Iran national football team

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Iran
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)
AssociationFootball Federation Islamic Republic of Iran
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationCAFA (Central Asia)
Head coachAmir Ghalenoei
CaptainAlireza Jahanbakhsh
Most capsJavad Nekounam (149)[a]
Top scorerAli Daei (108)[b]
Home stadiumAzadi Stadium
FIFA codeIRN
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 20 Steady (4 April 2024)[3]
Highest15 (August 2005[4])
Lowest122 (May 1996[5])
First international
 Afghanistan 0–0 Iran 
(Kabul, Afghanistan; 25 August 1941)
Biggest win
 Iran 19–0 Guam 
(Tabriz, Iran; 24 November 2000)[6]
Biggest defeat
 Turkey 6–1 Iran 
(Istanbul, Turkey; 28 May 1950)[7]
 South Korea 5–0 Iran 
(Tokyo, Japan; 28 May 1958)[8]
World Cup
Appearances6 (first in 1978)
Best resultGroup stage (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014, 2018, 2022)
Asian Cup
Appearances16 (first in 1968)
Best resultChampions (1968, 1972, 1976)
Olympic Games
Appearances3 (first in 1964)
Best resultQuarter-finals (1976)
Asian Games
Appearances10 (first in 1951)
Best resultChampions (1974, 1990, 1998)
WAFF Championship
Appearances7 (first in 2000)
Best resultChampions (2000, 2004, 2007, 2008)

The Iran national football team (Persian: تیم ملی فوتبال مردان ایران, romanizedTeam Mellie Futbâle Mardâne Irân), recognised by FIFA as IR Iran,[10] represents Iran in international senior football and is controlled by the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI).[citation needed]

At the continental level, Iran has won three AFC Asian Cup championships in 1968, 1972, and 1976. They have also won three Asian Games in 1974, 1990, and 1998. The nation's best performance at the world level was reaching the quarterfinals at the 1976 Summer Olympics. At the FIFA World Cup, Iran have qualified six times (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014, 2018 and 2022) but have never progressed beyond the group stages; they have however, won three matches: against the United States in 1998, Morocco in 2018, and Wales in 2022. At the regional level, Iran has won four WAFF Championships and one CAFA Nations Cup. The team also won intercontinental AFC–OFC Challenge Cup in 2003.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

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

The Iranian Football Federation was founded in 1920.[11] 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.[7] Iran won the Asian Cup three consecutive times (1968, 1972, 1976) to which the team has not been able to add since.

Dunai and Ghelichkhani at the 1972 Summer Olympics
Iran playing in the 1978 World Cup against Scotland in Cordoba, Argentina

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.[12] Team Melli managed to surprise some in the footballing community[13] 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.[14]

After the Iranian Revolution[edit]

After the Iranian Revolution, football was somewhat neglected. 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 both the 1990 and 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.[15]

1998–2006[edit]

In November 1997, Iran qualified for the 1998 World Cup after eliminating Australia in a close playoff series. After being tied 3–3 on aggregate, Iran advanced due to the away goals rule; Iran held Australia to a 1–1 draw at home, and a 2–2 draw in Melbourne.[16]

At their first game at the 1998 FIFA World Cup against Yugoslavia, Iran lost 1–0 to a free kick by Siniša Mihajlović.[15] Iran recorded their first World Cup victory in the second game[14] beating and eliminating the United States 2–1 with Hamid Estili and Mehdi Mahdavikia scoring goals for Iran. The Iran-US 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.[17]

Iran played against Germany in the third game, losing 2–0 courtesy of goals from Oliver Bierhoff and Jürgen Klinsmann, finishing third in the group.[18]

Iran finished first in the group stage of the 2000 Asia Cup but lost to South Korea in the quarter-finals. They failed to qualify for World Cup 2002, held in Asia for the first time, 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.

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

Iran score against Angola during a 2006 FIFA World Cup match.

On 8 June 2005, Iran and Japan became the first countries other than hosts Germany to qualify for the 2006 World Cup.

The Iran-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 five fans dead and several others injured as they left the Azadi Stadium at the end of the match.[19]

Iran started their Germany 2006 appearance with a match against North America's Mexico in Group D. Being 1–1 at half-time, defensive mistakes led to a Mexican 3–1 win, with goals from Omar Bravo and Sinha. Yahya Golmohammadi scored the only Iranian goal.

Iran played against Portugal in the second game, losing 2–0. The goals were scored by Deco and a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo. Iran were eliminated from the competition before their third and final game against Angola, a 1–1 draw.

Temporary suspension[edit]

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

2007–14[edit]

The IRIFF appointed Amir Ghalenoei as manager of Iran on 17 July 2006 to succeed Branko Ivanković. After finishing first in the 2007 Asian Cup qualifying round two points ahead of South Korea, Iran placed first in the group stage of the final tournament in Malaysia, eventually losing to their qualifying opponents in a penalty shoot-out in the quarterfinals. 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.

Then-leading international goalscorer Ali Daei was chosen to become the new manager after Spanish coach Javier Clemente had been closer to signing on as Iran's national team manager, when talks collapsed when he refused to live full-time in the country.[23] Iran was placed with Kuwait, Syria and United Arab Emirates in the third round of 2010 World Cup qualifying. Ali Daei resigned from his position as the Iranian national coach on 29 March 2009,[24] replaced by Afshin Ghotbi. Iran failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup after finishing fourth overall in its group.[25]

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 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".[26][27] 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.[28]

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.[29] 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.[30] 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."[31] Head coach Afshin Ghotbi also confirmed that it was a rumour and Iranian FA "has not taken any official stand on this issue."[32]

Afshin Ghotbi qualified Iran for the 2011 Asian Cup and finished second in the West Asian Football Federation Championship 2010 just a few months before the Asian Cup. Iran were able to gain all nine possible points in the group stage of the Asian Cup but after an extra time goal from South Korea, Iran were yet again eliminated from the quarter-finals.

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.[33] 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 played 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, clinching their ticket to Brazil 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.[34]

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.[35][36]

Iran vs. Argentina, 2014 World Cup

Iran competed in Group F alongside Argentina, Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior to the tournament, they founded the Central Asian Football Association.[37]

In the opening match of the tournament on 16 June, Iran drew Nigeria 0–0 making it their first clean sheet in the World Cup.[38] 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.[39] 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.[40] 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.[41]

Late 2010s[edit]

Iran qualified for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup as group winners where Team Melli were the highest ranked seed.[42] Iran faced Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE in Group C. With the second highest number of fans in the tournament after hosts Australia, the Iranians defeated Bahrain 2–0 with limited preparations.[43][44] 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.[45][46] 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.[47][48]

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.[49][50][51] Queiroz resigned from his managerial post thereafter due to disagreements with the Iranian Football Federation.[52] On 14 April 2015, Iran were drawn with Oman, India, Turkmenistan and Guam in the second round of qualifiers.[53] On 26 April, Queiroz announced that he would continue as the manager of Iran for their 2018 World Cup campaign. Iran became the second team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup[54] after a 2–0 win at home over Uzbekistan on 12 June 2017.[55] They also clinched first place in their qualification group after South Korea's defeat to Qatar.[56]

Iran won the first match against Morocco after Aziz Bouhaddouz scoring an own goal.[57] They then lost against Spain with a goal scored by Diego Costa, with video assistant referees denying an Iranian equalizer.[58] The third match against Portugal ended in a draw after a penalty scored by Karim Ansarifard[59] and because Morocco could only manage a 2–2 draw to Spain, Iran were eliminated.[60] Iran's four points is the most received in any World Cup appearance.

Iran's squad against China at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup
Azmoun and Taremi played a key role in the front line of the team in these years.

Having qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup earlier, Iran was drawn into group D, where they shared fate with Iraq, Vietnam and Yemen. 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.[61] A 2–0 win over the Vietnamese side gave Iran direct qualification to the knockout stage.[62] Iran ended their group stage with a goalless draw over neighbor Iraq and took first place.[63] After the group stage, Iran encountered Oman, with a defending mistake almost costing Iran's chances but Ahmed Mubarak Al-Mahaijri's penalty was saved by Alireza Beiranvand. Iran then defeated Oman 2–0 to reach the last eight.[64] In the quarter-finals against a defensive China, Iran outclassed the Chinese 3–0 to meet Japan in the semi-finals.[65] Iran missed the opportunity to reach the final once again when they fell 3–0 with all three goals scored in second half.[66]

Early 2020s[edit]

Iran's squad against England at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

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 countries, Iraq and Bahrain, along with Cambodia and Hong Kong. Iran, under new Belgian manager Marc Wilmots, began with a 2–0 win over Hong Kong away. After the death of Sahar Khodayari, the 14–0 win over Cambodia allowed select Iranian women to enter the stadium for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.[67][68][69] Their next away encounters against Bahrain and Iraq went on to be consecutive defeats which Iran lost 0–1 and 1–2, respectively.[70][71] Following two consecutive draws between Iraq and Bahrain, Iran was left with the possibility of being eliminated from the World Cup outright in the second round, leading to the sacking of Marc Wilmots.[72]

The COVID-19 pandemic in Iran forced the remaining fixtures to be played without spectators in June 2021, forcing 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, occupying first place and, together with Iraq, progressed to the final phase.[73]

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. In March 2022, Iranian women were again banned from entering the stadium for a World Cup qualifier.[74] Iran's World Cup preparation friendly match against Canada at BC Place in June 2022 was cancelled by the Canadian Soccer Association amid opposition and mounting criticism, namely in regards to the Iranian government's role in shooting down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752.[75][76]

By the start of the World Cup in Qatar, Iran was the highest ranked team from Asia. In October 2022, calls were made to ban the Iranian national team from the World Cup for the Iranian government's blocking of Iranian women from their stadiums, their supplying of weapons to Russia during the invasion of Ukraine, and the treatment towards protesters during the Mahsa Amini protests.[77][78][79] However, Iran started its World Cup campaign with a nightmare, losing 2–6 to England in the opening game as Iran suffered the worst ever loss in its FIFA World Cup history.[80] The Iranian team notably made headlines in their opening match against England after refusing to sing the national anthem in solidarity with the Mahsa Amini protests, with some Iranian supporters cheering against their own team or boycotting their team amidst the ongoing protests as they felt the team was representing the government.[81][82][83][84]

In the following match against Wales, amidst the boos and whistles from some of the Iranian supporters during the playing of the national anthem, the Iranian players were filmed singing the national anthem before defeating Wales 2–0 for their first-ever win over a European nation at the World Cup, with some protestors having their pre-revolutionary Lion and Sun flags and Women, Life, Freedom banners snatched from them by pro-government fans and stadium security at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.[85][86][87][88] Protesters were harassed by government supporters with some protesters being detained by Qatari police, while stadium security confirmed they were given orders to confiscate anything but the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran.[89][90] Documents obtained by Iran International showed Iran was coordinating secret efforts with Qatar to control who attends the World Cup and restrict any signs of dissent.[91]

Ahead of Iran's final group stage match against the United States, the Iranian players were allegedly called in to a meeting with members of the IRGC and were threatened with violence and torture for their families if they did not sing the national anthem or joined the protests against the Iranian regime.[92] During the match, the Iranian players sang the national anthem again before losing to the United States 1–0 for the first time in their history and thereby being knocked out of the tournament.[93] Some Iranians celebrated the defeat and one Iranian man was killed by security forces in Bandar-e Anzali after honking his car horn in celebration.[94] Another Iranian fan was also arrested by Qatari police after he was wearing a shirt with the Woman, Life, Freedom slogan.[95]

During the World Cup as well as the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, the Iranian government reportedly sent paid members of the Basij and IRGC to cheer for the team in the stands.[96][97][98] Iran were eventually knocked out in the semi-final of the Asian Cup by hosts Qatar.[99] After the game, Iranian officials reportedly arrested ten teenagers in the city of Javanrud for celebrating the team's elimination from the tournament.[100]

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",[101][102] other nicknames for the team include "Persian Stars"[103][104][105] (entitled since the World Cup 2006) "Shiran e Iran",[106][107] meaning "The Iranian Lions" or "The Lions of Persia",[108] "Shir Dilan", "Lion Hearts" and "Princes of Persia"[109][110] (used since AFC Asian Cup 2011).[111] Iran's slogan for the 2014 FIFA World Cup was Honour of Persia, selected in an internet poll held by FIFA.[112][113] 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".[114] The team mascot "Yupa" is also a cheetah.[115]

Kits and crests[edit]

Traditionally, Iran national football team's home kit is white, and the away 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
West Germany Adidas 1978
West Germany Puma[116] 1980
Iran Amini[117] 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[114] 2012–2016
Italy Givova[118] 2016
Germany Adidas[119] 2016–2019
Germany Uhlsport 2019–2022
Iran Merooj[120] 2022–present

Sponsorship[edit]

On 1 February 2014, Iran announced the addition of the endangered Asiatic cheetah on their 2014 FIFA World Cup kits to bring attention to its conservation efforts.[114]

Rivalries[edit]

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.[121][122][123][124][125] In 2001, for the first time in decades, an Iran-Iraq match was not held at a neutral venue.[123] The rivalry was escalated after Iraq knocked Iran out of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in controversial circumstances.[126][127] Iran leads the series with 17 wins, 7 draws and 6 losses.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are ideological rivals.[128] The game was ranked eighth in Goal.com's 2010 list of "Football's 10 Greatest International Rivalries".[129] and ninth in Bleacher Report's 2014 list of "International Football's 10 Most Politically-Charged Football Rivalries"[130] All of their matches have been competitive; none of them were friendlies. 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 South Korea are competitive rivals with over 50 years of history.[131] As two of the leading teams in the continent in the 1970s, the rivalry is among the most storied in Asian football. Since their initial meeting in the 1958 Asian Games, they have faced off in a total of 32 games. South Korea frequently held the upper hand in the early years of the competition, but things started to shift in the twenty-first century. Iran has triumphed six times since 2006, while Korea has only defeated them once—by a score of 1–0 at the Asian Cup in 2011. Before Korea recovered its footing in 2017 and pushed the Middle Eastern team to a tie the past three times they faced off, Iran won four straight games after the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.

Stadiums[edit]

Azadi Stadium, 1991

Since 1972, Iran's national stadium has been Tehran's Azadi Stadium with a nominal capacity of 78,116 spectators.[132] Azadi Stadium is the 28th largest association football stadium in the world, seventh 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.[133] Since 1979, the government restricts Iranian women from entering the stadiums.[134][135] 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.”[136] After the death of Sahar Khodayari, select Iranian women were allowed to attend the match against Cambodia in October 2019.[67] However, in March 2022, Iranian women were again blocked from entering the stadium for a World Cup qualifier.[137]

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]

All opponents that the Iran football team has played at least once

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   Fixture

2023[edit]

13 June 2023 CAFA Nations Cup Iran  6–1  Afghanistan Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
21:00 UTC+6
Stadium: Dolen Omurzakov Stadium
Referee: Golmorad Saadollah (Tajikistan)
16 June 2023 CAFA Nations Cup Kyrgyzstan  1–5  Iran Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
21:00 UTC+6
Stadium: Dolen Omurzakov Stadium
Referee: Akhrol Riskullaev (Uzbekistan)
20 June 2023 CAFA Nations Cup Final Uzbekistan  0–1  Iran Tashkent, Uzbekistan
20:30 UTC+5
Stadium: Milliy Stadium
Referee: Kirill Levnikov (Russia)
7 September Friendly Bulgaria  0–1  Iran Plovdiv, Bulgaria
19:00 UTC+3 Report
Stadium: Hristo Botev
Attendance: 9,500
Referee: Lazar Lukic (Serbia)
12 September Friendly Iran  4–0  Angola Tehran, Iran
19:00 UTC+3:30
Report Stadium: Azadi Stadium
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hoaish (Saudi Arabia)
13 October 2023 Jordan International Tournament Jordan  1–3  Iran Amman, Jordan
21:00 UTC+3 Report
Stadium: Amman International Stadium
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hoaish (Saudi Arabia)
17 October 2023 Jordan International Tournament Iran  4–0  Qatar Amman, Jordan
21:00 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Amman International Stadium
Attendance: 1,000
Referee: ahmad Ibrahim Yacoub (Jordan)
16 November 2026 World Cup qualification Iran  4–0  Hong Kong Tehran, Iran
18:00 UTC+3:30
Report Stadium: Azadi Stadium
Attendance: 6,191
Referee: Nazmi Nasaruddin (Malaysia)
21 November 2026 World Cup qualification Uzbekistan  2–2  Iran Tashkent, Uzbekistan
18:00 UTC+5
Report
Stadium: Milliy Stadium
Attendance: 32,551
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohamed (UAE)

2024[edit]

5 January Friendly Iran  2–1  Burkina Faso Kish, Iran
18:00 UTC+3:30
Report
Stadium: Olympic Stadium
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Yousif Saeed Hassan (Iraq)
9 January Friendly Indonesia  0–5  Iran Al Rayyan, Qatar
18:00 UTC+3 Report
Stadium: Al Rayyan Training Ground
Attendance: 0
14 January 2023 AFC Asian Cup GS Iran  4–1  Palestine Al Rayyan, Qatar
20:30 UTC+3 Report
Stadium: Education City Stadium
Attendance: 27,691
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (Qatar)
19 January 2023 AFC Asian Cup GS Hong Kong  0–1  Iran Al Rayyan, Qatar
20:30 UTC+3 Report
Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium
Attendance: 36,412
Referee: Hanna Hattab (Syria)
23 January 2023 AFC Asian Cup GS Iran  2–1  United Arab Emirates Al Rayyan, Qatar
18:00 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Education City Stadium
Attendance: 34,259
Referee: Ilgiz Tantashev (Uzbekistan)
3 February 2023 AFC Asian Cup QF Iran  2–1  Japan Al Rayyan, Qatar
14:30 UTC+3
Report
Stadium: Education City Stadium
Attendance: 35,640
Referee: Ma Ning (China)
7 February 2023 AFC Asian Cup SF Iran  2–3  Qatar Doha, Qatar
18:00 UTC+3 Report
Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium
Attendance: 40,342
Referee: Ahmad Al-Ali (Kuwait)
21 March 2026 World Cup qualification Iran  5–0  Turkmenistan Tehran, Iran
19:30 UTC+3:30
Report Stadium: Azadi Stadium
Attendance: 23,109
Referee: Yusuke Araki (Japan)
26 March 2026 World Cup qualification Turkmenistan  0–1  Iran Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
20:00 UTC+5 Report
Stadium: Ashgabat Stadium
Attendance: 10,230
Referee: Sivakorn Pu-udom (Thailand)
  • FIFA International match days 2020–2024[138]

Coaching staff[edit]

[139]

Position Name
Head Coach Iran Amir Ghalenoei
Assistant Coach(es) Italy Antonio Manicone
Iran Rahman Rezaei
Iran Hamid Motahari
Iran Andranik Teymourian
Iran Saeed Alhoei
Goalkeeping Coach Romania Alin Dinca
Fitness Coach Iran Ali Asghar Ghorbanalipour
Physiotherapist Iran Dr. Alireza Shahab
Team Doctor Iran Dr. Parhan Khanlari
Masseurs Iran Hadi Nejatpour
Iran Amir Esmaeili
Team Supervisor Iran Mehdi Kharati
Team Management Iran Mahdi Mohammadnabi

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following 29 players have been called up to training camp for preparation of 2026 FIFA World Cup qualificatin.[140]

Caps and goals updated as of 26 March 2024 , after the match against  Turkmenistan.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Alireza Beiranvand (1992-09-21) 21 September 1992 (age 31) 70 0 Iran Persepolis
12 1GK Hossein Pour Hamidi (1998-03-26) 26 March 1998 (age 26) 1 0 Iran Tractor
22 1GK Hossein Hosseini (1992-06-30) 30 June 1992 (age 31) 11 0 Iran Esteghlal

2 2DF Saleh Hardani (1998-12-26) 26 December 1998 (age 25) 4 0 Iran Esteghlal
3 2DF Hossein Kanaanizadegan (1994-03-23) 23 March 1994 (age 30) 53 6 Iran Persepolis
4 2DF Shojae Khalilzadeh (1989-05-14) 14 May 1989 (age 34) 40 2 Iran Tractor
5 2DF Milad Mohammadi (1993-09-29) 29 September 1993 (age 30) 59 1 Turkey Adana Demirspor
13 2DF Saman Fallah (2001-05-12) 12 May 2001 (age 22) 4 0 Iran Gol Gohar
15 2DF Amin Hazbavi (2003-05-06) 6 May 2003 (age 20) 1 0 Qatar Al Sadd
23 2DF Ramin Rezaeian (1990-03-21) 21 March 1990 (age 34) 65 6 Iran Sepahan
2DF Abolfazl Jalali (1998-06-26) 26 June 1998 (age 25) 4 0 Iran Esteghlal
2DF Hossein Goudarzi (2001-05-03) 3 May 2001 (age 22) 0 0 Iran Shams Azar

6 3MF Saeid Ezatolahi (1996-10-01) 1 October 1996 (age 27) 68 1 United Arab Emirates Shabab Al Ahli
11 3MF Mohammad Mohebi (1998-12-20) 20 December 1998 (age 25) 23 6 Russia Rostov
14 3MF Saman Ghoddos (1993-09-06) 6 September 1993 (age 30) 50 3 England Brentford
17 3MF Ali Gholizadeh (1996-03-10) 10 March 1996 (age 28) 36 6 Poland Lech Poznań
20 3MF Mohammad Ghorbani (2001-05-21) 21 May 2001 (age 22) 1 0 Russia Orenburg
21 3MF Omid Noorafkan (1997-04-09) 9 April 1997 (age 27) 20 1 Iran Sepahan

8 4FW Allahyar Sayyadmanesh (2001-06-29) 29 June 2001 (age 22) 8 1 Belgium Westerlo
9 4FW Mehdi Taremi (1992-07-18) 18 July 1992 (age 31) 83 46 Portugal Porto
10 4FW Mehdi Ghayedi (1998-12-05) 5 December 1998 (age 25) 18 7 United Arab Emirates Ittihad Kalba
19 4FW Mohammad Reza Azadi (1999-12-07) 7 December 1999 (age 24) 1 0 Iran Nassaji
4FW Saeid Saharkhizan (2003-06-26) 26 June 2003 (age 20) 0 0 Iran Gol Gohar
4FW Javad Aghaeipour (1999-12-06) 6 December 1999 (age 24) 0 0 Iran Esteghlal Khuzestan

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 Arsha Shakouri (2006-10-01) 1 October 2006 (age 17) 0 0 Iran Havadar v.  Turkmenistan, 21 Mar 2024
GK Payam Niazmand INJ (1995-04-06) 6 April 1995 (age 29) 8 0 Iran Sepahan v.  Qatar, 7 Feb 2024
GK Mohammad Reza Akhbari (1993-02-15) 15 February 1993 (age 31) 1 0 Iran Gol Gohar v.  Angola, 12 Sep 2023

DF Ehsan Hajsafi (1990-02-25) 25 February 1990 (age 34) 142 7 Greece AEK Athens v.  Qatar, 7 Feb 2024
DF Sadegh Moharrami INJ (1996-03-01) 1 March 1996 (age 28) 30 1 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb v.  Qatar, 7 Feb 2024
DF Majid Hosseini INJ (1996-06-20) 20 June 1996 (age 27) 28 0 Turkey Kayserispor v.  Qatar, 7 Feb 2024
DF Aria Yousefi (2002-04-22) 22 April 2002 (age 21) 2 0 Iran Sepahan v.  Qatar, 7 Feb 2024
DF Mohammad Daneshgar (1994-01-24) 24 January 1994 (age 30) 2 0 Iran Sepahan v.  Uzbekistan, 21 Nov 2023
DF Morteza Pouraliganji (1992-04-19) 19 April 1992 (age 31) 54 3 Iran Persepolis v.  Qatar, 17 Oct 2023
DF Hossein Moradmand (1993-06-22) 22 June 1993 (age 30) 1 0 Iran Esteghlal v.  Angola, 12 Sep 2023
DF Mohammad Naderi (1996-10-05) 5 October 1996 (age 27) 1 0 Iran Tractor Mini Camp, 2 Jun 2023
DF Aref Aghasi (1997-01-02) 2 January 1997 (age 27) 1 0 Iran Tractor Mini Camp, 2 Jun 2023
DF Mehdi Tikdari (1996-07-12) 12 July 1996 (age 27) 0 0 Iran Gol Gohar Mini Camp, 2 Jun 2023
DF Ehsan Hosseini (1998-10-03) 3 October 1998 (age 25) 0 0 Iran Nassaji Mini Camp, 2 Jun 2023
DF Amir Mehdi Janmaleki (1999-02-01) 1 February 1999 (age 25) 0 0 Iran Nassaji Mini Camp, 2 Jun 2023

MF Alireza Jahanbakhsh (1993-08-11) 11 August 1993 (age 30) 82 17 Netherlands Feyenoord v.  Turkmenistan, 21 Mar 2024
MF Mehdi Torabi (1994-09-10) 10 September 1994 (age 29) 49 7 Iran Persepolis v.  Turkmenistan, 21 Mar 2024
MF Mahdi Limouchi (1999-11-23) 23 November 1999 (age 24) 0 0 Iran Aluminium Arak v.  Turkmenistan, 21 Mar 2024
MF Omid Ebrahimi RET (1987-09-15) 15 September 1987 (age 36) 64 1 Qatar Al-Shamal v.  Qatar, 7 Feb 2024
MF Rouzbeh Cheshmi (1993-07-24) 24 July 1993 (age 30) 34 3 Iran Esteghlal v.  Qatar, 7 Feb 2024
MF Javad Hosseinnejad INJ (2003-06-26) 26 June 2003 (age 20) 2 0 Iran Sepahan v.  Burkina Faso, 31 Dec 2023
MF Ali Karimi (1994-02-11) 11 February 1994 (age 30) 19 0 Turkey Kayserispor v.  Uzbekistan, 21 Nov 2023
MF Ahmad Nourollahi WD (1993-02-01) 1 February 1993 (age 31) 31 3 United Arab Emirates Al Wahda v.  Hong Kong, 16 Nov 2023
MF Vahid Amiri (1988-04-02) 2 April 1988 (age 36) 71 2 Iran Persepolis v.  Angola, 12 Sep 2023
MF Milad Sarlak (1995-03-26) 26 March 1995 (age 29) 13 0 Iran Malavan v.  Angola, 12 Sep 2023
MF Alireza Alizadeh (1993-02-11) 11 February 1993 (age 31) 1 0 Iran Gol Gohar v.  Angola, 12 Sep 2023
MF Mohammad Karimi (1996-06-20) 20 June 1996 (age 27) 3 0 Iran Sepahan v.  Uzbekistan, 20 Jun 2023
MF Amirhossein Hosseinzadeh (2000-10-30) 30 October 2000 (age 23) 3 0 Iran Tractor v.  Uzbekistan, 20 Jun 2023
MF Saeid Mehri (1998-02-09) 9 February 1998 (age 26) 1 0 Cyprus APOEL v.  Uzbekistan, 20 Jun 2023
MF Mehran Ahmadi (1997-01-01) 1 January 1997 (age 27) 0 0 Iran Malavan Mini Camp, 2 Jun 2023
MF Mehdi Ghanbari (1999-01-01) 1 January 1999 (age 25) 0 0 Iran Tractor Mini Camp, 2 Jun 2023
MF Mehdi Mamizadeh (2000-01-01) 1 January 2000 (age 24) 0 0 Iran Gol Gohar Mini Camp, 2 Jun 2023
MF Gholamreza Sabet Imani (2000-04-06) 6 April 2000 (age 24) 0 0 Iran Paykan Mini Camp, 2 Jun 2023

FW Sardar Azmoun INJ (1995-01-01) 1 January 1995 (age 29) 81 52 Italy Roma v.  Turkmenistan, 21 Mar 2024
FW Karim Ansarifard (1990-04-03) 3 April 1990 (age 34) 104 30 Greece Aris v.  Qatar, 7 Feb 2024
FW Reza Asadi (1996-01-17) 17 January 1996 (age 28) 10 1 Iran Sepahan v.  Qatar, 7 Feb 2024
FW Shahriyar Moghanlou (1994-12-21) 21 December 1994 (age 29) 8 2 Iran Sepahan v.  Qatar, 7 Feb 2024
FW Mehrdad Mohammadi (1993-09-29) 29 September 1993 (age 30) 5 2 Iran Esteghlal v.  Uzbekistan, 21 Nov 2023
FW Shahab Zahedi (1995-08-18) 18 August 1995 (age 28) 1 0 Japan Avispa Fukuoka v.  Uzbekistan, 20 Jun 2023
FW Javad Mohammadi (1996-07-20) 20 July 1996 (age 27) 0 0 Iran Zob Ahan Mini Camp, 2 Jun 2023

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 a non-injury issue.
COV Injured because of COVID-19

Player records[edit]

As of 26 March 2024.[141]
Statistics include official FIFA-recognised matches only.
Players in bold are still active with Iran.

Most appearances[edit]

Javad Nekounam is the most capped player in the history of Iran with 149 appearances.
Rank Player Caps Goals Career
1 Javad Nekounam[a] 149 38 2000–2015
2 Ali Daei[b] 148 108 1993–2006
3 Ehsan Hajsafi 142 7 2008–present
4 Ali Karimi 127 38 1998–2012
5 Jalal Hosseini 115 8 2007–2018
6 Mehdi Mahdavikia 110 13 1996–2009
7 Karim Ansarifard 104 30 2009–present
8 Andranik Teymourian 101 9 2005–2016
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 108 goals in 148 matches.
Rank Player Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Ali Daei[b] (list) 108 148 0.73 1993–2006
2 Sardar Azmoun 53 81 0.64 2014–present
3 Karim Bagheri 50 87 0.57 1993–2010
4 Mehdi Taremi 46 83 0.55 2015–present
5 Ali Karimi 38 127 0.3 1998–2012
Javad Nekounam 38 149 0.26 2000–2015
7 Karim Ansarifard 30 104 0.29 2009–present
8 Gholam Hossein Mazloumi 19 40 0.48 1969–1977
9 Farshad Pious[142] 18 34 0.53 1984–1994
10 Reza Ghoochannejhad 17 44 0.36 2012–2018

Notes

  1. ^ a b Nekounam has two additional caps awarded by the Iranian FA. Those matches are not considered full internationals by FIFA, which only counts 149 appearances.[1]
  2. ^ a b c Daei has an additional cap and goal awarded by the Iranian FA but in a match that is not considered a full international by FIFA, which only counts 108 goals and 148 appearances.[2]

Most capped goalkeepers[edit]

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 70 2001–2011
4 Alireza Beiranvand 70 2015–present
5 Nasser Hejazi[143] 62 1968–1980
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

Captains[edit]

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 78 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 148 108 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 149 38 56 18 2011 AFC Asian Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup
2015 AFC Asian Cup
19 2015–2016 Andranik Teymourian 2005–2016 101 9 9 1
20 2016–2019 Masoud Shojaei 2004–2019 87 8 11 0 2018 FIFA World Cup
2019 AFC Asian Cup
21 2019– Ehsan Hajsafi 2008– 142 7 43 3 2022 FIFA World Cup
2023 AFC Asian Cup

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 Not a FIFA member
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 Korea Japan 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 Group stage 26th 3 1 0 2 4 7 Squad Queiroz 18 14 1 3 49 8
Canada Mexico United States 2026 To be determined 4 3 1 0 12 2
Morocco Portugal Spain 2030[a] To be determined
Saudi Arabia 2034
Total First round 6/22 18 3 4 11 13 31 150 95 36 19 328 91

Olympic Games[edit]

Summer Olympics record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Manager(s) Pld W D L GF GA
France 1900 Not an IOC member No qualification
United States 1904
United Kingdom 1908
Sweden 1912
Belgium 1920
France 1924
Netherlands 1928
Germany 1936
United Kingdom 1948 Did not enter
Finland 1952
Australia 1956 Withdrew Withdrew
Italy 1960 Did not enter Did not enter
Japan 1964 First round 12th 3 0 1 2 1 6 Squad Fekri 6 4 1 1 14 3
Mexico 1968 Withdrew Withdrew
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 Round 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 Qualified as hosts
Thailand 1972 Champions 1st 5 5 0 0 12 4 Squad Ranjbar Qualified as champions
Iran 1976 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 13 0 Squad Mohajerani Qualified as hosts
Kuwait 1980 Third place 3rd 6 3 2 1 16 6 Squad Habibi Qualified as champions
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 Group stage 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 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
Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Vietnam 2007 Quarter-finals 5th 4 2 2 0 6 3 Squad Ghalenoei 6 4 2 0 12 2
Qatar 2011 Quarter-finals 7th 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
Qatar 2023 Semi-finals 3rd 6 4 1 1 12 7 Squad Ghalenoei 8 6 0 2 34 4
Saudi Arabia 2027 Qualified 4 3 1 0 12 2
Total 3 titles 15/18 74 45 20 9 143 55 74 56 11 7 222 39

Asian Games[edit]

Asian Games record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Manager(s)
India 1951 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 5 3 Squad Sadaghiani
Philippines 1954 Did not enter
Japan 1958 Preliminary round 14th 2 0 0 2 0 9 Squad Mészáros
Indonesia 1962 Did not enter
Thailand 1966 Runners-up 2nd 7 4 0 3 9 6 Squad Szűcs
Thailand 1970 Preliminary round 8th 2 0 1 1 2 3 Squad Netto
Iran 1974 Champions 1st 7 7 0 0 20 1 Squad O'Farrell
Thailand 1978 Did not enter
India 1982 Quarter-finals 8th 4 2 0 2 3 2 Squad Cheraghpour
South Korea 1986 Quarter-finals 6th 5 3 1 1 13 2 Squad Dehdari
China 1990 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 7 1 Squad Parvin
Japan 1994 Preliminary round 9th 4 1 2 1 5 2 Squad Poklepović
Thailand 1998 Champions 1st 8 7 0 1 25 7 Squad Pourheidari
2002–present See Iran national under-23 team
Total 3 titles 10/13 47 30 5 12 89 36

WAFF Championship[edit]

WAFF Championship record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Manager(s)
Jordan 2000 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 7 1 Squad Talebi
Syria 2002 Third place 3rd 4 1 2 1 4 3 Squad Ivanković
Iran 2004 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 17 3 Squad Ivanković
Jordan 2007 Champions 1st 4[b] 3 1 0 5 1 Squad Mazloumi
Iran 2008 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 13 2 Squad Daei
Jordan 2010 Runners-up 2nd 4 2 1 1 8 5 Squad Ghotbi
Kuwait 2012 Group stage 6th 3 1 2 0 2 1 Squad Queiroz
Qatar 2014 Did not enter
2019–onwards Not a WAFF member
Total 4 titles 7/9 28 19 7 2 56 16

CAFA Nations Cup[edit]

CAFA Nations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Manager(s)
Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan 2023 Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 12 2 Squad Ghalenoei
Total 1 title 1/1 3 3 0 0 12 2

RCD Cup/ECO Cup[edit]

RCD Cup/ECO Cup record (Defunct)
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Manager(s)
Iran 1965 Champions 1st 2 1 1 0 4 1 Squad Fekri
Pakistan 1967 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 2 1 Squad Fekri
Turkey 1969 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 4 6 Squad Rajkov
Iran 1970 Champions 1st 2[c] 1 1 0 8 1 Squad Bayati
Pakistan 1974 Runners-up 2nd 2[d] 1 0 1 2 2 Squad Salehnia
Iran 1993 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 10 2 Squad Parvin
Total 3 titles 6/6 14 9 2 3 30 13
Only "A" matches 3 titles 6/6 11 8 1 2 27 10

Afro-Asian Cup of Nations[edit]

Afro-Asian Cup of Nations record (Defunct)
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Manager(s)
Ghana Iran 1978 Not completed[e] 1 1 0 0 3 0 Squad Yavari
Cameroon Saudi Arabia 1985 Did not qualify
Qatar 1987
Algeria Iran 1991 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 2 2 Squad
Squad
Parvin
Japan 1993 Did not qualify
Nigeria Uzbekistan 1995
Saudi Arabia South Africa 1997
Japan 2007
Total Runners-up 2/8 3 2 0 1 5 2

AFC–OFC Challenge Cup[edit]

AFC–OFC Challenge Cup record (Defunct)
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Manager(s)
Japan 2001 Did not qualify
Iran 2003 Champions 1st 1 1 0 0 3 0 Squad Ivanković
Total 1 title 1/2 1 1 0 0 3 0

Head-to-head record[edit]

Last match updated:  Turkmenistan on 26 March 2024.
Team M W D L GF GA GD Win percentage Confederation Best win Worst loss
 Afghanistan 3 2 1 0 10 1 +9 66.67% AFC 6–1 X
 Albania 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1 0% UEFA X 0–1
 Algeria 4 2 0 2 5 5 0 50% CAF 2–1 1–2
 Angola 4 2 2 0 7 2 +5 50% CAF 4–0 X
 Argentina 2 0 1 1 1 2 −1 0% CONMEBOL X 0–1
 Armenia 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2 100% UEFA 3–1 X
 Australia[f] 6 3 2 1 7 6 +1 50% AFC / OFC 2–0 0–3
 Austria 1 0 0 1 1 5 −4 0% UEFA X 1–5
 Azerbaijan 3 2 1 0 4 2 +2 66.67% UEFA 2–1 X
 Bahrain 18 8 5 5 32 13 +19 44.44% AFC 6–0 2–4
 Bangladesh 6 6 0 0 28 1 +27 100% AFC 6–0 X
 Belarus 3 0 2 1 3 4 −1 0% UEFA X 1–2
 Bolivia 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 100% CONMEBOL 2–1 X
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 7 5 1 1 19 10 +9 71.43% UEFA 4–0 1–3
 Botswana 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0% CAF X X
 Brazil 1 0 0 1 0 3 −3 0% CONMEBOL X 0–3
 Bulgaria 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 50% UEFA 1–0 X
 Burkina Faso 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 100% CAF 2–1 X
 Cambodia 4 4 0 0 28 1 +27 100% AFC 14–0 X
 Cameroon 2 0 2 0 1 1 0 0% CAF X X
 Canada 3 2 0 1 2 1 +1 66.67% CONCACAF 1–0 0–1
 Chile 3 1 1 1 4 3 +1 33.33% CONMEBOL 2–0 1–2
 China 23 13 6 4 39 18 +21 56.52% AFC 4–0 0–2
 Chinese Taipei 5 5 0 0 22 0 +22 100% AFC 6–0 X
 Costa Rica 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1 50% CONCACAF 3–2 X
 Croatia 2 0 1 1 2 4 −2 0% UEFA X 0–2
 Cyprus 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0% UEFA X X
 Czech Republic 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1 0% UEFA X 0–1
 Denmark 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0% UEFA X X
 Ecuador 3 0 2 1 2 3 −1 0% CONMEBOL X 0–1
 Egypt 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0% CAF X X
 England 1 0 0 1 2 6 −4 0% UEFA X 2–6
 France 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 0% UEFA X 1–2
 Georgia 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 100% UEFA 2–1 X
 Germany 2 0 0 2 0 4 −4 0% UEFA X 0–2
 Ghana 2 2 0 0 5 0 +5 100% CAF 3–0 X
 Guam 3 3 0 0 31 0 +31 100% AFC 19–0 X
 Guatemala 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 0% CONCACAF X X
 Guinea 2 0 1 1 2 3 −1 0% CAF X 1–2
 Hong Kong 8 8 0 0 19 1 +18 100% AFC 4–0 X
 Hungary 3 0 0 3 1 6 −5 0% UEFA X 0–2
 Iceland 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% UEFA 1–0 X
 India 8 5 1 2 17 6 +11 62.5% AFC 4–0 1–3
 Indonesia 6 5 1 0 16 3 +13 83.33% AFC 5–0 X
 Iraq 28 16 6 6 37 21 +16 57.14% AFC 3–0 1–2
 Republic of Ireland 3 1 0 2 2 4 −2 33.33% UEFA 1–0 0–2
 Israel 5 3 1 1 7 6 +1 60% UEFA / AFC 3–0 0–4
 Jamaica 2 2 0 0 9 1 +8 100% CONCACAF 8–1 X
 Japan 19 7 6 6 21 22 −1 36.84% AFC 2–0 0–3
 Jordan 14 7 3 4 18 11 +7 50% AFC 4–1 2–3
 Kazakhstan 2 2 0 0 5 0 +5 100% UEFA / AFC 3–0 X
 Kenya 3 3 0 0 6 1 +5 100% CAF 3–0 X
 North Korea 18 14 4 0 28 7 +21 77.78% AFC 3–0 X
 South Korea 33 13 10 10 34 36 −2 39.39% AFC 6–2 0–5
 Kuwait 30 13 10 7 39 31 +8 43.33% AFC 3–1 0–3
 Kyrgyzstan 4 4 0 0 21 2 +19 100% AFC 7–0 X
 Laos 3 3 0 0 20 1 +19 100% AFC 7–0 X
 Lebanon 12 10 1 1 31 3 +28 83.33% AFC 5–0 0–1
 Libya 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 100% CAF 4–0 X
 Lithuania 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% UEFA 1–0 X
 North Macedonia 3 2 1 0 7 3 +4 66.67% UEFA 3–1 X
 Madagascar 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% CAF 1–0 X
 Malaysia 4 4 0 0 8 0 +8 100% AFC 3–0 X
 Maldives 6 6 0 0 42 0 +42 100% AFC 17–0 X
 Mali 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 0% CAF X 1–2
 Mexico 3 0 0 3 2 9 −7 0% CONCACAF X 0–4
 Montenegro 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 50% UEFA 2–1 X
 Morocco 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% CAF 1–0 X
 Myanmar 5 3 0 2 7 4 +3 60% AFC 3–1 0–1
   Nepal 5 5 0 0 25 0 +25 100% AFC 8–0 X
 Netherlands 1 0 0 1 0 3 −3 0% UEFA X 0–3
 New Zealand 2 1 1 0 3 0 +3 50% OFC 3–0 X
 Nicaragua 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% CONCACAF 1–0 X
 Nigeria 2 0 1 1 0 1 −1 0% CAF X 0–1
 Oman 13 7 4 2 26 15 +11 53.85% AFC 4–0 2–4
 Pakistan 14 12 1 1 58 10 +48 85.71% AFC 9–1 1–4
 Palestine 6 4 2 0 18 3 +15 66.67% AFC 7–0 X
 Panama 2 2 0 0 3 1 +2 100% CONCACAF 2–1 X
 Papua New Guinea 1 1 0 0 8 1 +7 100% OFC 8–1 X
 Paraguay 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0% CONMEBOL X X
 Peru 1 0 0 1 1 4 −3 0% CONMEBOL X 1–4
 Philippines 1 1 0 0 7 1 +6 100% AFC 7–1 X
 Poland 2 0 0 2 0 3 −3 0% UEFA X 0–2
 Portugal 3 0 1 2 1 6 −5 0% UEFA X 0–3
 Qatar 25 16 5 4 43 19 +24 64% AFC 6–1 0–2
 Romania 2 0 2 0 2 2 0 0% UEFA X X
 Russia 5 1 2 2 3 5 −2 20% UEFA 1–0 0–2
 Saudi Arabia 14 5 4 4 22 13 +9 35.71% AFC 3–0 3–4
 Scotland 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0% UEFA X X
 Senegal 2 0 2 0 2 2 0 0% CAF X X
 Serbia 3 0 1 2 1 4 −3 0% UEFA X 1–3
 Sierra Leone 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 100% CAF 4–0 X
 Singapore 3 2 1 0 10 2 +8 66.67% AFC 6–0 X
 Slovakia 2 1 0 1 6 6 0 50% UEFA 4–3 2–3
 Spain 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1 0% UEFA X 0–1
 Sri Lanka 2 2 0 0 11 0 +11 100% AFC 7–0 X
 Sweden 1 0 0 1 1 3 −2 0% UEFA X 1–3
 Syria 31 18 12 1 53 16 +37 58.06% AFC 7–1 0–1
 Tajikistan 4 4 0 0 14 1 +13 100% AFC 6–1 X
 Thailand 14 11 3 0 32 5 +27 78.57% AFC 5–0 X
 Togo 2 2 0 0 4 0 +4 100% CAF 2–0 X
 Trinidad and Tobago 2 2 0 0 3 0 +3 100% CONCACAF 2–0 X
 Tunisia 2 0 1 1 2 3 −1 0% CAF X 0–1
 Turkey 6 0 2 4 2 13 −11 0% UEFA X 1–6
 Turkmenistan 10 5 3 2 16 8 +8 50% AFC 5–0 0–1
 Uganda 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 0% CAF X X
 Ukraine 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% UEFA 1–0 X
 United Arab Emirates 19 15 3 1 28 5 +23 78.95% AFC 3–0 1–3
 United States 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 33.33% CONCACAF 2–1 0–1
 Uruguay 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 50% CONMEBOL 1–0 X
 Uzbekistan 13 10 2 1 18 5 +13 76.92% AFC 4–0 0–1
 Venezuela 3 2 1 0 3 1 +2 66.67% CONMEBOL 1–0 X
 Vietnam 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 100% AFC 2–0 X
 Wales 2 1 0 1 2 1 +1 50% UEFA 2–0 0–1
 Yemen 3 3 0 0 11 1 +10 100% AFC 5–0 X
 South Yemen 3 3 0 0 12 0 +12 100% AFC 8–0 X
 Zambia 1 1 0 0 3 2 +1 100% CAF 3–2 X
Total (117) 599 345 141 113 1152 468 +684 57.6%

FIFA World rankings[edit]

Main: AFC National Team of the Year

9 1st place, gold medalist(s) , 9 2nd place, silver medalist(s) , 2 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) , 5 (Fourth Place) (25/31) (1993–2023)[144]

FIFA World Rankings for Iran, August 1993 – March 2018[145]

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.[146]

Highest FIFA ranking
15 (July 2005)[147]
Lowest FIFA ranking
122 (May 1996)[147]
Best mover
+65 (July 1996)[147]
Worst mover
–43 (October 1995)[147]

Last update was on 01 January 2022.[148]

  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
24 2022 11 6 1 4 20 Increase 2 24 Decrease 4
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

Honours[edit]

Summary[edit]

Event Gold Silver Bronze Total
FIFA World Cup 0 0 0 0
Olympic Games 0 0 0 0
Asian Cup 3 0 6 9
Asian Games 3 2 0 5
West Asian Games 1 1 1 3
Afro-Asian Cup of Nations 1 1 0 2
AFC–OFC Challenge Cup 1 0 0 1
West Asian Championship 4 1 1 6
CAFA Championship 1 0 0 1
ECO Cup 3 3 0 6
LG Cup 4 0 3 7
Minor Tournament 4 5 4 13
Total 25 13 15 53

Continental[edit]

Champions (3): 1968, 1972, 1976
Third place (4): 1980, 1988, 1996, 2004
Gold Medal (4): 1974, 1990, 1998, 2002
Silver Medal (2): 1951, 1966
Third place (1): 2006

Regional[edit]

1st place, gold medalist(s) Champions (4): 2000, 2004, 2007*, 2008
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Runners-up (1): 2010
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Third place (1): 2002
1st place, gold medalist(s) Champions (1): 2023
1st place, gold medalist(s) Champions (3): 1965, 1970, 1993
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Runners-up (3): 1967, 1969, 1974**

* as B Team
** as Malavan F.C.

Intercontinental[edit]

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

Minor tournaments[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Additional matches are scheduled to be played in  Argentina,  Paraguay, and  Uruguay in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the first world cup, however they are not considered to be official hosts of the tournament.
  2. ^ Iran played their B team in this tournament however recognised as international "A" matches.
  3. ^ Match against Turkey XI is not recognized as international "A" match.
  4. ^ Iran sent Malavan F.C. to this tournament, therefore matches against Pakistan and Turkey are not recognized as international "A" matches.
  5. ^ The trophy was not awarded, because the second leg was cancelled.
  6. ^ On 4 November 1970, Iran played against Australia in a friendly, which Australia won 2–1 in Tehran. However, accounts of the match differ between Iran and Australia. Iran considered it an unofficial friendly between Persepolis against Australia, whereas Australia considered it an A level friendly match. Due to the article's position, this match is not listed.


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