Iran national football team

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IR Iran national team
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Iranian cheetahs (Persian: یوزپلنگ‌های ایرانی)
other nicknames
AssociationFootball Federation Islamic Republic of Iran
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationCAFA (Central Asia)
Head coachCarlos Queiroz
CaptainEhsan Hajsafi
Most capsJavad Nekounam (151)
Top scorerAli Daei (109)
Home stadiumAzadi Stadium
FIFA codeIRN
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 22 Increase 1 (25 August 2022)[1]
Highest15 (August 2005[2])
Lowest122 (May 1996[3])
First international
 Afghanistan 0–0 Iran 
(Kabul, Afghanistan; 25 August 1941)
Biggest win
 Iran 19–0 Guam 
(Tabriz, Iran; 24 November 2000)[4]
Biggest defeat
 Turkey 6–1 Iran 
(Istanbul, Turkey; 28 May 1950)[5]
 South Korea 5–0 Iran 
(Tokyo, Japan; 28 May 1958)[6]
World Cup
Appearances6 (first in 1978)
Best resultGroup stage (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014, 2018)
Olympic Games
Appearances3 (first in 1964)
Best resultQuarter-finals (1976)
Asian Cup
Appearances15 (first in 1968)
Best resultChampions (1968, 1972, 1976)
Asian Games
Appearances10 (first in 1951)
Best resultChampions (1974, 1990, 1998 )

Iran national football team (Persian: تیم ملی فوتبال مردان ایران, romanizedTim-e Melli-ye Futbâl-e Mardân-e Irân), recognised by FIFA as IR Iran,[8] represents Iran in international football and is controlled by the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran[better source needed] (FFIRI). Between December 2014 until May 2018, Iran was the highest-ranked team in Asia, the longest continuous period of time that a team has held that distinction.[9]

At the continental level, Iran has won three Asian Cup championships in 1968, 1972 and 1976. The nation's best performance at the Olympics was reaching the quarterfinals at the 1976 Montreal Games. At the FIFA World Cup, Iran have qualified six times (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014, 2018 and 2022) and have never progressed beyond the group stages; they have won only two matches: against the United States in 1998 and Morocco in 2018.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The very first Iran selection football team that traveled to Baku in 1926.

The Iranian Football Federation was founded in 1920.[10] In 1926 Tehran XI (selected players from Tehran Club, Toofan F.C. and Armenian Sports Club) traveled across the border to Baku, USSR, this was the first away football match for an Iranian team. This Tehran Select team is the predecessor of Iran's national football team.

The first match that Team Melli played was on 23 August 1941, away at Kabul in a 1–0 win against British India while Iran's first FIFA international match was on 25 August 1941, away at Afghanistan.[5] Iran won the Asian Cup three consecutive times (1968, 1972, 1976) to which the team has not been able to add since.

1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina[edit]

Additional information: 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC and OFC)
Additional information: 1978 FIFA World Cup – Group 4
Iran's squad playing in '78 World Cup match against Scotland in Cordoba, Estadio Cordoba, Argentina on 7 June 1978 (16:45)

In 1978, Iran made its first appearance in the World Cup after defeating Australia in Tehran. Iran lost two of three group stage matches against the Netherlands and Peru.[11] Team Melli managed to surprise some in the footballing community[12] by securing one point in its first ever World Cup appearance against Scotland which saw Iraj Danaeifard cancel out an own goal scored by Andranik Eskandarian for the 1–1 draw.[13]

After the Revolution[edit]

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 embraced the inevitable effects of conflict. The national team withdrew from the Asian qualifiers for the 1982 World Cup and refused to participate in the qualifiers for the 1986 World Cup because of having to play on neutral ground. 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 said that during this period, a number of quality players burst onto the Iranian football scene laying the foundation for third place in the 1996 AFC Asian Cup (victories in that tournament included a 3–0 victory against Saudi Arabia and a 6–2 victory against South Korea) and their second stab at World Cup glory in 1998.[14]

1998 FIFA World Cup in France[edit]

Additional information: 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC–OFC play-off)
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.[15]

At their first game of the Group F at the 1998 FIFA World Cup against Yugoslavia, Iran lost 1–0 to a free kick goal by Siniša Mihajlović.[14] Iran recorded their first World Cup victory in the second game[13] beating the United States 2–1 with Hamid Estili and Mehdi Mahdavikia scoring goals for Iran. The Iran vs USA World Cup match was preheated with certain excitement because of each country's political stance after the Iranian revolution and the Iran hostage crisis. 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.[16] Following defeat against Iran, the United States was eliminated from the World Cup.[17]

Iran played against Germany in the third game. The game was lost 2–0. The goals were scored by Oliver Bierhoff and Jürgen Klinsmann.[18] The one win and two losses meant Iran came third in the final group standing and failed to make it to the next round.[19] (Farhad Majidi and Mehdi Fonounizadeh were some of the absentees in the tournament.)

2000 AFC Asian Cup[edit]

Iran finished first in the group stage of the tournament but lost to South Korea in the quarter-finals.

2002 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

Additional information: 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)

Iran failed to qualify for World Cup 2002 after an aggregate defeat to the Republic of Ireland, losing 2–0 in Dublin and winning 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.

2004 AFC Asian Cup[edit]

After qualifying to the Asian Cup 2004, Iran was drawn with Thailand, Oman and Japan in the tournament. Iran finished second in this group. In quarter-final clash against South Korea, Iran won 4–3 in normal time. In the semi-final, Iran lost to the host China on penalty kicks. Iran won against Bahrain 4–2 to finish third place in the tournament.

2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany[edit]

Additional information: 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)
Additional information: 2006 FIFA World Cup Group D
Iran score against Angola during a 2006 FIFA World Cup match.

On 8 June 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 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 played on 24 March 2005 was the highest attended qualifying match among all confederations. The match ended with 5 fans killed and several others injured as they left the Azadi Stadium at the end of the match.[20]

Iran started their 2006 FIFA World Cup appearance with certain 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 Sinha 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 21 June 2006, Sohrab Bakhtiarizadeh scoring the Iran goal.

Temporary suspension[edit]

Iran's squad in August 2006 against Syria, Manager: Amir Ghalenoei
Standing left to right: Nekounam, Enayati, Nikbakht, Shakouri, Fekri, Sadeghi
Sitting left to right: Taleblou, Madanchi, Khatibi, Teymourian, Mahdavikia

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.[21] The ban lasted less than a month[22] and as a dispensation was given to allow the Iran under-23 team to participate in the football competition of the 2006 Asian Games,[23] fixtures were unaffected.

2007 AFC Asian Cup[edit]

Additional information: 2007 AFC Asian Cup Group C

IRIFF appointed Amir Ghalenoei as head coach of the Iran national football team on 17 July 2006 to succeed Branko Ivanković. After finishing first in the qualifying round 2 points ahead of South Korea and then finishing first in the group stage of the final tournament in Malaysia, Iran lost to South Korea in a penalty shoot-out of the quarterfinal match and was eliminated from the 2007 Asian Cup. Ghalenoei was criticized by the press. After a period of discussion in the Iranian football federation, his contract was not renewed and Team Melli was left with a caretaker manager for several months.

2010 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

Additional information: 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)

Ali Daei was chosen to become the new coach after Spanish coach Javier Clemente had been closer to signing on as Iran's national team manager but talks collapsed when he refused to live full-time in the country.[24] Iran was in the same FIFA World Cup qualifying group as Kuwait, Syria and United Arab Emirates in the third round. They played home and away against each of the other three teams in group 5. In the middle of the fourth round, Ali Daei was let go from his position as the Iranian national coach on 29 March 2009.[25] He was replaced by Afshin Ghotbi. Iran failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup after ranking 4th overall in its group.[26]

2009 political protests[edit]

During the final game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Korea in Seoul on 17 June 2009, seven members of the team, Javad Nekounam, Ali Karimi, Hossein Kaebi, Masoud Shojaei, Mohammad Nosrati, Vahid Hashemian and captain Mehdi Mahdavikia wore green wristbands in support of the Iranian Green Movement during the 2009 Iranian election protests. Initial rumors and false reports were that all seven players were banned for life by the Iranian Football Federation, however, state-run media claimed that all seven had "retired".[27][28] On 24 June 2009, FIFA wrote to Iran's Football Federation asking for clarification on the situation. The Iranian Football Federation replied that no disciplinary action has been taken against any player.[29] As of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, some of the above players have played again for the national team notably Javad Nekounam, Masoud Shojaei, Mehdi Mahdavikia and Ali Karimi.

2011 AFC Asian Cup[edit]

Additional information: 2011 AFC Asian Cup Group D
Iran's squad in July 2011 against Maldives, Manager: Carlos Queiroz
Standing left to right: Aghili, Hosseini, Haddadifar, Ansarifard, Zare, Pooladi
Sitting left to right: Heydari, Norouzi, Rahmati, Khalatbari, Karimi

Iran renewed the contract with Afshin Ghotbi until the end of 2011 AFC Asian Cup and the team qualified to the tournament with 13 points as the group winners.

During the final qualification match against South Korea, several Iranian players started the match wearing green armbands or wristbands, a symbol of protest at the outcome of the Iranian presidential election.[30] Most removed them at half-time. The newspaper Iran reported that Ali Karimi, Mehdi Mahdavikia, Hosein Kaebi and Vahid Hashemian had received life bans from the Iranian FA for the gesture.[31] However, the Iranian FA denied this claim in a response to FIFA's inquiry saying that "the comments in foreign media are nothing but lies and a mischievous act."[32] Head coach Afshin Ghotbi also confirmed that it was a rumour and Iranian FA "has not taken any official stand on this issue."[33]

Afshin Ghotbi was able to qualify for 2011 Asian Cup and finished second in West Asian Football Federation Championship 2010 just a few months before the 2011 Asian Cup. Iran was able to gain all nine points in the group stage of the 2011 Asian Cup but after an extra time goal from South Korea, Iran was yet again unable to get to the semifinals of the competition.

2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil[edit]

Qualification[edit]

On 4 April 2011, former Real Madrid manager Carlos Queiroz agreed to a two-and-a-half-year deal to coach the Iranian national team until the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.[34] Under Queiroz, Iran began their World Cup qualification campaign successfully defeating the Maldives 4–0 in the first leg of their second round of qualifiers. After winning 5–0 on aggregate, Iran advanced to the third round of qualifiers where they were drawn with Indonesia, Qatar and Bahrain. Iran highlighted their position at the top of their group by defeating Bahrain 6–0 at home in the Azadi Stadium as well as inviting former German youth international Ashkan Dejagah who scored twice on his debut against Qatar. After a 4–1 win at Indonesia, Iran qualified for the final round of direct qualifiers, the fourth round. In the fourth round, Iran was drawn with South Korea, Qatar, Uzbekistan and Lebanon in their group. Queiroz made new foreign-based additions to his squad, adding players such as Reza Ghoochannejhad to his team. Iran started their fourth round of Asian qualifiers with a 1–0 win in Uzbekistan. Team Melli then drew Qatar and lost in Lebanon before defeating South Korea at the Azadi on 16 October with a goal from captain Javad Nekounam. After a 1–0 loss in Tehran against Uzbekistan, Iran defeated Qatar 1–0 in Doha and Lebanon 4–0 at home. In their last qualification match, Iran defeated South Korea 1–0 in Ulsan Munsu with a goal from Ghoochannejhad resulting in their qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup as group winners with 16 points. Thus, Iran became the third team that Queiroz has managed to qualify for the World Cup, having reached the 2002 edition with South Africa and the 2010 edition with Portugal, leading the latter to a knockout stage finish. Iran continued their winning streak, securing qualification to the 2015 Asian Cup months later as well.[35]

Foreign-based call-ups[edit]

Since Queiroz's role as manager of the Iranian national team, he has been renowned for introducing players from the Iranian diaspora to the national squad. These players include German-Iranians Daniel Davari and Ashkan Dejagah, Dutch-Iranian Reza Ghoochannejhad, Swedish-Iranians Omid Nazari and Saman Ghoddos, and Iranian-American Steven Beitashour among others.[36][37]

Finals[edit]

Additional information: 2014 FIFA World Cup – Group F

Iran qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup as group winners and competed in Group F alongside Argentina, Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The sold out Argentina match tickets were among the eight most purchased for this edition of the tournament.[38] On 1 June 2014, Queiroz announced his 23-man squad.[39] Prior to the tournament, they founded the Central Asian Football Association.[40]

In the opening match of the tournament on 16 June, Iran drew Nigeria 0–0 making it their first clean sheet of the FIFA World Cup.[41] In their next match, Iran was defeated by Argentina 1–0 with a late goal from Lionel Messi and received praise after holding Argentina for 90 minutes while creating some attacking opportunities of their own.[42] Iran was eliminated from the tournament in their next game, a 3–1 defeat to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Iran's lone goal was scored by Reza Ghoochannejhad.[43] After the tournament, Queiroz declared he would resign as manager of Iran but later switched and extended his contract until the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[44]

2015 AFC Asian Cup[edit]

Additional information: 2015 AFC Asian Cup Group C

Iran qualified for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup as group winners where Team Melli were the highest ranked seed.[45] Iran faced Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE in Group C. Queiroz announced his squad on 30 December 2014.[46]

With the second highest number of fans in the tournament after hosts Australia, the Iranians defeated Bahrain 2–0 with limited preparations.[47][48] A defensive minded Iran then defeated Qatar 1–0 thanks to a Sardar Azmoun goal before defeating UAE by the same scoreline to reach the top of their group.[49][50]

In the quarter-finals Iran faced Iraq who they had beaten weeks prior in a friendly match. Having received a controversial red card in the first half, Iran competed with ten men, managing to score goals late in extra time to draw the match 3–3. In the ensuing penalty shootout, Iran lost 7–6 in sudden death.[51][52]

2018 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Additional information: 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B
Iran's squad against Portugal in Mordovia Arena at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Iran began their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign with friendly matches against Chile and Sweden in March 2015.[53][54][55] Queiroz resigned from his managerial post thereafter due to disagreements with the Iranian Football Federation.[56] On 14 April 2015, Iran were drawn with Oman, India, Turkmenistan and Guam in the second round of qualifiers.[57] On 26 April, Queiroz announced that he would continue as the manager of Iran for their 2018 World Cup campaign.

fans of Iran in Azadi Stadium . ( iran vs china 27 March 2017 )

Iran became the second team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup[58] after a 2–0 win at home over Uzbekistan on 12 June 2017.[59] They also clinched 1st place in their qualification group after South Korea's defeat to Qatar.[60]

Iran won the first match against Morocco after Aziz Bouhaddouz scoring an own goal.[61] The second match Iran lost against Spain with a goal scored by Diego Costa.[62] The third match against Portugal ended in a draw after the penalty scored by Karim Ansarifard[63] and because Morocco could only manage a 2–2 draw to Spain, Iran was eliminated.[64] However, this has become Iran's best performance in the World Cup to date, when they achieved four points.

2019 AFC Asian Cup[edit]

Additional information: 2019 AFC Asian Cup Group D
Iran's squad against China at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup

Having qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup earlier, Iran was drawn into group D, where they shared fate with Iraq, Vietnam and Yemen, the two latter was the first time Iran faced up. Iran opened their tournament against Yemen slower and almost conceded a goal but after 10 minutes, Iran regained the ground and proved more dominant in certain aspects, thrashing Yemen 5–0.[65] A 2–0 win over the Vietnamese side gave Iran direct qualification to the knockout stage.[66] Iran ended their group stage with a goalless draw over neighbor Iraq and took the first place of the group.[67] After the group stage, Iran encountered Oman, a defending mistake almost cost Iran's chance but Ahmed Mubarak Al-Mahaijri's penalty was saved by Alireza Beiranvand. After the early scare, Iran once again proved its dominance over Oman, beating Oman 2–0 to reach the last eight.[68] In the quarter-finals against a defensive China, Iran outclassed the Chinese 3–0 to meet Japan in the semi-finals.[69] Iran missed the opportunity to reach the final once again when they fell 0–3 with all goals scored in second half.[70] Following the elimination, Queiroz left the Team.

2022 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Iran was the highest-ranked team to be seeded in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification. Iran was drawn into the second round where they would have to deal with two Arab rivals, Iraq and Bahrain, along with Cambodia and Hong Kong. Iran, under new manager Marc Wilmots, began with a 2–0 win over Hong Kong away; before a 14–0 win over Cambodia, the latter game was historic as women were allowed to enter the stadium for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.[71][72] Their next away encounters against Bahrain and Iraq, went on to be consecutive defeats which Iran lost 0–1 and 1–2, respectively.[73][74] Following by two consecutive draws between Iraq and Bahrain, Iran was left with the possibility of losing any chance to reach the World Cup outright in the second round and this led to the sacking of Marc Wilmots as coach.[75] However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the remaining fixtures to be played without spectators in June 2021, thus this forced Iran to play their remaining games in Bahrain under new coach Dragan Skočić; but with Bahrain losing its home support as an advantage, and Iraq assured a place in the final phase, Iran was able to stage a comeback, finally took the first place and, together with Iraq, progressed to the final phase.[76]

Iran became the thirteenth team to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup after a 1–0 win at home over Iraq on 27 January 2022.

Team image[edit]

Nicknames[edit]

The Iranian national team has received several nicknames by supporters and media. The most common one used is "Team Melli" (Persian: تیم ملی), meaning "The National Team" in Persian language. Although the Iranian supporters have popularized "Team Melli",[77][78] other nicknames for the team include "Persian Stars"[79][80][81] (entitled since the World Cup 2006) "Shiran e Iran",[82][83] meaning "The Iranian Lions" or "The Lions of Persia",[84] "Shirdelan", "Lion Hearts" and "Princes of Persia"[85][86] (used since AFC Asian Cup 2011).[87] Iran's slogan for the 2014 FIFA World Cup was Honour of Persia, selected in an internet poll held by FIFA.[88][89] A more recently used nickname, due to the presence of the Asiatic cheetah on the 2014 World Cup jersey, is Youzpalangan which means "The Cheetahs".[90]

Kits and crests[edit]

The Iran national football team's kit traditionally utilizes white and secondary kit is red, sometimes green shirts with white shorts and red socks are used.

Kit suppliers[edit]

The table below shows the history of kit supplier for the Iranian national football team.

Kit supplier Period Notes
Germany Adidas 1978
Germany Puma[91] 1980
Iran Amini[92] 1981–1993
Iran Shekari 1993–1998
Germany Puma 1998–2000
Iran Shekari 2000–2003
Iran Daei Sport 2003–2006
Germany Puma 2006–2007
Iran Merooj 2007–2008
Iran Daei Sport 2008–2009
Italy Legea 2009–2012
Germany Uhlsport[90] 2012–2016
Italy Givova[93] 2016
Germany Adidas[94] 2016–2019
Germany Uhlsport 2019–2022
Iran Merooj 2022–

Sponsorship[edit]

Primary sponsors include Adidas, Bank Pasargad, 9090, Golrang, Oila and Kaspid.[95]

On 1 February 2014, Iran announced the addition of the endangered Asiatic cheetah on their 2014 FIFA World Cup kits in order to bring attention to its conservation efforts.[90]

Rivalries[edit]

Iran and South Korea are sporting rivals[96][97] and have played against each other officially since 1958, totally 32 matches as of October 2021, including eight World Cup qualifiers. These two teams were among the strongest Asian national football teams (in a specific aspect) during the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, the teams have developed one of Asia's greatest rivalries.[98] Although the teams only had one chance to play against each other in the final match of the AFC Asian Cup in 1972, they faced each other five consecutive times at the quarterfinals stage from 1996 to 2011.[99][100] Iran leads the series with 13 wins, 10 draws and 9 losses.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are ideological rivals.[101] The game has been ranked 9th in Bleacher Report's "International Football's 10 Most Politically-Charged Football Rivalries"[102] and 8th in Goal.com's "Football's 10 Greatest International Rivalries".[103] All of their matches have been competitive and they have never played a friendly match. The first match was played on 24 August 1975, with Iran defeating Saudi Arabia 3–0. Iran leads the series with 5 wins, 6 draws and 4 losses.

Iran and Iraq are neighboring rivals, sharing a history. According to the Malay Mail, "Emotions are always high when Iran and Iraq meet on the football pitch". In the contemporary era, especially during the reign of Saddam Hussein, the two countries had worsened relations and fought the Iran–Iraq War for 8 years.[104][105][106][107][108] In 2001, for the first time in decades, an Iran-Iraq match was not held at a neutral venue.[106] The rivalry was escalated after Iraq knocked Iran out of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in controversial circumstances.[109][110] Iran leads the series with 17 wins, 7 draws and 6 losses.

Stadiums[edit]

Azadi Stadium, With a record of 128,000 attendees

Since 1972, Iran's national stadium has been Tehran's Azadi Stadium with a nominal capacity of 78,116 spectators.[111] Azadi Stadium is the 28th largest association football stadium in the world, 7th in Asia and 1st in West Asia. A record was set in Azadi for the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Australia with over 128,000 in attendance.[112] The government restricts Iranian women from entering the stadiums.[113] However, FIFA condemned the move and wrote to Iranian Football Federation in June 2019. The federation in their letter gave deadline to uplift the restrictions and let women enter the stadiums. On 25 August 2019, deputy Sports Minister Jamshid Taghizadeh stated: "Women can go to Tehran's Azadi stadium to watch the match between Iran's national team and Cambodia in October for the Qatar World Cup qualifier.”[114]

From 1942 to 1972, Amjadieh Stadium was Iran's national stadium. The other stadiums that Iran has been played international games are Bagh Shomal and Yadegar Emam Stadium (Tabriz), Takhti Stadium (Tehran), Enghelab Stadium (Karaj), Hafezieh Stadium (Shiraz), Takhti Stadium and Imam Reza Stadium (Mashhad).

The Iran National Football Camp is the team's training ground.

Results and fixtures[edit]

Iran national football team all opponents

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Loss

2021[edit]

7 October 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier United Arab Emirates  0–1  Iran Dubai, United Arab Emirates
20:45 UTC+4 Report Taremi 70' Stadium: Zabeel Stadium
Attendance: 3,034
Referee: Chris Beath (Australia)
12 October 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Iran  1–1  South Korea Tehran, Iran
17:00 UTC+3:30 Jahanbakhsh 76' Report Son Heung-min 48' Stadium: Azadi Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Ahmed Al-Kaf (Oman)
11 November 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Lebanon  1–2  Iran Sidon, Lebanon
14:00 UTC+2 Saad 37' Report Azmoun 90+1'
Nourollahi 90+5'
Stadium: Saida Municipal Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (Qatar)
16 November 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Syria  0–3  Iran Amman, Jordan
18:00 UTC+2 Report Azmoun 33'
Hajsafi 42' (pen.)
Gholizadeh 89'
Stadium: King Abdullah II Stadium
Attendance: 907
Referee: Ma Ning (China)

2022[edit]

27 January 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Iran  1–0  Iraq Tehran, Iran
18:00 UTC+3:30 Taremi 48' Report Stadium: Azadi Stadium
Attendance: 9,354[115]
Referee: Chris Beath (Australia)
24 March 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier South Korea  2–0  Iran Seoul, South Korea
20:00 UTC+9 Report Stadium: Seoul World Cup Stadium
Attendance: 64,375
Referee: Chris Beath (Australia)
29 March 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Iran  2–0  Lebanon Mashhad, Iran
16:00 UTC+4:30 Report Stadium: Imam Reza Stadium
Attendance: 22,453[116]
Referee: Fu Ming (China)
12 June Friendly Iran  1–2  Algeria Doha, Qatar
21:00 UTC+3 Report
Stadium: Suheim bin Hamad Stadium
Attendance: +200
Referee: Mohammed Ahmed Al-Shammari (Qatar)
23 September Friendly Uruguay  0–1  Iran Sankt Pölten, Austria
18:00 UTC+2 Report Taremi 79' Stadium: NV Arena
Referee: Walter Altmann (Austria)
27 September Friendly Iran  1–1  Senegal Maria Enzersdorf, Austria
16:30 UTC+2 Azmoun 64' Report Pouraliganji 55' (og) Stadium: Motion invest Arena
Referee: Harald Lechner (Austria)
  • FIFA International match days 2020–2024[117]

Coaching staff[edit]

Carlos Queiroz is the current head coach of the team.

[118]

Head coach Portugal Carlos Queiroz
Assistant coaches South Africa Roger De Sá
Iran TBA
Goalkeeping coach Portugal Alexandre Lopes
Performance coach Portugal Ricardo Silva
IT analyst Portugal João Peixeiro
Rehabilitation coach Portugal Micael Moreira
Physiotherapist Iran Dr. Alireza Shahab
Team doctor Iran Dr. Parhan Khanlari
Masseurs Iran Hadi Nejatpour
Iran Amir Esmaeili
Translator Iran Aryan Ghasemi
Logistics manager Iran Tooraj Keshavarz
Team supervisor Iran Mehdi Kharati

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following 27 players have been called up for the training camp and friendly matches versus Uruguay and Senegal in Austria.[119]

Caps and goals correct as of 28 September 2022, after the match against Senegal.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Alireza Beiranvand (1992-09-12) 12 September 1992 (age 30) 51 0 Iran Persepolis
12 1GK Payam Niazmand (1995-04-06) 6 April 1995 (age 27) 1 0 Iran Sepahan
22 1GK Amir Abedzadeh (1993-04-26) 26 April 1993 (age 29) 11 0 Spain Ponferradina
30 1GK Hossein Hosseini (1992-05-30) 30 May 1992 (age 30) 5 0 Iran Esteghlal

2 2DF Sadegh Moharrami (1996-03-24) 24 March 1996 (age 26) 21 0 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
3 2DF Ehsan Hajsafi (captain) (1990-02-25) 25 February 1990 (age 32) 121 7 Greece AEK Athens
4 2DF Shojae Khalilzadeh (1989-05-31) 31 May 1989 (age 33) 24 1 Qatar Al-Ahli
5 2DF Milad Mohammadi (1993-09-29) 29 September 1993 (age 29) 45 1 Greece AEK Athens
8 2DF Morteza Pouraliganji (1992-04-19) 19 April 1992 (age 30) 45 3 Iran Persepolis
13 2DF Hossein Kanaanizadegan (1994-03-23) 23 March 1994 (age 28) 34 2 Qatar Al-Ahli
15 2DF Saleh Hardani (1998-09-14) 14 September 1998 (age 24) 2 0 Iran Esteghlal
19 2DF Majid Hosseini (1996-06-20) 20 June 1996 (age 26) 18 0 Turkey Kayserispor
23 2DF Abolfazl Jalali (1998-06-26) 26 June 1998 (age 24) 2 0 Iran Esteghlal
25 2DF Omid Noorafkan (1997-04-09) 9 April 1997 (age 25) 14 0 Iran Sepahan
26 2DF Ramin Rezaeian (1990-03-21) 21 March 1990 (age 32) 45 2 Iran Sepahan

6 3MF Saeid Ezatolahi (1996-10-01) 1 October 1996 (age 25) 47 1 Denmark Vejle
11 4FW Vahid Amiri (1988-04-02) 2 April 1988 (age 34) 67 2 Iran Persepolis
14 3MF Saman Ghoddos (1993-09-06) 6 September 1993 (age 29) 33 2 England Brentford
18 3MF Milad Sarlak (1995-03-26) 26 March 1995 (age 27) 10 0 Iran Persepolis
21 3MF Ahmad Nourollahi (1993-01-02) 2 January 1993 (age 29) 25 3 United Arab Emirates Shabab Al-Ahli
24 3MF Omid Ebrahimi (1987-09-15) 15 September 1987 (age 35) 54 0 Qatar Al-Wakrah

7 4FW Alireza Jahanbakhsh (1993-08-11) 11 August 1993 (age 29) 64 13 Netherlands Feyenoord
9 4FW Mehdi Taremi (1992-07-18) 18 July 1992 (age 30) 60 28 Portugal Porto
10 4FW Karim Ansarifard (1990-04-03) 3 April 1990 (age 32) 94 29 Cyprus Omonia
16 4FW Mehdi Torabi (1994-09-10) 10 September 1994 (age 28) 35 6 Iran Persepolis
17 4FW Ali Gholizadeh (1996-03-10) 10 March 1996 (age 26) 26 6 Belgium Charleroi
20 4FW Sardar Azmoun (1995-01-01) 1 January 1995 (age 27) 65 41 Germany Bayer Leverkusen

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up for the team in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Mohammad Reza Akhbari (1993-02-15) 15 February 1993 (age 29) 1 0 Iran Tractor v.  United Arab Emirates, 1 February 2022

DF Aref Aghasi (1997-01-02) 2 January 1997 (age 25) 1 0 Iran Foolad Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
DF Mehdi Shiri (1991-01-31) 31 January 1991 (age 31) 0 0 Iran Foolad Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
DF Armin Sohrabian (1995-07-26) 26 July 1995 (age 27) 0 0 Iran Gol Gohar Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
DF Saman Fallah (2001-05-12) 12 May 2001 (age 21) 0 0 Iran Paykan Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
DF Aref Gholami (1997-04-23) 23 April 1997 (age 25) 1 0 Iran Esteghlal v.  Algeria, 12 June 2022
DF Danial Esmaeilifar (1993-02-26) 26 February 1993 (age 29) 1 0 Iran Persepolis v.  Lebanon, 29 March 2022
DF Farshad Faraji (1994-04-07) 7 April 1994 (age 28) 0 0 Iran Persepolis v.  Lebanon, 29 March 2022
DF Siavash Yazdani (1992-02-27) 27 February 1992 (age 30) 1 0 Iran Esteghlal v.  United Arab Emirates, 1 February 2022

MF Ali Karimi (1994-02-11) 11 February 1994 (age 28) 13 0 Turkey Kayserispor Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
MF Mehdi Mehdipour (1994-02-18) 18 February 1994 (age 28) 3 0 Iran Esteghlal Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
MF Mehdi Hosseini (1993-09-16) 16 September 1993 (age 29) 0 0 Iran Mes Rafsanjan Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
MF Saeid Sadeghi (1994-04-25) 25 April 1994 (age 28) 0 0 Iran Persepolis Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
MF Reza Asadi (1996-01-17) 17 January 1996 (age 26) 0 0 Iran Tractor Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
MF Mohammad Karimi (1996-06-20) 20 June 1996 (age 26) 0 0 Iran Sepahan Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
MF Mohammad Khodabandelou (1999-09-07) 7 September 1999 (age 23) 0 0 Iran Gol Gohar Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
MF Yasin Salmani (2002-02-27) 27 February 2002 (age 20) 0 0 Iran Sepahan Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
MF Amirhossein Hosseinzadeh (2000-10-30) 30 October 2000 (age 21) 3 0 Belgium Charleroi v.  Algeria, 12 June 2022
MF Soroush Rafiei (1990-03-24) 24 March 1990 (age 32) 4 0 Iran Persepolis v.  Algeria, 12 June 2022 PRE
MF Kamal Kamyabinia (1989-01-18) 18 January 1989 (age 33) 6 1 Iran Persepolis v.  Lebanon, 29 March 2022
MF Zobeir Niknafs (1993-04-12) 12 April 1993 (age 29) 0 0 Iran Esteghlal v.  Iraq, 27 January 2022

FW Mehdi Ghayedi (1998-12-05) 5 December 1998 (age 23) 8 2 Iran Esteghlal Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
FW Mohammad Mohebi (1998-12-20) 20 December 1998 (age 23) 3 2 Iran Esteghlal Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
FW Shahriyar Moghanlou (1994-12-21) 21 December 1994 (age 27) 0 0 Iran Sepahan Tehran Training Camp, 11 September 2022
FW Allahyar Sayyadmanesh INJ (2001-06-29) 29 June 2001 (age 21) 7 1 England Hull City v.  Algeria, 12 June 2022
FW Ali Alipour (1995-11-11) 11 November 1995 (age 26) 3 0 Portugal Gil Vicente v.  Algeria, 12 June 2022
FW Kaveh Rezaei (1992-04-05) 5 April 1992 (age 30) 18 4 Iran Tractor v.  United Arab Emirates, 1 February 2022
FW Shahab Zahedi (1995-08-18) 18 August 1995 (age 27) 0 0 Hungary Puskás Akadémia v.  United Arab Emirates, 1 February 2022

INJ Withdrew due to injury
PRE Preliminary squad / standby
RET Retired from the national team
SUS Serving suspension
WD Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue.
COV Injured because of COVID-19

Player records[edit]

As of 27 September 2022[120]
Players in bold are still active with Iran.

Most capped players[edit]

Javad Nekounam is the most capped player in the history of Iran with 151 caps.
Rank Player Caps Goals Career
1 Javad Nekounam 151 39 2000–2015
2 Ali Daei 149 109 1993–2006
3 Ali Karimi 127 38 1998–2012
4 Ehsan Hajsafi 121 7 2008–present
5 Jalal Hosseini 115 8 2007–2018
6 Mehdi Mahdavikia 111 13 1996–2009
7 Andranik Teymourian 101 9 2005–2016
8 Karim Ansarifard 94 29 2009–present
9 Karim Bagheri 87 50 1993–2010
Masoud Shojaei 87 8 2004–2019

Top goalscorers[edit]

Ali Daei is the world's second all-time leading goalscorer in international matches, having scored 109 goals in 149 matches
Rank Player Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Ali Daei (list) 109 149 0.73 1993–2006
2 Karim Bagheri 50 87 0.57 1993–2010
3 Sardar Azmoun 41 65 0.63 2014–Present
4 Javad Nekounam 39 151 0.26 2000–2015
5 Ali Karimi 38 127 0.3 1998–2012
6 Karim Ansarifard 29 94 0.32 2009–present
7 Mehdi Taremi 28 60 0.47 2015–present
8 Gholam Hossein Mazloumi 19 40 0.48 1969–1977
9 Farshad Pious[121] 18 34 0.53 1984–1994
10 Reza Ghoochannejhad 16 44 0.36 2012–2018

Most capped goalkeepers[edit]

Iranian iconic goalkeeper Ahmadreza Abedzadeh is the most capped goalkeeper in the history of Iran with 79 caps.
Rank Player Caps Career
1 Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh 79 1987–1998
2 Mehdi Rahmati 77 2004–2012
3 Ebrahim Mirzapour 71 2001–2011
4 Nasser Hejazi[122] 62 1968–1980
5 Alireza Beiranvand 51 2015–present
6 Aziz Asli 28 1962–1968
Behzad Gholampour 1990–1999
8 Alireza Haghighi 24 2012–2018
9 Mansour Rashidi 20 1972–1985
Parviz Boroumand 1998–2001
Ali Karimi, Maradona of Asia and the last Iranian to become Asian Footballer of the Year.
Karim Bagheri is the world's most scoring midfielder of all-time with 50 goals in 87 matches.
Mehdi Mahdavikia is the all-time assist leader in history of Team Melli.

Competition records[edit]

FIFA World Cup[edit]

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Manager(s) Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Not a FIFA member No qualification
Italy 1934
France 1938
Brazil 1950 Did not enter Did not enter
Switzerland 1954
Sweden 1958
Chile 1962
England 1966
Mexico 1970
West Germany 1974 Did not qualify 8 5 1 2 9 6
Argentina 1978 First round 14th 3 0 1 2 2 8 Squad Mohajerani 12 10 2 0 20 3
Spain 1982 Withdrew Withdrew
Mexico 1986 Disqualified Disqualified
Italy 1990 Did not qualify 6 5 0 1 12 5
United States 1994 11 5 3 3 23 13
France 1998 Group stage 20th 3 1 0 2 2 4 Squad Talebi 17 8 6 3 57 17
South KoreaJapan 2002 Did not qualify 14 9 3 2 36 9
Germany 2006 Group stage 25th 3 0 1 2 2 6 Squad Ivanković 12 9 1 2 29 7
South Africa 2010 Did not qualify 14 5 8 1 15 9
Brazil 2014 Group stage 28th 3 0 1 2 1 4 Squad Queiroz 16 10 4 2 30 7
Russia 2018 Group stage 18th 3 1 1 1 2 2 Squad Queiroz 18 12 6 0 36 5
Qatar 2022 Qualified Queiroz 18 14 1 3 49 8
CanadaMexicoUnited States 2026 To be determined To be determined
2030
Total First round 6/22 15 2 4 9 9 24 146 92 35 19 316 89

Olympic Games[edit]

19001904 club team.

19081964 national football team.

19681988 national amateur football team.

1992 – present national under-23 football team.

Summer Olympic Games record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Manager(s) Pld W D L GF GA
France 1900 Team did not exist Team did not exist
United States 1904
United Kingdom 1908
Sweden 1912
Belgium 1920
France 1924
Netherlands 1928
Germany 1936
United Kingdom 1948 Did not enter Did not enter
Finland 1952
Australia 1956
Italy 1960
Japan 1964 First round 12th 3 0 1 2 1 6 Squad Fekri 6 4 1 1 14 3
Mexico 1968 Did not enter Did not enter
West Germany 1972 First round 12th 3 1 0 2 1 9 Squad Bayati 5 3 2 0 6 0
Canada 1976 Quarter-finals 7th 3 1 0 2 4 5 Squad Mohajerani 4 3 1 0 8 1
Soviet Union 1980 Qualified but later boycotted the event 6 4 2 0 22 2
United States 1984 Boycotted the event Did not enter
South Korea 1988 Did not qualify 2 1 0 1 2 2
1992–present See Iran national under-23 team See Iran national under-23 team
Total Quarter-finals 4/17 9 2 1 6 6 20 23 15 6 2 52 8

AFC Asian Cup[edit]

AFC Asian Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Manager(s) Pld W D L GF GA
Hong Kong 1956 Withdrew Withdrew
South Korea 1960 Did not qualify 6 3 1 2 12 10
Israel 1964 Withdrew Withdrew
Iran 1968 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 11 2 Squad Bayati Automatic qualified as host
Thailand 1972 Champions 1st 5 5 0 0 12 4 Squad Dehdari Automatic qualified as champion
Iran 1976 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 13 0 Squad Mohajerani Automatic qualified as host
Kuwait 1980 Third place 3rd 6 3 2 1 16 6 Squad Habibi Automatic qualified as champion
Singapore 1984 Fourth place 4th 6 2 4 0 8 3 Squad Ebrahimi 6 6 0 0 22 2
Qatar 1988 Third place 3rd 6 2 2 2 3 4 Squad Dehdari 4 2 2 0 6 1
Japan 1992 First round 5th 3 1 1 1 2 1 Squad Parvin 2 2 0 0 10 0
United Arab Emirates 1996 Third place 3rd 6 3 2 1 14 6 Squad Mayeli Kohan 6 6 0 0 27 1
Lebanon 2000 Quarter-finals 5th 4 2 1 1 7 3 Squad Talebi 6 4 1 1 16 2
China 2004 Third place 3rd 6 3 3 0 14 8 Squad Ivanković 6 5 0 1 16 5
IndonesiaMalaysiaThailandVietnam 2007 Quarter-finals 5th 4 2 2 0 6 3 Squad Ghalenoei 6 4 2 0 12 2
Qatar 2011 Quarter-finals 5th 4 3 0 1 6 2 Squad Ghotbi 6 4 1 1 11 2
Australia 2015 Quarter-finals 6th 4 3 1 0 7 3 Squad Queiroz 6 5 1 0 18 5
United Arab Emirates 2019 Semi-finals 3rd 6 4 1 1 12 3 Squad Queiroz 8 6 2 0 26 3
2023 Qualified 8 6 0 2 34 4
2027 To be determined To be determined
Total 3 Titles 15/18 68 41 19 8 131 48 70 53 10 7 210 37

Asian Games[edit]

Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Squad Manager(s)
India 1951 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 2 1 1 6 Squad Sadaghiani
Philippines 1954 Did not enter
Japan 1958 Preliminary round 14th 2 0 0 2 0 9 9 0 Squad Mészáros
Indonesia 1962 Did not enter
Thailand 1966 Runners-up 2nd 7 4 0 3 9 6 3 12 Squad Szűcs
Thailand 1970 Preliminary round 8th 2 0 1 1 2 3 1 1 Squad Netto
Iran 1974 Champions 1st 7 7 0 0 20 1 19 21 Squad O'Farrell
Thailand 1978 Withdrew
India 1982 Quarter-finals 8th 4 2 0 2 3 2 1 6 Squad Cheraghpour
South Korea 1986 Quarter-finals 6th 5 3 1 1 13 2 11 10 Squad Dehdari
China 1990 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 7 1 6 13 Squad Parvin
Japan 1994 Preliminary round 9th 4 1 2 1 5 2 3 5 Squad Poklepović
Thailand 1998 Champions 1st 8 7 0 1 25 7 18 21 Squad Pourheidari
2002–present See Iran national under-23 team
Total 3 Titles 10/13 47 30 5 12 86 34 +52 95

WAFF Championship[edit]

Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Squad
Jordan 2000 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 7 1 6 13 Squad
Syria 2002 Third place 3rd 4 1 2 1 4 3 1 5 Squad
Iran 2004 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 17 3 14 12 Squad
Jordan 2007 Champions1 1st 4 3 1 0 5 1 4 10 Squad
Iran 2008 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 13 2 11 12 Squad
Jordan 2010 Runners-up 2nd 4 2 1 1 8 5 3 7 Squad
Kuwait 2012 Group stage 6th 3 1 2 0 2 1 1 5 Squad
Qatar 2014 Did not enter
2019–onwards Not a WAFF member
Total 4 Titles 7/9 28 19 7 2 56 16 +40 64
1 Iran played their B team in this tournament but recognised as international "A" matches.

Head-to-head record[edit]

Last match updated:  Senegal on 27 September 2022.

FIFA World Rankings[edit]

FIFA World Rankings for Iran, August 1993 – March 2018[123]
Highest FIFA ranking
15 (July 2005)[98]
Lowest FIFA ranking
122 (May 1996)[98]
Best mover
+65 (July 1996)[98]
Worst mover
–43 (October 1995)[98]

Last update was on 13 March 2021[124]

  Best Ranking    Worst Ranking    Best Mover    Worst Mover  

Iran Iran's FIFA World Ranking History
Rank Year Games
Played
Won Drawn Lost Best Worst
Rank Move Rank Move
21 2021 11 10 1 0 21 Increase 5 31 Decrease 2
29 2020 2 2 0 0 29 Increase 3 33 Decrease 0
33 2019 12 7 2 3 20 Increase 7 33 Decrease 6
29 2018 15 9 3 3 28 Increase 5 37 Decrease 3
32 2017 11 7 3 1 23 Increase 7 43 Decrease 9
29 2016 10 8 2 0 27 Increase 10 44 Decrease 3
45 2015 15 10 4 1 38 Increase 10 51 Decrease 4
51 2014 10 3 4 3 34 Increase 5 56 Decrease 7
33 2013 9 7 1 1 33 Increase 15 67 Decrease 10
59 2012 14 4 7 3 44 Increase 14 59 Decrease 15
45 2011 15 12 2 1 42 Increase 21 65 Decrease 4
66 2010 12 8 2 2 57 Increase 8 67 Decrease 4
64 2009 21 7 8 6 42 Increase 2 64 Decrease 11
43 2008 21 12 7 2 37 Increase 11 51 Decrease 10
41 2007 13 8 4 1 32 Increase 5 47 Decrease 8
38 2006 15 8 5 2 19 Increase 5 47 Decrease 24
19 2005 11 8 1 2 15 Increase 2 21 Decrease 3
20 2004 18 13 3 2 17 Increase 7 31 Decrease 3
28 2003 11 6 1 4 28 Increase 7 47 Decrease 7
33 2002 10 4 4 2 29 Increase 2 34 Decrease 3
29 2001 20 11 4 5 29 Increase 8 51 Decrease 7
37 2000 26 15 7 4 37 Increase 7 53 Decrease 6
49 1999 6 2 4 0 44 Increase 3 51 Decrease 20
27 1998 18 9 2 7 27 Increase 17 47 Decrease 6
46 1997 22 11 7 4 46 Increase 17 87 Decrease 6
83 1996 21 13 5 3 57 Increase 65 122 Decrease 7
108 1995 0 0 0 0 63 Increase 26 108 Decrease 43
75 1994 4 1 2 1 57 Increase 2 75 Decrease 9
59 1993 15 9 3 3 54 Increase 7 59 Decrease 4

Iran captains[edit]

As of 23 September 2022[citation needed]
Ehsan Hajsafi is the current Iran national team captain.
# Reign Player Career Total As Captain Tournaments
Caps Goals Caps Goals
1 1965–1967 Mohammad Ranjbar 1959–1967 23 0 9 0
2 1967–1970 Hassan Habibi 1958–1970 31 0 10 0 1968 AFC Asian Cup
3 1970–1972 Mostafa Arab 1959–1972 48 2 13 0 1972 AFC Asian Cup
4 1972–1977 Parviz Ghelichkhani 1964–1977 64 12 26 7 1976 AFC Asian Cup
5 1977–1980 Ali Parvin 1970–1980 76 13 31 2 1978 FIFA World Cup
6 1980 Nasser Hejazi 1968–1980 62 0 7 0 1980 AFC Asian Cup
7 1980–1984 Mehdi Dinvarzadeh 1977–1984 26 0 9 0
8 1984–87
1989–91
Mohammad Panjali 1978–1991 45 0 27 0 1984 AFC Asian Cup
9 1987–89
1991–93
Sirous Ghayeghran 1986–1993 43 6 22 3 1988 AFC Asian Cup
1992 AFC Asian Cup
10 1993 Hamid Derakhshan 1980–1993 41 9 12 3
11 1993–1994 Farshad Pious 1984–1994 35 19 4 1
12 1996 Mojtaba Moharrami 1988–1996 37 5 2 0 1996 AFC Asian Cup
13 1996–1998 Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh 1988–1998 79 0 38 0 1998 FIFA World Cup
14 1998–1999 Nader Mohammadkhani 1988–1999 64 4 9 1 1998 FIFA World Cup
15 1999–2000 Javad Zarincheh 1987–2000 80 1 8 0
16 2000–2006 Ali Daei 1993–2006 149 109 80 44 2000 AFC Asian Cup
2004 AFC Asian Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
17 2006–2009 Mehdi Mahdavikia 1996–2009 111 13 17 1 2007 AFC Asian Cup
18 2009–2015 Javad Nekounam 2000–2015 151 39 56 18 2011 AFC Asian Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup
2015 AFC Asian Cup
19 2015–2016 Andranik Teymourian 2005–2016 101 9 8 1
20 2016–2019 Masoud Shojaei 2004–2019 87 8 10 0 2018 FIFA World Cup
2019 AFC Asian Cup
21 2019– Ehsan Hajsafi 2008– 120 7 26 3

Most matches as captain[edit]

As of 27 September 2022, the 10 players with the most matches as captain:
# Player Caps Years active Matches as captain
1 Ali Daei 149 1993–2006 80
2 Javad Nekounam 151 2000–2015 56
3 Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh 79 1988–1998 38
4 Ali Parvin 76 1970–1980 31
5 Mohammad Panjali 45 1978–1991 27
6 Ehsan Hajsafi 121 2008– 27
7 Parviz Ghelichkhani 64 1964–1977 26
8 Sirous Ghayeghran 43 1986–1993 22
9 Ashkan Dejagah 58 2012–2019 17
Mehdi Mahdavikia 111 1996–2009

Honours[edit]

Summary[edit]

Event Gold Silver Bronze Total
Asian Cup 3 0 4 7
Asian Games 4 2 0 6
West Asian Championship 4 1 1 6
West Asian Games 1 1 1 3
ECO Cup 3 3 0 6
LG Cup 3 0 3 6
Minor Tournament 5 6 4 15
AFC–OFC Challenge Cup 1 0 0 1
Afro-Asian Cup of Nations 0 1 0 1
Total 22 14 14 51

Continental[edit]

Gold medal asia.svg Champions: 1968, 1972, 1976
Bronze medal asia.svg Third place: 1980, 1988, 1996, 2004
Fourth place: 1984
Semi-finals: 2019
Gold medal asia.svg Gold Medal: 1974, 1990, 1998, 2002
Silver medal asia.svg Silver Medal: 1951, 1966

Regional[edit]

1st place, gold medalist(s) Champions: 2000, 2004, 2007*, 2008
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Runners-up: 2010
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Third place: 2002
1st place, gold medalist(s) Champions: 1965, 1970, 1993
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Runners-up: 1967, 1969, 1974

* as B Team

Intercontinental[edit]

1st place, gold medalist(s) Champions: 2003
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Runners-up: 1991

Minor Tournament (Friendly)[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Preceded by Asian Champions
1968 (first title)
1972 (second title)
1976 (third title)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Asian Games Champions
1974 (first title)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Asian Games Champions
1990 (second title)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Asian Games Champions
1998 (third title)
2002 (fourth title)
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Inaugural champions
WAFF Champions
2000(first title)
Succeeded by
Preceded by WAFF Champions
2004 (second title)
2007 (third title)
2008 (fourth title)
Succeeded by