The road to Portugal
Reigning champions Iran sealed top spot in Group D at the 2015 AFC Beach Soccer Championship ahead of Lebanon and Thailand, before sweeping aside United Arab Emirates 6-1 in the quarter-finals. The team, coached by Brazilian tactician Marco Octavio, met their match in the next round, however, missing out on a place in the final after losing to Japan. That left them needing victory in the match for third place to book progress to Portugal 2015, and a commanding 8-3 defeat of Lebanon promptly assured them of a sixth appearance at the global showcase.

Strengths and style
Iran can pride themselves on a supremely effective array of attacking talents, led by the gifted Mohammad Ahmadzadeh. His team's top scorer at Tahiti 2013, Ahmadzadeh helped himself to seven goals in the AFC Championship, including four against Lebanon in the match for third place. Further back, Seyed Peyman Hosseini was voted best goalkeeper at the continental finals, while captain Hossein Naderi is a solid defender capable of powerful strikes from distance.

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup record
Iran have made major strides in beach soccer over the last few years, most notably winning the Asian title in 2013. They will be embarking on their sixth World Cup campaign in Portugal and will attempt to fare better than in 2013, when they succumbed 6-5 to eventual champions Russia in the quarter-finals.