Tehran Times - Iran national football team coach Carlos Queiroz says that Team Melli are facing the biggest challenge in the history, advancing to the 2018 FIFA World Cup knockout stage for the first time.
Iran have been drawn in Group B along with Morocco, Spain and Portugal.
The Persians will kick off the campaign with a match against Morocco at Saint Petersburg on June 15.
Team Melli, meanwhile, face Spain in Kazan on 20 June before meeting Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Saransk five days later.
“We’ve been drawn in the toughest group in the World Cup. Morocco are the best African team and the team’s results in the last two years speak for themselves. They have not conceded goals and claimed the African Nations Championship,” Queiroz said in an interview with Khabar Varzeshi sports daily.
“Spain and Portugal are also favorites to win the title. To book a place in the next stage is the biggest challenge in Iran’s football history,” the former Real Madrid coach added.
“We will play at the World Cup for our pride, that’s why I am here and I believe that those who don’t back the idea are the people who don’t respect Iran’s football,” the Portuguese coach stated.
“For us, to be in knockout stage means conquering Mt Everest. This is the highest mount in front of Iran’s football and all of coaches and officials must take it seriously,” Queiroz concluded.
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