Tehran: IR Iran have been a mainstay at the FIFA World Cup in recent years. With Carlos Queiroz at the helm, Team Melli graced Brazil 2014 and were the first Asian side to secure a berth at Russia 2018. And while they failed to go beyond the group stage in the latter tournament, they had the consolation of impressive performances there against Portugal, Spain and Morocco.
After Queiroz’s departure, the country’s football federation turned to Marc Wilmots, but after some disappointing results in the current round of Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023, the Belgian was replaced.
The new man at the helm is Croatian Dragan Skocic, who spoke with FIFA.com about his appointment and the task ahead.
IR Iran’s star Beiranvand throws support behind AFC’s #BreakTheChain campaign
Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Republic of Iran and Persepolis FC’s goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand is the latest Asian stalwart to lend his voice in the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) #BreakTheChain public awareness campaign.
Beiranvand, voted by fans as one of Asia’s all-time greatest at the FIFA World Cup, joins over 100 Asian icons and officials to help raise awareness in the fight against the spread of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Asia's World Cup Heroes: Expert verdict and results!
Kuala Lumpur: Two weeks ago, the-AFC.com profiled five Asian FIFA World Cup heroes from over the years and asked the fans to vote for their favourite. Now, it's the turn of our experts panel.
Given the choice of Sami Al Jaber, Alireza Beiranvand, Tim Cahill, Keisuke Honda and Park Ji-sung, the fans' vote was won by Iranian goalkeeper Beiranvand, with Japan's Honda and Saudi legend Al Jaber coming in second and third place respectively – a decision that goes towards 25 percent of the overall result.
Kuala Lumpur: Over the past few decades, Asian football has produced some iconic national teams. Having looked at Saudi Arabia’s majestic men's side from the 1980s and 1990s and China PR's women's team of the 1990s, next on this series is Kuwait’s mighty 1980s team.
Kuwait currently sit 156th in the latest FIFA Ranking, only 14 AFC nations are ranked lower, but things haven’t always been this way for the West Asian nation. Indeed, there was a time where Kuwait were Asian champions, competed at the FIFA World Cup and reached the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games.
Kuala Lumpur: With much of the Continental game on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the-AFC.com continues our series, The Story Behind, where we delve deeper to reveal some of Asian football's fascinating flavour.