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Dick Advocaat - Iran Should Forget 'Unrealistic' Big-Name Foreign Coaches And Support Afshin Ghotbi

GOAL - Former Netherlands coach Dick Advocaat has told the Iranian Football Federation (IFF) that they should shelve plans to hire a big-name foreign coach and focus on supporting incumbent Afshin Ghotbi.

Ghotbi, assistant to the Dutchman during his 2005-06 spell in charge of South Korea, has been Iran’s coach for a year.

A number of reports have filtered out of Tehran of late suggesting that certain members of the Iranian Football Federation (IFF) are looking to hire a big-name foreign coach to take the team to the 2011 Asian Cup.

Recent names mentioned have included Sven Goran Eriksson and Ruud Gullit.

“First of all none of the international top coaches would be interested working in Tehran at this moment,” Advocaat said.

“People in Iran who are mentioning names like Eriksson or Gullit have no clue about the opportunities coaches of that standard have. They have no idea about the standards of top international football."

“Second, these European top coaches get very good offers almost every week. If I look at myself, I get also offers from clubs and countries but at this stage in my career I don’t look first to the financial side but to the challenge and work situation. And don’t forget, Iran will not play at the World Cup and for international top coaches the Asian Cup is not big enough outside Asia.”

For the former PSV Eindhoven, Rangers and Zenit St Petersburg boss, Iran need to stick with Ghotbi.

‘Well, if you ask me about the qualities of Afshin Ghotbi I say that he has a great future in international top football. And he is the right man for Iran at this moment. They cannot wish for a better coach. Ghotbi is very ambitious, knows his way around in international football, he has contacts all over the world. Ghotbi definitely can bring Iran to a higher level."

Iran Need To Support This Man Says Advocaat

“Iran needs stability as a football country. A coach needs support from the federation and all the football people in the country, so he can build something up.”

Advocaat, who now is in charge of both the Belgian national team and Dutch club AZ Alkmaar, continued.

“I have heard that they want to spend millions on an older more experienced coach. Well my strongest advice should be to invest money in Ghotbi and his technical staff. Spend money on good physical therapists, good training camps, good opponents for friendly matches. Spend money on a good national training facility. And we need to see Iran more in Europe with friendly matches because they can only become better when they play stronger teams. And these teams are, with all respect, not in Asia but in Europe.”

"There are not that many coaches in Asia with Ghotbi's experience. Besides this, Ghotbi was of great help and influence as an assistant coach with Korea during the World Cup in Germany in 2006. To be honest at that time he was already too good to be an assistant coach… I would not like to play Ghotbi as my opponent, because I know how precise and detailed he is in coaching.”

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