TEHRAN—Iran coach Carlos Queiroz on Sunday named a 24-man squad for the World Cup, pending the elimination of one player from the official final line-up because of injury worries. 31-year-old national team veteran Andranik Teymourian was named as a starting midfielder for the squad.
Teymourian, who currently plays for Tehran’s Esteghlal, has also played for three clubs in the English Premier League, including Bolton and Fulham. Teymourian, an ethnic Armenian born in Tehran, has had 78 appearances for the Iranian national team and has scored 8 goals. His performance against South Korea in a decisive World Cup qualifying game was instrumental in securing a spot for Iran in Brazil.
“No game is going to be easy for us,” Andranik Teymourian said to reporters at a training camp in eastern Austria last week. “But playing against Iran is not going to be easy for any of our opponents.”
Iran start their fourth World Cup against Argentina, Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina in Group F. They have never made it past the first round.
They head to Brazil, however, having topped their Asian qualifying group ahead of South Korean — a fact the players will not let anyone forget.
“This shows the enormous fighting spirit shown by the players, proven in the qualifiers, and the fact that we could qualify is an absolutely tremendous achievement for our team and I personally hope that we can be one of the favorites also,” Teymourian said in Austria.
The 24-man team, as selected by coach Carlos Quieroz, is as follows:
Defenders: Hossein Mahini (Persepolis), Steven “Mehrdad” Beitashour (Vancouver Whitecaps), Pejman Montazeri (Umm Salal), Jalal Hosseini (Persepolis), Amir-Hossein Sadeghi (Esteghlal), Ahmad Alenemeh (Naft), Hashem Beikzadeh (Esteghlal), Mehrdad Pouladi (Persepolis).
Midfielders: Javad Nekounam (Kuwait SC), Andranik Teymourian (Esteghlal), Reza Haghighi (Persepolis), Ghasem Haddadifar (Zob Ahan), Bakhtiar Rahmani (Foolad), Ehsan Hajsafi (Sepahan).
Forwards: Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham), Masoud Shojaei (Las Palmas), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (NEC Nijmegen), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Charlton), Karim Ansarifard (Persepolis, on loan to Tractor Sazi), Khosro Heydari (Esteghlal).