PLDC – Iran national football team coach Carlos Queiroz has given a 21-day ultimatum to Team Melli players to prove themselves for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
The Portuguese coach is going to announce his final list for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup on December 17 and the players must do their best if they want to be in the list.
“Some of the players have three weeks ahead to prove themselves if they want to be a member of Team Melli in the UAE,” Queiroz said after the 1-1 draw against Venezuela in a friendly match in Doha, Qatar.
“The match against Venezuela was a good warm-up and we could assess some of our players. I personally think we were the better team in the 90 minutes and created five or six chances but honestly I am not satisfied with our attacking line. We have wasted our chances in the recent three matches. We could have scored three goals against Venezuela. We need to improve our team in attacking line.
“The final list of the National Team will be announced on Dec. 17. The players must fully concentrate on the AFC Asian Cup. The Asian Cup is not a tournament you want to start thinking about it when you arrive in the competition. The players must prove themselves in a three-week trial,” Queiroz said.
Asked him about facing Venezuela friendly and if the match could help Team Melli in preparation for the AFC Asian Cup, the former Real Madrid coach said, “FIFA ranking doesn’t help us to win our upcoming matches. It’s a statistics for what you have done in the past. The AFC Asian Cup is a tough tournament and we have so many difficult matches, so the players need to be very well prepared, both physically and mentally.
“We have to choose the teams who are defensive and play on the counter attack. I hope we can find the way to beat the teams. We need three more friendly matches prior to the Asian Cup,” Queiroz stated.
Some of Iran key players namely, Saeid Ezatolahi, Pejman Montazeri, Morteza Pouraliganji and Alireza Jahanbakhsh were absent due to injuries.
“We need to pray for God Iran will not have more injured players. We have three weeks ahead to solve our problems. The best players must take part in the training. We played Venezuela without seven players who are in our main list. We need to solve the problem ahead of the Asian Cup,” he said.
“Iran national football team has internal issues as well as international issues. The atmosphere surrounding us should be positive. The atmosphere is not as good as it should be at the moment. The players fight but they are not happy. Some of them think this is not Team Melli.
“My players have earned the great achievements for Iran. It seems some people are against us in case of our success which has made the Iranian people happy in the streets. We have three weeks ahead to solve these kinds of problems,” the Portuguese coach said.
“One more time I want the president of football federation and the Sports Minister take responsibility for the problems. I hope my interview brings message of peace and mutual understanding as the President (Hassan Rouhani) said ‘80 Million People, One Nation, One Heartbeat’ ahead of the 2018 World Cup. I think some people did not understand the message. It’s not a right time to fall asleep.
Talking about Iran’s final training camp in Qatar prior to the AFC Asian Cup, Queiroz said, “We have a great chance to hold our camp in Qatar. Iran and Qatar football federations have friendly relationships. We will visit the camps for the last time on Wednesday and will be very happy to hold our camps in Qatar,” Queiroz concluded.