FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Iran are among Asia's traditional powerhouses having qualified for the FIFA World Cup™ four times in 1978, 1998, 2006 and 2014. Notably, they eliminated a star-studded Australia on away goals to reach France 1998. However, they have yet to progress beyond the group phase during the four FIFA World Cup appearances, with a victory and three draws from their twelve matches.
In a sense, Iran boasts a squad that has a perfect balance of old and new, with a host of young talents complementing the experienced campaigners. Twenty-year-old Russian-based forward Sardar Azmoun was the team's biggest revelation during the 2015 AFC Asian Cup campaign, while Charlton Athletic striker Reza Ghoochannejhad and Qatari-based Ashkan Dejagah remain the team's most reliable goalscorers. Pulling strings in midfield is Osasuna-based veteran Javad Nekounam - Iran's all-time most capped player - who skippered the side to Brazil 2014, while Portugal-based Alireza Haghighi has proved a dependable custodian.
Carlos Queiroz needs little introduction considering his enviable coaching CV. Renowned as a scholarly coach, the Portuguese manager has boasted significant achievements at international level, having taken his native Portugal to the FIFA U-20 World Cup title in 1989 and 1991, before coaching the senior national side to the Round of 16 at South Africa 2010. His club experiences includes the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid, further cementing his place as a world class manager. The 62-year-old also has notable knowledge of Asian football following spells in charge of Nagoya Grampus Eight and United Arab Emirates.
1 - A famous 2-1 defeat of USA at France 1998 marks Iran's only win in their four FIFA World Cup appearances.
The former stars
Ali Parvin, Ali Daei, Mehdi Mahdavikia, Karim Bagheri, Ali Karimi