Iran World Cup 2022 squad list, fixtures and latest odds

Iran World Cup 2022 squad list, fixtures and latest odds - GETTY IMAGES
Iran World Cup 2022 squad list, fixtures and latest odds - GETTY IMAGES

Head coach Carlos Queiroz believes the 6-2 hammering against England has made Iran better prepared to beat Wales.

Normally well drilled and hard to beat, Team Melli were on the backfoot from the outset in the Group B opener at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling goals put England in control at half-time. Saka grabbed another before substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish struck, with Mehdi Taremi scoring two consolation goals.

"My view is simple and very pragmatic: the game finished in the first half when we conceded the goals that usually the Iran national team is not used to conceding," Queiroz said.

"Being 3-0 down, the only goal for our team was to enjoy the game and be part of one moment that we should keep brave, united, fighting and try to play our football in moments England allow us to do that.

"The beginning was clear, the difference between high-level competitive football, between players that are competing every week. Every single week.

"And our players that unfortunately don't have the same experience. But what I can say as a conclusion is we win or learn. We had the privilege to learn a lot of things today with the English team and we are much better prepared now to play against Wales."

Iran World Cup 2022 squad

Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Amir Abedzadeh (Ponferradina), Seyed Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal), Payam Niazmand (Sepahan)

Defenders: Ehsan Hajsafi (AEK Athens), Morteza Pouraliganji (Persepolis), Ramin Rezaeian (Sepahan), Milad Mohammadi (AEK Athens), Hossein Kanaanizadegan (Al Ahli), Shojae Khalilzadeh (Al Ahli), Sadegh Moharrami (Dinamo Zagreb), Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal), Majid Hosseini (Kayserispor), Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal)

Midfielders: Ahmad Noorollahi (Shabab Al Ahli), Saman Ghoddos (Brentford), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Saeid Ezatolahi (Vejle), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord), Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis), Ali Gholizadeh (Charleroi), Ali Karimi (Kayserispor)

Forwards: Karim Ansarifard (Omonia Nicosia), Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen), Mehdi Taremi (Porto)

Who are the star names in the squad?

Iran’s main star in Qatar will most likely be Mehdi Taremi, who scored 20 league goals last season to fire Porto to the Portuguese title – and netted twice in defeat against England in their opener in Qatar.

Other names to look out for are Bayer Leverkusen forward Sardar Azmoun, and Alireza Jahanbaksh, the captain, who once scored with an overhead kick for Brighton against Chelsea.

Why did Iran's players refuse to sign their national anthem?

Iran’s footballers won admirers around the world for courageously taking a stand against the oppressive regime in Tehran despite the risk of personal reprisals.

Before the start of their World Cup game against England, Iran’s players refused to sing their country’s national anthem, while their captain spoke up in support of the anti-government protests that have resulted in more than 300 deaths so far.

Emboldened by the leadership of their team, supporters in the stadium also voiced their dissent by jeering the national anthem and holding up placards demanding greater freedoms for women.

They included female football fans who were attending a football match for the first time in their lives because they are not allowed to do so in their home country.

Iran has been engulfed by mass demonstrations after 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini died in custody while she was being detained by the so-called morality police for breaking the country’s strict Islamic dress code.

As well as hundreds of deaths, the protests have resulted in thousands of arrests in a country that uses torture and arbitrary detention to crush dissent. There were also calls for Iran to be thrown out of the World Cup tournament.

The Iranian team had, until their first fixture, remained vehemently apolitical but the players bravely decided to use the platform given to them by the World Cup to embarrass Tehran on an international stage.

What are Iran’s fixtures?

What is Iran’s World Cup record?

Iran are beginning to establish themselves as World Cup regulars, with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar being the third consecutive tournament for which they have qualified.

They have appeared in six World Cup finals in total (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014, 2018 and 2022), but have never reached the knockout stages. Their 1-0 win over Morocco at the Russia World Cup in 2018 was only their second win in the tournament.

Their results in recent times have not gone according to what Iran’s performances merited, however. The four points they got in 2018 (which included a draw against Portugal and a narrow loss against Spain) would usually have been enough to progress from the group stages. In 2014 it took a late moment of magic from Lionel Messi to stop Iran holding finalists Argentina to a goalless draw.

While they are the lowest-ranked team in Group B, Iran will hope that 2022 will be the World Cup where they finally reach the knockout rounds.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, bottom, is fouled by Iran's Saeid Ezatolahi to give away a penalty - AP
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, bottom, is fouled by Iran's Saeid Ezatolahi to give away a penalty - AP

Argentina | Australia | Belgium | Brazil | Cameroon | Canada | Costa Rica | Croatia | Denmark | Ecuador | England | France | Germany | Ghana | Iran | Japan | Mexico | Morocco | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Senegal | Serbia | South Korea | Spain | Switzerland | Tunisia | Uruguay | USA | Wales

Latest odds

Iran to cause an upset against the UK contingent? See all the latest group winner odds

Iran are currently a best price of 750/1 to win the World Cup.

The leading contenders...

  • Brazil 4/1

  • Argentina 11/2

  • France 6/1

  • England 8/1

  • Spain 17/2

  • Germany 10/1

Information correct as of November 22