mission impossible ...View Details»