Tehran Times - Iran national football team goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand says they are ready to end the Team Melli’s 43-year title drought in the AFC Asian Cup.
The last of Iran’s three triumphs in the AFC Asian Cup was in 1976, meaning that it will be 43 years since the Persians last won the title by the time the action in the UAE 2019 kicks off next January.
Team Melli have been drawn along with Iraq, Vietnam and Yemen in the tournament’s Group D.
Beiranvand was a standout in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The goalkeeper starred as Team Melli came close to getting out of a difficult group containing Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
He put himself on the global stage in Russia after saving Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty.
Beiranvand also was a key player in Iran’s Persepolis reaching the final of the Champions League for the first time since the tournament started in 2003.
“We will participate in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup to win the title. It’s time to win the trophy after 43 years. The players are highly motivated as they know they can win and there is no way but to claim the title,” Beiranvand said.
“We performed very well in the 2018 World Cup and all the experts and football fans expect we also play well in the UAE. Of course, Team Melli will have a difficult task ahead since the competition will bring Asian powerful teams together. Japan, Australia, South Korea and Saudi Arabia are favorites to win the cup as well as the UAE and Qatar,” the Persepolis goalie stated.
“In the previous edition in Australia, we lost to Iraq in penalty shootout but we’ve learned from our mistakes and will do our best to meet high expectations,” Beiranvand concluded.
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