Iran national football team

Iran national football team

Infobox National football team
Name = Iran
Badge = IRIFFlogoclear.jpg
FIFA Trigramme = IRN
FIFA Rank = 48
1st ranking date = August 1993
FIFA max = 15
FIFA max date = July 2005
FIFA min = 122
FIFA min date = May 1996
Elo Rank = 22
Elo max = 15
Elo max date = May 2005
Elo min = 73
Elo min date = January 1964
Nickname = "Team melli"
(Persian: تیم ملی)
"The National Team"
Association = IRIFF
Confederation = AFC
Coach = flagicon|IRN Ali Daei
Asst Manager = flagicon|IRN Houman Afazeli
Captain = Mehdi Mahdavikia
Most caps = Ali Daei (149)
Top scorer = Ali Daei (109)
Home Stadium = Azadi Stadium
First game = fb|Afghanistan|1931 0 - 0 Iran flagicon|Iran|1925 (Kabul, Afghanistan; January 1, 1941)
Largest win = Flagicon|Iran Iran 19 - 0 fb-rt|Guam (Tabriz, Iran; November 24, 2000 [ [ Iran World Cup 2006 team Profile from ] ] )
Largest loss = fb|Turkey 6 - 1 Iran flagicon|Iran|1925 (Istanbul, Turkey; May 28, 1950)
fb|South Korea 5 - 0 Iran flagicon|Iran|1925 (Tokyo, Japan; May 28, 1958)
fb|Hungary 5 - 0 Iran flagicon|Iran|1964 (Munich, Germany; August 27, 1972)
World cup apps = 3
World cup first = 1978
World cup best = Round 1, 1978, 1998, 2006
Regional name = AFC Asian Cup
Regional cup apps = 11
Regional cup first = 1968
Regional cup best = Winners, 1968, 1972, 1976

The Iran national football team (PerB|تیم ملی فوتبال ایران) represents Iran in international football competitions and is controlled by the Islamic Republic of Iran Football Federation. The Iranian national football team is known as "Team Melli", and is one of the strongest teams in Asia according to the FIFA World Rankings.


Early years

The very first match that the "Team Melli" played was on January 1, 1941 away at Afghanistan.

Before the 1979 revolution, Iran have won the Asian Cup three consecutive times (1968, 1972, 1976), a championship record to which the team could not add ever since, although they finished third four times.

1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina

In 1978, Iran made its first appearance in the World Cup after defeating Australia in Tehran to qualify. Iran lost two of their three group stage games against the Netherlands and Peru. [ [ Iran in World Cup 1978 ] ] However, they managed to create a surprise [ [ BBC SPORT | WORLD CUP 2002 | Iranian football facts ] ] by drawing 1-1 against Scotland with a late Iraj Danaeifard goal. [ FIFA World Cup 2006 Iran Team Overview ] ]

After Revolution

After the 1979 Revolution, football was somewhat neglected and cast aside. During the 1980s, the Iranian national team did not feature in World Cup competitions due to the Iran–Iraq War (1980-88) and domestic football suffered the inevitable effects of conflict. The war and political upheavals left Iran without major club competitions until 1989 when the Qods League was established. A year later, the Qods League was renamed the Azadegan League. Despite failing to qualify for either the 1990 or the 1994 World Cups, it was during this period that a number of quality players burst onto the Iranian football scene, laying the foundation for their second stab at World Cup glory in 1998. [ The History of Soccer [Football in Iran - Team Melli :: Iran Visitor ] ] Iran could count on new talents such as Ali Daei, Mehdi Mahdavikia, Khodadad Azizi and Karim Bagheri.

1998 FIFA World Cup in France

Iran lineup during the 1998 World Cup

:"Additional information: 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification (play-off AFC-OFC)":"Additional information: 1998 FIFA World Cup - Group F"In November 1997, Iran qualified for the 1998 World Cup after eliminating Australia in a close playoff series. Both games finished undecided, but Iran managed to qualify due to the away goals rule. Iran held Australia to a 1-1 draw at home, and a 2-2 draw in Melbourne; however, since Iran had scored more away goals, they were able to qualify for the Cup. [ [ A third half for Iranian football, by Christian Bromberger ] ]

At their first game of the Group F at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Iran played well against Yugoslavia, losing narrowly 1-0, only to a free kick goal by Mihajlović.

Iran recorded their first World Cup victory in the second game, beating the United States 2-1, with Estili and Mahdavikia scoring goals for Iran. The Iran vs USA World Cup match was preheated with much excitement because of each country's political stance after the Iranian revolution. However, in an act of defiance against all forms of hatred or politics in sports, both sides presented one another with gifts and flowers and took ceremonial pictures before the match kickoff. [ [ France 1998 World Cup: 1st Round - Day 12 Match Reports ] ] Following defeat with Iran the United States were eliminated from the World Cup. [ [ World Cup: U.S. eliminated from Cup after 2-1 loss to Iran ] ]

Iran played against Germany in the third game. The game was lost 2-0. The goals were scored by Bierhoff and Klinsmann. [ [ - 1998 FIFA World Cup France ™ ] ] The one win and two losses meant Iran became third in the final group standing and failed to make it to the next round. [ [ France 1998 World Cup: 1st Round - Day 16 Match Reports ] ]

2002 FIFA World Cup

:"Additional information: 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification"

Iran failed to qualify for World Cup 2002 after an aggregate defeat to the Republic of Ireland, losing 2-0 in Dublin and wining 1-0 in Tehran. The elimination saw manager Miroslav Blažević step down from the top spot to be replaced by his assistant Branko Ivanković, who stepped up from assistant coach.

2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany

:"Additional information: 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)":"Additional information: 2006 FIFA World Cup seeding"

On June 8, 2005, Iran together with Japan became the first country to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, making it Iran's 3rd appearance on the world stage of football. The qualification round both in 2001 and 2004-05 resulted in mass celebrations, hysteria and rioting, causing internal chaos and unrest between youth and government officials. The Iran versus Japan leg of the 2006 World Cup Qualifiers in Tehran was the highest attended qualifying match among all confederations.

Iran started their 2006 FIFA World Cup appearance with high expectations from fans and media. Their first match was against Mexico in Group D. The game was level 1-1 at the half-time, but Iran lost at the end because of a defensive mistake. The final score, 3-1, was brought about by goals from Omar Bravo and Zinha for Mexico, with Yahya Golmohammadi scoring the only Iran goal.

Iran played against Portugal in the second game. The game was lost 2-0. The goals were scored by Deco and Cristiano Ronaldo (penalty). The two losses meant Iran was eliminated from the competition, before their third and final game against Angola. Iran drew 1-1 with Angola on the 21st of June 2006, Sohrab Bakhtiarizadeh scoring the Iran goal.

Temporary Suspension

In November 2006, Iran was suspended by FIFA from all participation in international football, on the grounds of governmental interference in the national football association. [cite web|url=,1369,126229,00.html|title=FIFA suspends Iran Football Federation|publisher=FIFA|accessdate=2006-11-27] The ban lasted less than a month, [cite web|url=|title=FIFA to lift Iran ban: Blatter||accessdate=2006-12-17] and as a dispensation was given to allow the Iran under-23 team to participate in the football competition of the 2006 Asian Games, [cite web|url=|title=FIFA President announces temporary lifting of Iran ban||accessdate=2006-11-27] fixtures were unaffected.

2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

:"Additional information: 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification - AFC Third Round"

Iran under the guidance of legendary player Ali Daei [ [ - Ali Daei named new Iran coach ] ] are in the same FIFA World Cup qualifying group as Kuwait, Syria and United Arab Emirates. They will play home and away against each of the other three teams in the group 5. Ali Daei was chosen to become the new coach after Spanish coach Javier Clemente had been close to signing on as Iran's national team manager but talks collapsed when he refused to live full time in the country. [ [ News - Ali Daei named new Iran coach - Soccerway ] ]

Group 5

2010 FIFA World Cup qualification - AFC Group 5
expanded = yes
fixtures = yes
tiebreakers =

In the next stage of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification Iran will play in group B. [cite news|url=|title=FWCQ fourth round draw mechanics|date=2008-06-12||accessdate=2008-06-13]

Group B



:"**Gold background color indicates that the tournament was won. Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil."

Asian Games record

Results and fixtures

"see Iran national football team results

Previous matches

Technical Staff

Previous squads

World Cups

* World Cup 2006 squad
* World Cup 1998 squad
* World Cup 1978 squad

Asian Cups

* Asian Cup 2007 squad
* Asian Cup 2004 squad
* Asian Cup 2000 squad
* Asian Cup 1996 squad
* Asian Cup 1992 squad

Notable past players

:"See also

*Hossein Sadaghiani
*Hossein-Ali Khan Sardar;1940s
*Dr. Amir Masoud Boroumand
*Abbas Tanidehgar;1950s
*Amir Agha-Hosseini
*Mahmoud Bayati
*Boyouk Jedikar
*Hossein-Ali Mobasher
*Hossein Soroudi;1960s
*Mostafa Arab
*Aziz Asli
*Mansour Amirasefi
*Homayoun Behzadi
*Akbar Eftekhari
*Kambiz Jamali
*Hamid Jasemian
*Gholam Hossein Nourian
*Mohammad Ranjbar
*Mehrab Shahrokhi
*Hamid Shirzadeghan
*Jalal Talebi;1970s
*Nasrollah Abdollahi
*Hamid Alidousti
*Ebrahim Ashtiani
*Iraj Danaeifard
*Andranik Eskandarian
*Behtash Fariba
*Parviz Ghelichkhani
*Hassan Habibi
*Karo Haghverdian
*Nasser Hejazi
*Safar Iranpak
*Ali Jabbari
*Ghafour Jahani
*Hossein Kalani
*Akbar Kargar Jam
*Jafar Kashani
*Gholam Hossein Mazloomi
*Hassan Nazari
*Ali Parvin
*Mansour Rashidi
*Hassan Rowshan
*Mohammad Sadeghi;1980s
*Hamid Derakhshan
*Sirous Ghayeghran
*Mehdi Abtahi
*Mojtaba Moharrami
*Nasser Mohammadkhani
*Majid Namjoo-Motlagh
*Mohammad Panjali
*Farshad Pious
*Behrouz Soltani;1990s
*Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh
*Khodadad Azizi
*Karim Bagheri
*Hamid Reza Estili
*Mohammad Khakpour
*Mehrdad Minavand
*Ali Asghar Modir Roosta
*Nader Mohamadkhani
*Mehdi Pashazadeh
*Afshin Peyrovani
*Reza Shahroudi
*Javad Zarrincheh;2000s
*Ali Daei
*Yahya Golmohammadi

Most capped players

As of January 31, 2008, the players with the most caps for Iran are:

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