National football team of Iran 🇮🇷 qualified for FIFA World Cup for the second consecutive time. Never happened before Russia 2018 🏆.
Team Melli is the nickname of the squad among Iranian fans: literally meaning “National Team”, this expression is used to call all national selections for all sports. So we have Team Melli for wrestling, football, futsal, volleyball, basketball, etc… 🤼♂️ ⚽️ ⛹️♀️
Carlos Queiroz on Team Melli
Asked about his opinion on whether the current Team Melli is better than the 2014 squad, head coach Carlos Queiroz said that now:
we have more solutions;
we are better prepared;
we have more experience;
especially in this moment we have more players in Europe;
The Portuguese coach – who led Iran to play 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2015 AFC Asian Cup – added that in order to pass the group stage the squad need «to put in place the best preparation especially for local-based players». 🏋️
All fans love Team Melli, but they know that this time there is a big possibility that somebody of our favourite players will remain at home. Queiroz himself admitted that it will be not easy to select the squad for Russia 2018.
In Italy 🇮🇹 they say that there are 60 millions head coaches – the same number of the population – because Italian people use to criticize the National football team. Sometimes it seems to be the same for Iran, just read media reports or forum discussions or social media posts: you can read not only by people living in Iran, but also by fans from all over the world, sometimes even with no connection with the Middle Eastern country. 🌎 🌍 🌏
We are not Carlos Queiroz, but – waiting for the FIFA World Cup – we can post on social our Team Melli XI (line up): Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc with the hashtag #MyTeamMelli. And if you speak Persian you can use #تیم_ملی_من 😉
Il 19 gennaio 2018 ricorre il primo anniversario del crollo del grattacielo Plasco a Tehran, causato da un vasto incendio scoppiato intorno alle 7,50 ora iraniana. Le cerimonie di commemorazione si sono tenute presso il cimitero di Behesht Zahra di Tehran.
I Vigili del fuoco di Tehran erano subito intervenuti facendo evacuare la Plasco, e tentando di spegnere il fuoco. La TV di Stato dell’Iran e i giornalisti seguivano in diretta le operazioni, diventando testimoni di una catastrofe: il rogo portò al crollo della struttura, al cui interno vi erano ancora i pompieri.
Anche i media internazionali riportarono le notizie ufficiali date dalle autorità: dei 200 vigili del fuoco intervenuti, 20 erano morti, 70 feriti di cui una ventina gravi. Numeri messi in dubbio dagli iraniani, sospettando che siano molto più alti.
I pompieri che persero la vita vennero subito definiti Shohadà, espressione utilizzata nell’Islam nell’accezione di “martiri”, e che in italiano si può tradurre con Caduti.
Inizialmente si sospettò che a causare l’incendio fosse stata una perdita proveniente da una bombola di gas: l’ipotesi non era del tutto inverosimile, poiché l’edificio ospitava diversi uffici oltre ad un centro commerciale. Ma anche chi non aveva basi di ingegneria o architettura iniziò a pensare che il motivo del crollo fosse strutturale: avvolta dalle fiamme, la Plasco si sbriciolò in maniera esattamente verticale, senza alcun coinvolgimento delle strutture circostanti.
Dopo 3 mesi la stampa iraniana confermò che nel dossier presentato al Presidente della Repubblica, Hassan Rohani, veniva menzionata la Fondazione Mostafazan – proprietaria dell’edificio – in quanto non aveva ottemperato ai richiami sulla necessità di ristrutturare la Plasco per pericoli lato safety.
La Plasco fu il primo grattacielo della storia dell’Iran: venne edificato nel cuore della capitale nel 1962 su impulso di Habib Elghanian, prendendo il nome della fabbrica di plastica che vi si stabilì.
Ad un anno di distanza le foto e i video della distruzione della Plasco sono sconvolgenti, e lo diventano ancora di più quando si riflette che in quelle fiamme e in quel fumo c’erano vigili del fuoco.
Qualche giorno fa, il 14 gennaio 2018, un’altra tragedia ha scosso il paese mediorientale: la petroliera Sanchi è affondata nel Mar Cinese Orientale. L’equipaggio della nave è rimasto intrappolato in un incendio durato più di una settimana: sono morti 30 iraniani e 2 bengalesi.
Iranian young talent Sardar Azmoun probably can make a sensational return to Rubin Kazan, after spending 2 seasons and a half to FC Rostov. According to Russian sports newspaper Sport-Express, the 22-years-old forward has already passed medical tests at Rubin training camp in Austria, so the transfer could be announced soon.
Azmoun joined for the first time Rubin Kazan in 2013 and soon became regular in the line-up under Kurban Berdyev: when in 2015 the Turkmen coach moved to FC Rostov, the youngster followed him on loan, helping his new team to avoid relegation. The season after FC Rostov nearly won Russian Premier League, ending second on table, just two points from winner CSKA.
Last season Azmoun was Apple of Discord between both Russian clubs since Rubin claimed that the player had to return from loan, whereas FC Rostov declared there was a buy-out clause in the contract. On 26 January 2017 FIFA ruled in favour of Rostov, waiting for a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (actually expected on summer 2017). However Azmoun played successfully 2016-17 UEFA Champions League: on playoffs he scored against Anderlecht and Ajax; then on group stage he striked both European giants Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid.
On 7 June 2017 I couldn’t imagine to read so bad news from Tehran: a double attack to Iranian Parliament (Majles) and to Imam Khomeini mausoleum. Various videos, pics, tweet, posts, articles, everywhere one word: terrorism. In the Persian Calendar the day is 17 khordad 1396, surely a historical date in the history of Iran.
To fear is human, but human is not only to fear. This is the reason why I want to post everyday a pic from Iran – not only Tehran – showing how life normally goes on there.
With one match remaining (Mashinsazi Tabriz v Saipa Alborz deferred on 8 January 2017) to complete Week 15 of Persian Gulf Pro League- that means half of the season – and after Hazfi Cup quarter-finals, head coach Carlos Queiroz named 24 players for Iran training camp in United Arab Emitares. It is not yet clear if Team Melli will face Morocco in a friendly originally scheduled for 6 January 2017.
The Portuguese coach did not invite Iranian footballers that play abroad (better known as Legionnaires), except for Milad Mohammadi who plays in Russian club Terek Grozny.
Notable names are: Zob Ahan offensive pair Pahlevan & Tabrizi; penalty specialist Iranpourian; unexpected top scorer Sasan Ansari (who scored 12 goals in 10 appearences for Foolad Khuzestan). Below the current list.
Let’s see the results of the 7th week of Persian Gulf Pro League 1395/96, that took place before Team Melli clashes against Uzbekistan and South Korea in order to qualify to 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The battle between Tractorsazi Tabriz and Persepolis Tehran for the leadership of the tournament continues: both team won their matches, but Tractor have a better goal difference thanks to the best attack of the league (12 goal scored, 4 conceded).
Amir Ghalenoei’s boys defeated 3:0 FC Mashhad with a successful penalty by Iranpourian, followed by Hatami’s and late Kiani’s goals; Siahjamegan attempted dangerously twice to beat Akhbari, who saved at 80′ and one minute later with the help of the crossbar.
A double by Mehdi Taremi allowed Persepolis to conquer 3 points away, after Sepahan have equalized with Ehsan Hajsafi: so Isfahanis lost two positions in the league table.
40-years-old Gholam Reza Enayati proved once again to have determination more than many other youngsters: the all-time Persian Gulf Pro League top scorer headed successfully the ball crossed from the left by Ahmad Hassanzadeh, in order to collect Saba Qom first victory; Saipa efforts were denied by rival goalkeeper Hamed Lak (who saved at 66′ a powerful kick by Siamak Kouroshi) and by the crossbar, where ended Ali Gholizadeh last-minute rocket.
Paykan were leading 0-2 thanks to a double by Nigerian forward Godwin Mensha, but coach Sirous Pourmousavi spurred Esteghlal Khuzestan: the defending champions found the equalizer in the injury time with a nice dribbling and shot by Hassan Beit Saeid, and a ball accidentally deflected by Levon Hayrapetyan; it seemed to end with a tie, but Amir Hossein Sadeghi scored Paykan winner just before the final whistle.
Gostaresh Foolad have not yet succeded in scoring, despite some good occasion inspired by playmaker Daryoush Shojaeian: Foolad Khuzestan veteran goalkeeper Vahid Talebloo saved shots by Naghizadeh and Khalegifar, freezing the goalless result.
The 7th week of the season welcomed the first victory to Esteghlal Tehran, too: Blues thanked their supporters at Azadi stadium beating 2-1 Zob Ahan Isfahan. Alireza Mansourian allowed again Bakhtyar Rahmani in the line-up, after being sidelined during the Tehran derby: before halftime the Iranian Kurdish midfielder won a penalty kick, converted by Omid Ebrahimi. In the opening of the second half Ali Ghorbani headed on goal a cross from the right by Vouria Ghafouri. Isfahanis reaction came soon with Mohammad Nejad Mehdi‘s header, deflected to corner by Mehdi Rahmati; then Morteza Tabrizi scored for Zob Ahan, after another Rahmati’s save on Jerry Bengtson’s attempt.
Incredible tie gained by Padideh Mashhad at home: in the first half Mohammad Shadkam sent the ball past Shahab Gordan after five minutes, then Mohammad Reza Pourmohammad scored with a free kick the second goal for Sanat Naft Abadan, whereas Padideh hit the crossbar after a place kick. At 77′ Mashhadi coach Mohammad Reza Mohajeri replaced defender Fariborz Gerami with 22-years-old striker Mohammad Ali Mardani who scored in less than a minute! Coach Nader Dastneshan’s guys attacked one more time so that Shadkam beat Gordan once again with an accidental assist by Karim Ahmadi. Padideh were losing 1-3 when referee Khorshidi conceded a penalty, missed by Younes Shakeri that sent the ball over the crossbar. In 5 minutes injury time, Mashhadis secured one point thanks to Mohammad Reza Nassehi’s hit and Mardani second goal.
The last game of the week was won by Naft Tehran, so that climbed on third place of the Persian Gulf Pro League defeating 2-1 Mashinsazi Tabriz: guests missed the opportunity to take the advantage as a ball retrieved by superb Andranik Teymourian was launched to Mehrdad Bayrami, whose shot was deflected by Naft goalkeeper Milad Farahani. At 15′ Iman Mob’Ali corner kick assisted the successful header by Amir Arsalan Motahari; Ali Daei’s club was dangerous as Mohammad Ghazi rocket ended out, and then defender Hamed Pakdel prevented another goal after umpteenth corner kick for Naft. In the opening of the second half Ali Daei claimed a penalty beacause of a contact between Motahari and Georgian back Kakhaber Kakashvili. Few minutes later the referee Ahmad Salehi declared offside a goal scored by Edson Henrique, assisted by Teymourian’s free kick: the Brazilian defender made a heavy defensive mistake and Ghazi beat easily Spanish goalkeeper Manu Fernandez. Ali Daei became enraged at 87′ as mr. Salehi conceded a controversial penalty due to a contrast between Saman Nariman Jahan and Milad Fakhreddini: Payam Sadeghian converted to goal without problem just before final whistle.
Padideh Mashhad 3-3 Sanat Naft Abadan [WATCH goals & highlights] Goals: 6′ and 84′ Mohammad Shadkam (SAN), 33′ Mohammad Reza Pourmohammad (SAN), 77′ and 93′ Mohammad Ali Mardani (PAD), 90′ Mohammad Reza Nassehi (PAD) Bookings: 93′ Mohammad Ali Mardani (PAD) Referee: Ashkan Khorshidi