Iran has named the 24 players that will be traveling to the 2014 World Cup. Coach Carlos Queiroz will eliminate one name after receiving a medical report on Hashem Beykzadeh, who was injured in last week’s friendly with Montenegro. However, replacement Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh is likely to travel to Brazil, just in case.
The majority of players will likely not be recognized by those that don’t pay attention to Asian football, but there are a few familiar faces going to Brazil.
Perhaps Iran’s biggest star is Ashkan Dejagah, who represented Germany at various youth levels. The Fulham forward who was one of the Cottagers’ most consistent performers during their dismal season. Carlos Queiroz brought in others from the Iranian diaspora, including California-born Steven Beitashour, now playing for Vancouver Whitecaps.
Try to remember Reza Ghoochannejhad as well – you can call him Gucci. He’s scored nine goals in the eleven matches he’s played for his birth country.
Interestingly enough, for a country that seriously lacks in the attacking department, Quieroz cut three forwards from his 28-man preliminary roster. Mohammad Reza Khalatbari, Mehdi Sharifi and Sardar Azmoun won’t be going to Brazil. Goalkeeper Sousha Makani will also stay at home.
Iran 2014 World Cup Squad
Goalkeepers: Daniel Davari (Eintracht Braunschweig), Alireza Haghighi (Sporting Covilha, on loan from Rubin Kazan), Rahman Ahmadi (Sepahan)
Defenders: Hossein Mahini (Persepolis), Steven Mehrdad Beitashour (Vancouver Whitecaps), Pejman Montazeri (Umm Salal), Jalal Hosseini (Persepolis), Amir-Hossein Sadeghi (Esteghlal), Ahmad Alenemeh (Naft), Hashem Beikzadeh (Esteghlal), Mehrdad Pouladi (Persepolis), Khosro Heydari (Esteghlal), Ehsan Hajsafi (Sepahan), Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh ((Zob Ahan Isfahan)
Midfielders: Javad Nekounam (Kuwait SC), Andranik Teymourian (Esteghlal), Reza Haghighi (Persepolis), Ghasem Haddadifar (Zob Ahan), Bakhtiar Rahmani (Foolad), Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham), Masoud Shojaei (Las Palmas)
Forwards: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (NEC Nijmegen), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Charlton), Karim Ansarifard (Persepolis, on loan to Tractor Sazi)