Iran national football team
Lions of Persia
Honour of Persia
Princes of Persia
|Association||Football Federation of Iran (FFIRI)
Federāsione Futbālle Irān
|Sub-confederation||CAFA (Central Asia)|
|Head coach||Carlos Queiroz|
|Most caps||Javad Nekounam (151)|
|Top scorer||Ali Daei (109)|
|Home stadium||Azadi Stadium|
|Current||39 1 (1 October 2015)|
|Highest||15 (July 2005)|
|Lowest||122 (May 1996)|
|Current||36 (8 October 2015)|
|Highest||15 (May 2005)|
|Lowest||73 (January 1964)|
British India 0–1 Iran
(Kabul, Afghanistan; 23 August 1941)
Afghanistan 0–0 Iran
(Kabul, Afghanistan; 25 August 1941)
| Iran 19–0 Guam
(Tabriz, Iran; 24 November 2000)
Turkey 6–1 Iran
(Istanbul, Turkey; 28 May 1950)
|Appearances||4 (First in 1978)|
|Best result||Round 1: 1978, 1998, 2006, 2014|
|AFC Asian Cup|
|Appearances||13 (First in 1968)|
|Best result||Champions: 1968, 1972, 1976|
Iran national football team (Persian: تیم ملی فوتبال ایران) represents Iran in international football competitions and is controlled by the Iran Football Federation. The national football team of Iran, known as Team Melli, ranks 1st in Asia and 39th in the world according to the October 2015[update] FIFA World Rankings.
Iran is one of the most successful national teams in Asia with three Asian Cup championships (1968, 1972, and 1976). Iran have qualified for the World Cup four times (1978, 1998, 2006, and 2014) but have never advanced past the group stage. Their only win in the World Cup was a 2–1 victory against the United States.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early years
- 1.2 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina
- 1.3 After the Revolution
- 1.4 1998 FIFA World Cup in France
- 1.5 2000 AFC Asian Cup
- 1.6 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
- 1.7 2004 AFC Asian Cup
- 1.8 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany
- 1.9 Temporary suspension
- 1.10 2007 AFC Asian Cup
- 1.11 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
- 1.12 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil
- 1.13 2015 AFC Asian Cup
- 1.14 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
- 2 Political protests
- 3 Nicknames
- 4 Rivalries
- 5 Stadiums
- 6 Kit providers
- 7 Tournament records
- 8 Results and fixtures
- 9 Records versus other nations
- 10 Coaching staff
- 11 Players
- 12 Records
- 13 Iran captains
- 14 Honours
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 External links
The first match that Team Melli played was on 23 August 1941, away at Kabul against British India, while Iran's first FIFA international match was on 25 August 1941, away at Afghanistan. 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
- Additional information: 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC and OFC)
- Additional information: 1978 FIFA World Cup
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. however managed to surprise the footballing community 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.
After the 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 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 during this period that a number of quality players burst onto the Iranian football scene, laying the foundation for third place in 1996 AFC Asian Cup (memorable victories in that tournament like winning 3–0 against Saudi Arabia and impressive 6–2 victory against South Korea) and their second stab at World Cup glory in 1998.
1998 FIFA World Cup in France
- 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.
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. Following defeat against Iran, the United States was eliminated from the World Cup.
Iran played against Germany in the third game. The game was lost 2–0. The goals were scored by Bierhoff and Klinsmann. The one win and two losses meant Iran came third in the final group standing and failed to make it to the next round.
2000 AFC Asian Cup
Iran finished first in the group stage of the tournament, but lost against South Korea in quarter-final.
2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
- 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 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
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 semi-final, Iran lost to the host, China. Iran won against Bahrain 4–2 to finish third place in the tournament.
2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany
- Additional information: 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)
- Additional information: 2006 FIFA World Cup seeding
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 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, played on 24 March 2005, was the highest attended qualifying match among all confederations. The match ended in tragedy with 5 fans killed and several others injured as they left the Azadi Stadium at the end of the match.
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 21 June 2006, Sohrab Bakhtiarizadeh scoring the Iran goal.
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. The ban lasted less than a month, and as a dispensation was given to allow the Iran under-23 team to participate in the football competition of the 2006 Asian Games, fixtures were unaffected.
2007 AFC Asian Cup
IRIFF appointed 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 the penalty shoot-outs of the Quarters Final match and was eliminated from the 2007 Asian Cup. Ghalenoei was heavily 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
- Additional information: 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)
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. 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 fourth round, Ali Daei got ejected from his position as the Iranian national coach on 29 March 2009. He was replaced by Afshin Ghotbi. Iran failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup after ranking 4th overall in its group.
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. 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. 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." The Iran national team head coach Afshin Ghotbi also confirmed that it was a rumour and Iranian FA "has not taken any official stand on this issue."
Afshin Ghotbi was able to qualify for 2011 Asian Cup and finished second in West Asian Football Federation Championship 2010 just few months before the 2011 Asian Cup. Iran was able to gain all the three points in group stage of the 2011 Asian Cup but after the extra time goal from Korea Republic, Iran was not able to get to the semifinals and left the competition.
2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil
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. 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 European-based 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.
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-Iranian Omid Nazari, and Iranian-American Steven Beitashour among others.
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. On 1 June 2014, Queiroz announced his 23-man squad. Prior to the tournament, they founded the Central Asian Football Association.
In the opening match of the tournament on June 16, Iran drew Nigeria 0–0, making it their first clean sheet of the FIFA World Cup. 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. 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. After the tournament, Queiroz extended his contract until the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
2015 AFC Asian Cup
Iran qualified for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup as group winners, where Team Melli were the highest ranked seed. Iran faced Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE in Group C. Queiroz announced his squad on 30 December 2014.
With the second highest number of fans in the tournament after hosts Australia, the Iranians defeated Bahrain 2–0 with limited preparations. A defensive minded Iran then defeated Persian Gulf Cup champions Qatar 1–0 thanks to a Sardar Azmoun goal before defeating the UAE by the same scoreline to reach the top of their group.
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.
2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
Iran began their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign with friendly matches against Chile and Sweden in March 2015. Queiroz resigned from his managerial post thereafter due to disagreements with the Iranian Football Federation. On 14 April 2015, Iran were drawn with Oman, India, Turkmenistan, and Guam in the second round of qualifiers. On 26 April, Queiroz announced that he will continue as the manager of Iran for their 2018 World Cup campaign.
Australia-Iran, 29 November 1997
Bahrain-Iran, 21 October 2001
The 3–1 defeat by Bahrain came as a surprise. This in turn brought upon Iran's failure to qualify for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. There were allegations that the authorities pressured the players to lose. It was later denied by Safaei. Nevertheless, up to this day, many fans of 'Team Melli' continue to speculate whether the defeat was of legitimate causes or whether some authorities behind the curtain had brought on the defeat on purpose in order to prevent celebrations in the streets.
Presidential election protests, 2009
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 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". 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. As of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, several of the above players have played again for the national team, notably Javad Nekounam, Masoud Shojaei, Mehdi Mahdavikia, and Ali Karimi.
Fans during the 2014 World Cup
During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Iranian fans bridged gaps with American and Israeli fans. Many of them waved pre-revolutionary Lion and Sun flags. Iranian women also held one of the highest percentages for social media posts.
The Iranian national team has received several nicknames by supporters and media. The most common one used to refer the team is "Team Melli", which literally means "The National Team". Iranians call any national team from any country or sport a "Team Melli" and because of this it has become common for the national team to be referred to as the "Team Melli Iran" or, more specifically in the case of the national football team, the "Team Melli e Football e Iran". Although the Iranian supporters have popularized "Team Melli", other nicknames for the team include "Persian Stars" (entitled since the World Cup 2006) "Shiran e Iran", meaning "The Iranian Lions" or "The Lions of Persia", "Shirdelan", "Lion Hearts" and "Princes of Persia" (used since AFC Asian Cup 2011) have been used in media as well. Iran's slogan for the 2014 FIFA World Cup was Honour of Persia, selected in an internet poll held by FIFA. A recently used nickname, due to the presence of the Asiatic cheetah on the 2014 World Cup jersey, is 'The Cheetahs'.
Iran and South Korea are sporting rivals and have played against each other officially since 1958, totalling 28 matches as of January 2015, including seven World Cup qualifiers. These two teams were among the strongest Asian national football teams during the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, the teams have developed one of Asia's greatest rivalries. Although the teams only had one chance to play against each other in the final match of the AFC Asian Cup, in 1972, they have faced each other five consecutive times at the quarterfinals stage since 1996. Iran leads the series with 12 wins, 7 draws and 9 losses.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are rivals. The game has been ranked 9th in Bleacher Report's "International Football's 10 Most Politically-Charged Football Rivalries" and 8th in Goal.com's "Football's 10 Greatest International Rivalries".
Iran and Saudi Arabia have had 15 matches so far. 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.
Since 1972, Iran's national stadium is Tehran's Azadi Stadium with a nominal capacity of 100,000 spectators. Azadi Stadium is the fifth biggest association football stadium in the world, third in Asia and first in West Asia. A record was set in Azadi for the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Australia with over 128,000 in attendance. The government restricts Iranian women from entering the stadiums.
From 1942 to 1972, Amjadieh Stadium was Iran's national stadium. The other stadiums that Iran has been played international games are Hafezieh Stadium (Shiraz), Yadegar Emam Stadium (Tabriz), Takhti Stadium (Tehran) and Enghelab Stadium (Karaj).
Camp of Iran national football teams is home to Iran's trainings.
The table below shows the history of kit providers for the Iranian national football team.
1978 World Cup 
1996 Asian Cup
1998 World Cup 
2000 Asian Cup
2006 World Cup
2007 Asian Cup 
World Cup record
|World Cup finals||World Cup qualifications|
|1930 to 1970||Did not enter||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1974||Did not qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||5||1||2||9||6|
|1990||Did not qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||6||5||0||1||12||5|
|1994||Did not qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||11||5||3||3||23||13|
|2002||Did not qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||14||9||3||2||36||9|
|2010||Did not qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||14||5||8||1||15||9|
|2018||To be determined||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2022||To be determined||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Asian Cup record
|AFC Asian Cup finals||Asian Cup qualifications|
|1960||Did not qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||6||3||1||2||12||10|
|1968||Champions||1st||4||4||0||0||11||2||Automatic qualification as hosts|
|1972||Champions||1st||5||5||0||0||12||4||Automatic qualification as champions|
|1976||Champions||1st||4||4||0||0||13||0||Automatic qualification as hosts and as champions|
|1980||Third place||3rd||6||3||2||1||16||6||Automatic qualification as champions|
|2019||To be determined||-||-||-||-||-||-|
- *Denotes draws which include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
*Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.
Olympic Games record
|Olympic Games finals||Olympic Games qualifications|
|1900 to 1960||Did not enter||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1968||Did not enter||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1980||Qualified but boycotted the event||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||5||3||2||0||18||2|
|1984||Did not enter due to boycott||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1988||Did not qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||2||1||0||1||2||2|
- Young teams were favoured by FIFA and the IOC, and since 1992, male competitors must be under 23 years old, with three over-23 players allowed per squad. See Iran U-23 team.
Asian Games record
|Host nation(s) / year||Result||GP||W||D*||L||GS||GA|
|New Delhi 1951||Runners-up||3||2||0||1||2||1|
|Manila 1954||Did not enter||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Tokyo 1958||Round 1||2||0||0||2||0||9|
|Jakarta 1962||Did not enter||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Bangkok 1970||Round 1||2||0||1||1||2||3|
|New Delhi 1982||Quarterfinals||4||2||0||2||3||2|
|Hirosima 1994||Round 1||4||1||2||1||5||2|
- Young teams were favoured by AFC and the IOC, and since 2002 male competitors must be under 23 years old, with three over-23 players allowed per squad.
West Asian Football Federation Championship record
RCD Cup/ECO Cup record
West Asian Games
Results and fixtures
Win Draw Loss
|13 October 2015# *||Friendly||Azadi Stadium, Tehran||Japan|
|12 November 2015|| 2018 WCQ
|Azadi Stadium, Tehran||Turkmenistan|
|17 November 2015|| 2018 WCQ
|Guam FA National Training Center, Dededo||Guam|
|24 March 2016|| 2018 WCQ
|Azadi Stadium, Tehran||India|
|29 March 2016|| 2018 WCQ
|Azadi Stadium, Tehran||Oman|
|30 May 2016||Friendly||TBD, TBD|
|7 June 2016||Friendly||TBD, TBD|
|1 September 2016||2018 WCQ||TBD, TBD|
|6 September 2016||2018 WCQ||TBD, TBD|
- *FIFA International match days 2014-2018
- #AFC Calendar of Competitions 2015
- §AFC Calendar of Competitions 2016-2018
Records versus other nations
|Assistant managers||Oceano da Cruz|
|Goalkeeping coach||Dan Gaspar|
|Fitness coach||Diego Giacchino|
|Analysts|| Markar Aghajanian
|Team doctor||Parhan Khanlari|
|Media officer||Mohsen Motamedkia|
|Executive director||Afshin Peyrovani|
- Match Date: 8 October 2015 and 13 October 2015
- Opposition: Oman & Japan
- Caps and goals correct as of: 8 October 2015
The following players have been called up for the team in the last 12 months.
- Inj Player withdrawn from the squad due to an injury.
- Pre Preliminary squad.
- RC Player suspended for receiving a red card in the last game.
- Ret Player retired from the national team.
- Sus Player suspended by federation due to conscription problems.
- Asian Cup 2015 squad
- Asian Cup 2011 squad
- Asian Cup 2007 squad
- Asian Cup 2004 squad
- Asian Cup 2000 squad
- Asian Cup 1996 squad
- Asian Cup 1992 squad
Most capped players
|9||Hamid Reza Estili||1990–2000||82||12|
Most capped goalkeepers
|1||Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh||1987–1998||79|
As of 31 March 2015[update], the players with the most goals for Iran are:
|5||Gholam Hossein Mazloumi||1969–1977||19||41||0.46|
|7||Ali Asghar Modir Roosta||1990–1998||18||32||0.56|
As of 8 October 2015
|#||Reign||Player||Caps (goals)||Years active||Matches as captain (goals)|
|1||1965–1967||Mohammad Ranjbar||23 (0)||1959–1967||9 (0)|
|2||1967–1970||Hassan Habibi||31 (0)||1958–1970||10 (0)|
|3||1970–1972||Mostafa Arab||48 (2)||1959–1972||13 (0)|
|4||1972–1977||Parviz Ghelichkhani||64 (12)||1964-1977||26 (7)|
|5||1977–1980||Ali Parvin||76 (13)||1970–1980||31 (2)|
|6||1980||Nasser Hejazi||59 (0)||1968–1980||7 (0)|
|7||1980–1984||Mehdi Dinvarzadeh||26 (0)||1977–1984||9 (0)|
|Mohammad Panjali||45 (0)||1978–1991||27 (0)|
|Sirous Ghayeghran||43 (6)||1986–1993||22 (3)|
|10||1993||Hamid Derakhshan||41 (9)||1980–1993||12 (3)|
|11||1993–1994||Farshad Pious||35 (19)||1984–1994||4 (1)|
|12||1996||Mojtaba Moharrami||37 (5)||1988–1996||2 (0)|
|13||1996–1998||Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh||79 (0)||1988–1998||38 (0)|
|14||1998–1999||Nader Mohammadkhani||64 (4)||1988–1999||9 (1)|
|15||1999–2000||Javad Zarincheh||80 (1)||1987–2000||8 (0)|
|16||2000–2006||Ali Daei||149 (109)||1993–2006||80 (44)|
|17||2006–2009||Mehdi Mahdavikia||110 (13)||1996–2009||17 (1)|
|18||2009–2015||Javad Nekounam||151 (39)||2000–2015||56 (18)|
|19||2015–present||Andranik Teymourian||95 (9)||2005–present||5 (1)|
As of 31 March 2015
|#||Player||Caps||Years active||Matches as captain|
|3||Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh||79||1988–1998||38|
Iran World Cup captains
|#||Matches as captain||Player||World Cup played as captain (goals)||Years active||Caps (goals)|
|1||3 (0)||Ali Parvin||Argentina 1978||1970–1980||76 (13)|
|2||1 (0)||Nader Mohammadkhani||France 1998||1988–1999||64 (4)|
|3||2 (0)||Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh||1987–1998||79 (0)|
|4||2 (0)||Ali Daei||Germany 2006||1993–2006||149 (109)|
|5||1 (0)||Yahya Golmohammadi||1993–2006||74 (5)|
|6||3 (0)||Javad Nekounam||Brazil 2014||2000–2015||151 (39)|
Iran Asian Cup captains
|#||Matches as captain||Player||Asian Cup played as captain||Years active||Caps (goals)|
|1||4 (0)||Hassan Habibi||Iran 1968||1958–1970||31 (0)|
|2||4 (0)||Mostafa Arab||Thailand 1972||1959–1972||48 (2)|
|3||3 (0)||Parviz Ghelichkhani||Iran 1976||1964–1977||64 (12)|
|4||5 (0)||Nasser Hejazi||Kuwait 1980||1968–1980||59 (0)|
|5||6 (0)||Mohammad Panjali||Singapore 1984||1978–1991||45 (0)|
|6||6 (0)||Sirous Ghayeghran||Qatar 1988||1986–1992||40 (6)|
|7||3 (0)||Japan 1992|
|8||2 (0)||Mojtaba Moharrami||UAE 1996||1988–1996||37 (5)|
|9||4 (3)||Ali Daei||Lebanon 2000||1993–2006||149 (109)|
|10||6 (3)||China 2004|
|11||4 (0)||Mehdi Mahdavikia||Asian Cup 2007||1996–2009||110 (13)|
|12||3 (0)||Javad Nekounam||Qatar 2011||2000–2015||151 (39)|
|13||4 (0)||Australia 2015|
* as B Team
- Champions (1): 2003
- Runners-up (1): 1991
- Champions (3): 2001, 2002‡, 2002†
- Football in Iran
- Iran national futsal team
- Iran national beach soccer team
- Iran national under-23 football team
- Iran national under-20 football team
- Iran national under-17 football team
- Iran women's national football team
- Iran women's national under-20 football team
- Iran women's national under-17 football team
- Iran women's national futsal team
- Iran university students football team
- Tehran XI
- "Iran matches, ratings and points exchanged". eloratings.net.
- "Biggest margin victories/losses (Fifa fact-Sheet)" (PDF). FIFA.com. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "Asian Games 1958 (Tokyo, Japan)". rsssf.
- "Iran: Fixtures and Results". FIFA.com.
- "Fan Forum". PersianFootball.com. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- "Iran: FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA.com. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
- "Iran in World Cup 1978". teammelli.com.
- "Iranian football facts". BBC News. 2001-11-01. Retrieved 2010-05-05.
- while FIFA World Cup 2006 Iran Team Overview
- "The History of Soccer in Iran". iranvisitor.com.
- "A third half for Iranian football". mondediplo.com.
- "France 1998 World Cup: 1st Round - Day 12 Match Reports". 1800-worldcup.com.
- "World Cup: U.S. eliminated from Cup after 2-1 loss to Iran.". soccertimes.com.
- FIFA.com – 1998 FIFA World Cup France
- "France 1998 World Cup: 1st Round - Day 16 Match Reports". 1800-worldcup.com.
- "Five die after Iran football game". BBC. 26 March 2005. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- "FIFA suspends Iran Football Federation". FIFA. Archived from the original on 2007-01-02. Retrieved 2006-11-27.
- "FIFA to lift Iran ban: Blatter". the-AFC.com. Retrieved 2006-12-17.[dead link]
- "FIFA President announces temporary lifting of Iran ban". the-AFC.com. Retrieved 2006-11-27.[dead link]
- "Ali Daei named new Iran coach". soccerway.com.
- Tait, Robert (2009-03-30). "Iran football coach Ali Daei loses job following team's defeat". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-05.
- "FIFA.com". FIFA.com. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- "Iranian football team shows support for Mousavi with green arm bands at Seoul World Cup qualifier". The Daily Telegraph (London). 17 Jun 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- Tiat, Robert (25 June 2009). "Iranian players receive life bans for gestures". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
- "Iran denies punishing players for wearing green wristbands". London: The Daily Telegraph. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
- Bell, Jack (2009-06-26). "Iran Did Not Suspend Players, Coach Says". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
- Soccernet, Goal (4 April 2011). "Carlos Queiroz agrees deal to become Iran head coach". Sport (Dubai: Soccernet). Retrieved 4 April 2011.
- "Asian Cup 2015 (Qs) MD5: Lebanon 1–4 Iran". AFC. 20 November 2013.
- "5 Iran Players to Watch at the World Cup". ABC News. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
- "Ashkan Dejagah says Felix Magath is the right man to keep Fulham up". The Guardian. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
- "Iran – Argentina sold out is among top eight in Brazil". persianfootball.com.
- "Queiroz trims Iran squad to 24". FIFA.com. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
- 'Central Zone' gets thumbs up from Tajikistan
- "Iran 0-0 Nigeria: Super Eagles play out World Cup's first goalless draw". Mail Online.
- David Ornstein. "BBC Sport - World Cup: Argentina 1-0 Iran". BBC Sport.
- Olly Groome. "Iran's Rez Ghoochannejhad becomes Charlton's first ever player to score a goal at the World Cup after 3-1 loss to Bosnia and Herzegovina". cafc.co.uk.
- "Queiroz ends contract saga by signing Iran deal". Reuters UK.
- "Hosts Australia top seeds for 2015 Asian Cup". Reuters. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- "Queiroz Names Team Melli Squad". afcasiancup.com. 30 December 2014.
- "Iranian crowd sets Asian Cup standard". yahoo.com.
- "Queiroz: Iran 'victimised' by sanctions - Goal.com". Goal.com.
- "#teammelli: Social media helps Iranian fans defy censorship of images from Asian Cup matches in Australia". ABC News.
- "Iran 1 - 0 UAE Match report - 1/19/15 Asian Cup - Goal.com". goal.com.
- "Former Socceroos blast referee Ben Williams for 'embarrasing' send-off in Iran's Asian Cup loss to Iraq". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Joe Gorman. "Iranian women stand united in protest and hope at Asian Cup". the Guardian.
- "Iran 2 - 0 Chile Match report - 3/26/15 Friendlies - Goal.com". goal.com.
- "Ibra silences raucous Iran fans to give Sweden 3-1 win". Reuters UK.
- Sveriges Radio. "Regimkritiska budskap på Friends kan ge böter". sverigesradio.se.
- "Asian Football News - Queiroz quits as Iran coach - FOX SPORTS". FOX SPORTS.
- "Asian draw throws up derbies and drama". FIFA.com. 14 April 2015.
- "U-turn as Carlos Queiroz stays as Iran coach". Yahoo Sports. 26 April 2015.
- Lars Rensmann (15 June 2014). "Soccer breeds nationalism and anti-regime protests in Iran". Washington Post.
- Kayhan, p14, No.881, 7 November 2001.
- Clayton, Andy (24 June 2009). "Iran soccer players banned from national team after wearing green pro-opposition wristbands". New York: NY Daily News. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- "Iran says it didn't punish soccer players". CBC. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- Joshua Mitnick. "Iran Gets World Cup Support From Unlikely Fans". WSJ.
- "Iran Sports Press - Team Melli bridges the U.S.-Iran divide". Iran Sports Press.
- "Why Iranian World Cup Fans Wave 3 Different Types of Flags". The Huffington Post.
- "World Cup 2014: How 'Team Melli' Helps Us Understand the Complexities of Modern Iran". The Huffington Post.
- Matt Birgy. "The World Cup: 9 More Reasons to Teach English Abroad". internationalteflacademy.com.
- "In Front of Team Iran’s Hotel - Roads & Kingdoms". Roads & Kingdoms.
- Theo Resnikoff, for CNN (4 July 2014). "Social media reflects female football fans". CNN.
- "Iranian women at World Cup spark social media jibes". alarabiya.net.
- Football fans Iranian women shocked During FIFA World Cup 2014
- "UAE 0–3 Iran: Team Melli Cruise Into Quarter-Finals". Goal.com. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "Iran 1–0 Russia: Khalatbari Strike Sinks The Sbornaya". Goal.com. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "Iran vs North Korea: prepare for the UFWC ‘megaclash’". UFWC. 23 Sep 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "Elephants surrounded by the lions of Iran (in Persian)". khabarsport.com. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "The AFC website hailed Rahman Ahmadi the goalkeeper of Iranian lions (in Persian)". Varzesh11. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "The Lions of Persia". Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). 12 Jun 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Traditional powers eye return to glory (Princes of Persia become Kings of Asia)". ESPN. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "Princes of Persia Rout Qatar Army" (PDF). Iran-daily. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Princes of Persia' to begin 2011 event". Press TV. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "What a despicable slogan for Iranian soccer team". CNN iReport. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Iran national football team". Goal.com. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- Matt Knight, CNN (15 May 2014). "World Cup 2014: FIFA's bus slogans cause misery and mirth on social media". CNN.
- "The Winners". fifa.com. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- "Iran’s World Cup kits unveiled [PHOTOS]". PersianFootball.com. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- "South Korea proposes a friendly match with Iran". teammelli.com. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "The (Hopefully) Last Qualifier – Korea vs Iran". taegukwarriors.com. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Asia’s finale sees three spots up for grabs". FIFA.com. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Holders Iraq went through to quarterfinals". cnn.com. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Iran's defeat sends Cho back to the drawing board". ESPN Internet Ventures. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Saudi Arabia VS Iran: Launch pad for Saudi reign". FIFA.com. October 28, 1993. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Peters, Jerrad (October 15, 2014). "International Football's 10 Most Politically-Charged Football Rivalries". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Staunton, Peter (November 17, 2010). "Football's 10 Greatest International Rivalries; Argentina - Brazil, Portugal - Spain, Algeria - Egypt, Japan - South Korea And More". Goal.com. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- "Classic Football". FIFA.com.
- "World Cup ban? Iran's women just don't care". Telegraph.co.uk. 26 June 2014.
- http://www.goal.com/iran/news/1825/%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86/2013/03/24/3849845/%D9%86%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%87%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AA%D9%88%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%AF%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%B3%D9%87-%D8%AA%DB%8C%D9%85-%D9%85%D9%84%DB%8C?source=breakingnews&ICID=HP_BN_2[dead link]
- "فدراسیون فوتبال جمهوری اسلامی ایران". ffiri.ir.
- "Iran Football: National Team Players - تیم ملی فوتبال ایران". parstimes.com.
- تیم ملی ایران با پیراهن آبی
- "تیم ملی ایران با پیراهن آبی +عکس - دی اسپورت - www.dsport.ir". dsport.ir.
- عکس: تیم ملی ایران با پیراهن آبی
- "Historical Football Kits – World Cup 1978". historicalkits.co.uk. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Historical Football Kits – World Cup 1998". historicalkits.co.uk. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Historical Football Kits – World Cup 2006". historicalkits.co.uk. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Iran vs. Iraq Friendly Match Thread". persianfootball.com.
- "Friendly: Iran - Chile [26-03-2015]; Date, Times, Info, Updates and Live Reports". persianfootball.com.
- "Friendly: Iran - Sweden [31-03-2015]; Date, Times, Info, Updates and Live Reports". persianfootball.com.
- "ایران - ژاپن 21 مهر در ورزشگاه آزادی؟". varzesh3.com.
- "FIFA" (PDF). FIFA.com.
- "AFC Calendar of Competitions 2015" (PDF).
- "AFC Calendar of Competitions 2016-2018" (PDF).
- "حاج رضایی: پیروانی همه فاکتورهای لازم را دارد". varzesh3.com.
- "Mehrdad Pooladi saved by FIFA !". TeamMelli.
- "Parsis Press -". Parsis Press.
- "بیشترین کاپیتانی". تبیان. 24 June 2015.
- "de beste bron van informatie over sport. Deze website is te koop!". parssport.ir. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- "de beste bron van informatie over sport. Deze website is te koop!". parssport.ir. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- "de beste bron van informatie over ورزشی. Deze website is te koop!". parssport.ir. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- "de beste bron van informatie over ورزشی. Deze website is te koop!". parssport.ir. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- "de beste bron van informatie over ورزشی. Deze website is te koop!". parssport.ir. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Iran national football team.|
- Official Website of IR Iran Football Federation
- Iran Football News,Iran Football League
- Iran Soccer News
- Iran Football News since 1997
- Extensive archive of Team's results, squads, campaigns and players
- RSSSF archive of results 1941–
- RSSSF archive of most capped players and highest goalscorers
- Iran's archive of results and elo rating points
- Iran’s National Football Team: The Smaller Iranian Society
1968 (first title)
1972 (second title)
1976 (third title)
|Asian Games Champions
1974 (first title)
|Asian Games Champions
1990 (second title)
|Asian Games Champions
1998 (third title)
2002 (fourth title)
2004 (second title)
2007 (third title)
2008 (fourth title)