Iran national football team
Iran national football team (Persian: تیم ملی فوتبال مردان ایران, romanized: Tīm-e Melli-e Fūtbāl-e Mardān-e Īrān), recognised by FIFA as IR Iran, represents Iran in international football and is controlled by the Iran Football Federation. Between December 2014 until May 2018, Iran was the highest-ranked team in Asia, the longest continuous period of time that a team has held that distinction.
|Nickname(s)||تیم ملّی(Team Melli)|
یوز های آسیایی(Cheetahs of Asia)
|Association||Football Federation of Iran (FFIRI)|
|Sub-confederation||CAFA (Central Asia)|
|Head coach||Dragan Skočić|
|Most caps||Javad Nekounam (151)|
|Top scorer||Ali Daei (109)|
|Home stadium||Azadi Stadium|
|Current||22 4 (16 September 2021)|
|Highest||15 (August 2005)|
|Lowest||122 (May 1996)|
Iran 0–0 Afghanistan
(Kabul, Afghanistan; 25 August 1941)
Turkey 6–1 Iran
(Istanbul, Turkey; 28 May 1950)
| Iran 19–0 Guam |
(Tabriz, Iran; 24 November 2000)
| Turkey 6–1 Iran |
(Istanbul, Turkey; 28 May 1950)
South Korea 5–0 Iran
(Tokyo, Japan; 28 May 1958)
|Appearances||5 (first in 1978)|
|Best result||Group Stage (5 times)|
|Appearances||3 (first in 1964)|
|Best result||Quarter-finals (1976)|
|Appearances||14 (first in 1968)|
|Best result||Champions (1968, 1972, 1976)|
|Appearances||7 (first in 2000)|
|Best result||Champions (2000, 2004, 2007, 2008)|
At the continental level, Iran has won three Asian Cup championships in 1968, 1972 and 1976. The nation's best performance at the Olympics was reaching the quarterfinals at the 1976 Montreal Games. At the FIFA World Cup, Iran have qualified five times (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014 and 2018) and have never progressed beyond the group stages; they have won only two matches: against the United States in 1998 and Morocco in 2018.
This article or section appears to be slanted towards recent events. (June 2016)
The Iranian Football Federation was founded in 1920. In 1926 Tehran XI (selected players from Tehran Club, Toofan F.C. and Armenian Sports Club) traveled across the border to Baku, USSR, this was the first away football match for an Iranian team. This Tehran Select team is the predecessor of Iran's national football team.
The first match that Team Melli played was on 23 August 1941, away at Kabul in a 1–0 win against British India while Iran's first FIFA international match was on 25 August 1941, away at Afghanistan. Iran won the Asian Cup three consecutive times (1968, 1972, 1976) to which the team has not been able to add since.
1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina
- Additional information: 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC and OFC)
- Additional information: 1978 FIFA World Cup – Group 4
In 1978, Iran made its first appearance in the World Cup after defeating Australia in Tehran. Iran lost two of three group stage matches against the Netherlands and Peru. Team Melli managed to surprise some in the footballing community by securing one point in its first ever World Cup appearance against Scotland which saw Iraj Danaeifard cancel out an own goal scored by Andranik Eskandarian for the 1–1 draw.
After the Revolution
After the 1979 Revolution, football was somewhat neglected and cast aside. During the 1980s, the Iranian national team did not feature in World Cup competitions due to the Iran–Iraq War (1980–88) and domestic football embraced the inevitable effects of conflict. The national team withdrew from the Asian qualifiers for the 1982 World Cup and refused to participate in the qualifiers for the 1986 World Cup because of having to play on neutral ground. The war and political upheavals left Iran without major club competitions until 1989 when the Qods League was established. A year later, the Qods League was renamed the Azadegan League. Despite failing to qualify for either the 1990 or the 1994 World Cups, it was said that during this period, a number of quality players burst onto the Iranian football scene laying the foundation for third place in the 1996 AFC Asian Cup (victories in that tournament included a 3–0 victory against Saudi Arabia and a 6–2 victory against South Korea) and their second stab at World Cup glory in 1998.
1998 FIFA World Cup in France
- Additional information: 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC–OFC play-off)
- Additional information: 1998 FIFA World Cup – Group F
In November 1997, Iran qualified for the 1998 World Cup after eliminating Australia in a close playoff series. Both games finished undecided but Iran managed to qualify due to the away goals rule. Iran held Australia to a 1–1 draw at home, and a 2–2 draw in Melbourne; however, since Iran had scored more away goals, they were able to qualify for the Cup.
At their first game of the Group F at the 1998 FIFA World Cup against Yugoslavia, Iran lost 1–0 to a free kick goal by Siniša Mihajlović. Iran recorded their first World Cup victory in the second game beating the United States 2–1 with Hamid Estili and Mehdi Mahdavikia scoring goals for Iran. The Iran vs USA World Cup match was preheated with certain excitement because of each country's political stance after the Iranian revolution and the Iran hostage crisis. However, in an act of defiance against all forms of hatred or politics in sports, both sides presented one another with gifts and flowers and took ceremonial pictures before the match kickoff. Following defeat against Iran, the United States was eliminated from the World Cup.
Iran played against Germany in the third game. The game was lost 2–0. The goals were scored by Oliver Bierhoff and Jürgen Klinsmann. The one win and two losses meant Iran came third in the final group standing and failed to make it to the next round. (Farhad Majidi and Mehdi Fonounizadeh were some of the absentees in the tournament.)
2000 AFC Asian Cup
Iran finished first in the group stage of the tournament but lost to South Korea in the quarter-finals.
2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
- Additional information: 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)
Iran failed to qualify for World Cup 2002 after an aggregate defeat to the Republic of Ireland, losing 2–0 in Dublin and winning 1–0 in Tehran. The elimination saw manager Miroslav Blažević step down from the top spot to be replaced by his assistant Branko Ivanković who stepped up from assistant coach.
2004 AFC Asian Cup
After qualifying to the Asian Cup 2004, Iran was drawn with Thailand, Oman and Japan in the tournament. Iran finished second in this group. In quarter-final clash against South Korea, Iran won 4–3 in normal time. In the semi-final, Iran lost to the host China on penalty kicks. Iran won against Bahrain 4–2 to finish third place in the tournament.
2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany
- Additional information: 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)
- Additional information: 2006 FIFA World Cup Group D
On 8 June 2005, Iran together with Japan became the first country to qualify for the 2006 World Cup making it Iran's 3rd appearance on the world stage of football. The qualification round both in 2001 and 2004–05 resulted in celebrations, hysteria and rioting causing internal chaos and unrest between youth and government officials. The Iran versus Japan leg of the 2006 World Cup qualifiers in Tehran played on 24 March 2005 was the highest attended qualifying match among all confederations. The match ended with 5 fans killed and several others injured as they left the Azadi Stadium at the end of the match.
Iran started their 2006 FIFA World Cup appearance with certain expectations from fans and media. Their first match was against Mexico in Group D. The game was level 1–1 at the half-time but Iran lost at the end because of a defensive mistake. The final score, 3–1, was brought about by goals from Omar Bravo and Sinha for Mexico with Yahya Golmohammadi scoring the only Iran goal.
Iran played against Portugal in the second game. The game was lost 2–0. The goals were scored by Deco and Cristiano Ronaldo (penalty). The two losses meant Iran was eliminated from the competition before their third and final game against Angola. Iran drew 1–1 with Angola on 21 June 2006, Sohrab Bakhtiarizadeh scoring the Iran goal.
In November 2006, Iran was suspended by FIFA from all participation in international football on the grounds of governmental interference in the national football association. The ban lasted less than a month and as a dispensation was given to allow the Iran under-23 team to participate in the football competition of the 2006 Asian Games, fixtures were unaffected.
2007 AFC Asian Cup
- Additional information: 2007 AFC Asian Cup Group C
IRIFF appointed Amir Ghalenoei as head coach of the Iran national football team on 17 July 2006 to succeed Branko Ivanković. After finishing first in the qualifying round 2 points ahead of South Korea and then finishing first in the group stage of the final tournament in Malaysia, Iran lost to South Korea in a penalty shoot-out of the quarterfinal match and was eliminated from the 2007 Asian Cup. Ghalenoei was criticized by the press. After a period of discussion in the Iranian football federation, his contract was not renewed and Team Melli was left with a caretaker manager for several months.
2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
- Additional information: 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)
Ali Daei was chosen to become the new coach after Spanish coach Javier Clemente had been closer to signing on as Iran's national team manager but talks collapsed when he refused to live full-time in the country. Iran was in the same FIFA World Cup qualifying group as Kuwait, Syria and United Arab Emirates in the third round. They played home and away against each of the other three teams in group 5. In the middle of the fourth round, Ali Daei was let go from his position as the Iranian national coach on 29 March 2009. He was replaced by Afshin Ghotbi. Iran failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup after ranking 4th overall in its group.
2009 political protests
During the final game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Korea in Seoul on 17 June 2009, seven members of the team, Javad Nekounam, Ali Karimi, Hossein Kaebi, Masoud Shojaei, Mohammad Nosrati, Vahid Hashemian and captain Mehdi Mahdavikia wore green wristbands in support of the Iranian Green Movement during the 2009 Iranian election protests. Initial rumors and false reports were that all seven players were banned for life by the Iranian Football Federation, however, state-run media claimed that all seven had "retired". On 24 June 2009, FIFA wrote to Iran's Football Federation asking for clarification on the situation. The Iranian Football Federation replied that no disciplinary action has been taken against any player. As of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, some of the above players have played again for the national team notably Javad Nekounam, Masoud Shojaei, Mehdi Mahdavikia and Ali Karimi.
2011 AFC Asian Cup
- Additional information: 2011 AFC Asian Cup Group D
During the final qualification match against South Korea, several Iranian players started the match wearing green armbands or wristbands, a symbol of protest at the outcome of the Iranian presidential election. Most removed them at half-time. The newspaper Iran reported that Ali Karimi, Mehdi Mahdavikia, Hosein Kaebi and Vahid Hashemian had received life bans from the Iranian FA for the gesture. However, the Iranian FA denied this claim in a response to FIFA's inquiry saying that "the comments in foreign media are nothing but lies and a mischievous act." Head coach Afshin Ghotbi also confirmed that it was a rumour and Iranian FA "has not taken any official stand on this issue."
Afshin Ghotbi was able to qualify for 2011 Asian Cup and finished second in West Asian Football Federation Championship 2010 just a few months before the 2011 Asian Cup. Iran was able to gain all nine points in the group stage of the 2011 Asian Cup but after an extra time goal from South Korea, Iran was yet again unable to get to the semifinals of the competition.
2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil
On 4 April 2011, former Real Madrid manager Carlos Queiroz agreed to a two-and-a-half-year deal to coach the Iranian national team until the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Under Queiroz, Iran began their World Cup qualification campaign successfully defeating the Maldives 4–0 in the first leg of their second round of qualifiers. After winning 5–0 on aggregate, Iran advanced to the third round of qualifiers where they were drawn with Indonesia, Qatar and Bahrain. Iran highlighted their position at the top of their group by defeating Bahrain 6–0 at home in the Azadi Stadium as well as inviting former German youth international Ashkan Dejagah who scored twice on his debut against Qatar. After a 4–1 win at Indonesia, Iran qualified for the final round of direct qualifiers, the fourth round. In the fourth round, Iran was drawn with South Korea, Qatar, Uzbekistan and Lebanon in their group. Queiroz made new foreign-based additions to his squad, adding players such as Reza Ghoochannejhad to his team. Iran started their fourth round of Asian qualifiers with a 1–0 win in Uzbekistan. Team Melli then drew Qatar and lost in Lebanon before defeating South Korea at the Azadi on 16 October with a goal from captain Javad Nekounam. After a 1–0 loss in Tehran against Uzbekistan, Iran defeated Qatar 1–0 in Doha and Lebanon 4–0 at home. In their last qualification match, Iran defeated South Korea 1–0 in Ulsan Munsu with a goal from Ghoochannejhad resulting in their qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup as group winners with 16 points. Thus, Iran became the third team that Queiroz has managed to qualify for the World Cup, having reached the 2002 edition with South Africa and the 2010 edition with Portugal, leading the latter to a knockout stage finish. Iran continued their winning streak, securing qualification to the 2015 Asian Cup months later as well.
Since Queiroz's role as manager of the Iranian national team, he has been renowned for introducing players from the Iranian diaspora to the national squad. These players include German-Iranians Daniel Davari and Ashkan Dejagah, Dutch-Iranian Reza Ghoochannejhad, Swedish-Iranians Omid Nazari and Saman Ghoddos, and Iranian-American Steven Beitashour among others.
- Additional information: 2014 FIFA World Cup – Group F
Iran qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup as group winners and competed in Group F alongside Argentina, Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The sold out Argentina match tickets were among the eight most purchased for this edition of the tournament. On 1 June 2014, Queiroz announced his 23-man squad. Prior to the tournament, they founded the Central Asian Football Association.
In the opening match of the tournament on 16 June, Iran drew Nigeria 0–0 making it their first clean sheet of the FIFA World Cup. In their next match, Iran was defeated by Argentina 1–0 with a late goal from Lionel Messi and received praise after holding Argentina for 90 minutes while creating some attacking opportunities of their own. Iran was eliminated from the tournament in their next game, a 3–1 defeat to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Iran's lone goal was scored by Reza Ghoochannejhad. After the tournament, Queiroz declared he would resign as manager of Iran but later switched and extended his contract until the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
2015 AFC Asian Cup
- Additional information: 2015 AFC Asian Cup Group C
Iran qualified for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup as group winners where Team Melli were the highest ranked seed. Iran faced Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE in Group C. Queiroz announced his squad on 30 December 2014.
With the second highest number of fans in the tournament after hosts Australia, the Iranians defeated Bahrain 2–0 with limited preparations. A defensive minded Iran then defeated Qatar 1–0 thanks to a Sardar Azmoun goal before defeating UAE by the same scoreline to reach the top of their group.
In the quarter-finals Iran faced Iraq who they had beaten weeks prior in a friendly match. Having received a controversial red card in the first half, Iran competed with ten men, managing to score goals late in extra time to draw the match 3–3. In the ensuing penalty shootout, Iran lost 7–6 in sudden death.
2018 FIFA World Cup
- Additional information: 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B
Iran began their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign with friendly matches against Chile and Sweden in March 2015. Queiroz resigned from his managerial post thereafter due to disagreements with the Iranian Football Federation. On 14 April 2015, Iran were drawn with Oman, India, Turkmenistan and Guam in the second round of qualifiers. On 26 April, Queiroz announced that he would continue as the manager of Iran for their 2018 World Cup campaign.
Iran became the second team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after a 2–0 win at home over Uzbekistan on 12 June 2017. They also clinched 1st place in their qualification group after South Korea's defeat to Qatar.
Iran won the first match against Morocco after Aziz Bouhaddouz scoring an own goal. The second match Iran lost against Spain with a goal scored by Diego Costa. The third match against Portugal ended in a draw after the penalty scored by Karim Ansarifard and because Morocco could only manage a 2–2 draw to Spain, Iran was eliminated. However, this has become Iran's best performance in the World Cup to date, when they achieved four points.
2019 AFC Asian Cup
- Additional information: 2019 AFC Asian Cup Group D
Having qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup earlier, Iran was drawn into group D, where they shared fate with Iraq, Vietnam and Yemen, the two latter was the first time Iran faced up. Iran opened their tournament against Yemen slower and almost conceded a goal but after 10 minutes, Iran regained the ground and proved more dominant in certain aspects, thrashing Yemen 5–0. A 2–0 win over the Vietnamese side gave Iran direct qualification to the knockout stage. Iran ended their group stage with a goalless draw over neighbor Iraq and took the first place of the group. After the group stage, Iran encountered Oman, a defending mistake almost cost Iran's chance but Ahmed Mubarak Al-Mahaijri's penalty was saved by Alireza Beiranvand. After the early scare, Iran once again proved its dominance over Oman, beating Oman 2–0 to reach the last eight. In the quarter-finals against a defensive China, Iran outclassed the Chinese 3–0 to meet Japan in the semi-finals. Iran missed the opportunity to reach the final once again when they fell 0–3 with all goals scored in second half. Following the elimination, Carlos Queiroz announced he would resign as coach of Iran.
2022 FIFA World Cup
Iran was the highest-ranked team to be seeded in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification. Iran was drawn into the second round where they would have to deal with two Arab rivals, Iraq and Bahrain, along with Cambodia and Hong Kong. Iran, under new manager Marc Wilmots, began with a 2–0 win over Hong Kong away; before a 14–0 win over Cambodia, the latter game was historic as women were allowed to enter the stadium for the first time. Their next away encounters against Arab opponents, Bahrain and Iraq, went on to be consecutive defeats which Iran lost 0–1 and 1–2, respectively. Following by two consecutive draws between Iraq and Bahrain, Iran was left with the possibility of losing any chance to reach the World Cup outright in the second round and this led to the sacking of Marc Wilmots as coach. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the remaining fixtures to be played without spectators in June 2021, thus this forced Iran to play their remaining games in Bahrain under new coach Dragan Skočić; but with Bahrain losing its home support as an advantage, and Iraq assured a place in the final phase, Iran was able to stage a comeback, finally took the first place and, together with Iraq, progressed to the final phase.
The Iranian national team has received several nicknames by supporters and media. The most common one used is "Team Melli" which literally means "The National Team" in Persian language. Although the Iranian supporters have popularized "Team Melli", other nicknames for the team include "Persian Stars" (entitled since the World Cup 2006) "Shiran e Iran", meaning "The Iranian Lions" or "The Lions of Persia", "Shirdelan", "Lion Hearts" and "Princes of Persia" (used since AFC Asian Cup 2011) have been used in media as well. Iran's slogan for the 2014 FIFA World Cup was Honour of Persia, selected in an internet poll held by FIFA. A more recently used nickname, due to the presence of the Asiatic cheetah on the 2014 World Cup jersey, is Youzpalangan which means 'The Cheetahs' (Persian: یوزپلنگان).
Kits and crests
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Iran national football team kits.|
The Iran national football team's kit traditionally utilizes white and secondary kit is red, sometimes green shirts with white shorts and red socks are used.
The table below shows the history of kit supplier for the Iranian national football team.
Iran and South Korea are sporting rivals and have played against each other officially since 1958, totally 29 matches as of October 2016, including eight World Cup qualifiers. These two teams were among the strongest Asian national football teams (in a specific aspect) during the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, the teams have developed one of Asia's greatest rivalries. Although the teams only had one chance to play against each other in the final match of the AFC Asian Cup in 1972, they faced each other five consecutive times at the quarterfinals stage from 1996 to 2011. Iran leads the series with 13 wins, 7 draws and 9 losses.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are rivals. The game has been ranked 9th in Bleacher Report's "International Football's 10 Most Politically-Charged Football Rivalries" and 8th in Goal.com's "Football's 10 Greatest International Rivalries".
Iran and Saudi Arabia have had 15 matches so far. All of their matches have been competitive and they have never played a friendly match. The first match was played on 24 August 1975, with Iran defeating Saudi Arabia 3–0. Iran leads the series with 5 wins, 6 draws and 4 losses.
According to the Malay Mail, "Emotions are always high when Iran and Iraq meet on the football pitch". The rivalry is not such a football-inspired ill-feeling between the two but more of geography, religion and history. Iran and Iraq are neighboring countries, sharing a history. In the contemporary era, especially during the reign of Saddam Hussein, the two countries had worsened relations and fought the Iran–Iraq War for 8 years. In 2001, for the first time in decades, an Iran-Iraq match was not held at a neutral venue. The rivalry was escalated after Iraq knocked Iran out of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in controversial circumstances; Iran lodged a complaint to the AFC that one of Iraq's players had submitted a positive doping test months before, hoping to see Iraq removed from the tournament and themselves reinstated in their place, but the complaint was rejected. Iran leads the series with 12 wins, 6 draws and 6 losses.
Since 1972, Iran's national stadium has been Tehran's Azadi Stadium with a nominal capacity of 78,116 spectators. Azadi Stadium is the 28th largest association football stadium in the world, 7th in Asia and 1st in West Asia. A record was set in Azadi for the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Australia with over 128,000 in attendance. The government restricts Iranian women from entering the stadiums. However, FIFA condemned the move and wrote to Iranian Football Federation in June 2019. The federation in their letter gave deadline to uplift the restrictions and let women enter the stadiums. On 25 August 2019, deputy Sports Minister Jamshid Taghizadeh stated: "Women can go to Tehran's Azadi stadium to watch the match between Iran's national team and Cambodia in October for the Qatar World Cup qualifier.”
From 1942 to 1972, Amjadieh Stadium was Iran's national stadium. The other stadiums that Iran has been played international games are Takhti and Yadegar Emam Stadium (Tabriz), Takhti Stadium (Tehran), Enghelab Stadium (Karaj), Hafezieh Stadium (Shiraz) and Takhti Stadium (Mashhad).
The Iran National Football Camp is the team's training ground.
Results and fixtures
The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
Win Draw Loss
|7 October 2021||Zabeel Stadium, Dubai||United Arab Emirates||2022 WC qualification|
|12 October 2021||Azadi Stadium, Tehran||South Korea||2022 WC qualification|
|11 November 2021||Saida International Stadium, Sidon||Lebanon||2022 WC qualification|
|16 November 2021||King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman||Syria||2022 WC qualification|
|27 January 2022||Iraq||2022 WC qualification|
|1 February 2022||United Arab Emirates||2022 WC qualification|
|24 March 2022||South Korea||2022 WC qualification|
|29 March 2022||Lebanon||2022 WC qualification|
|Head Coach||Dragan Skočić|
|Assistant Coaches|| Vahid Hashemian |
|Goalkeeping Coach||Mladen Žganjer|
|Fitness Coach||Asghar Ghorbanalipour|
|Physiotherapist||Dr. Alireza Shahab|
|Team Doctor||Dr. Parham Khanlari|
|Masseurs|| Hadi Nejatpour |
|Logistics Manager||Tooraj Keshavarz|
|Team Manager||Mehdi Kharati|
The following players have been called up for 2022 WC qualification against Syria on 2 September and Iraq on 7 September 2021.
Caps and goals correct as of 7 September 2021, after the match against Iraq.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Alireza Beiranvand||12 September 1992||46||0||Boavista|
|12||GK||Payam Niazmand||6 April 1995||1||0||Portimonense|
|22||GK||Amir Abedzadeh||26 April 1993||5||0||Ponferradina|
|2||DF||Sadegh Moharrami||24 March 1996||10||0||Dinamo Zagreb|
|3||DF||Saleh Hardani||14 September 1998||1||0||Foolad|
|4||DF||Shojae Khalilzadeh||31 May 1989||17||1||Al-Rayyan|
|5||DF||Milad Mohammadi||29 September 1993||41||1||AEK Athens|
|13||DF||Hossein Kanaanizadegan||23 March 1994||24||2||Al-Ahli|
|15||DF||Jafar Salmani||12 January 1997||2||0||Esteghlal|
|19||DF||Siavash Yazdani||27 February 1992||0||0||Esteghlal|
|21||DF||Omid Noorafkan||9 April 1997||5||0||Sepahan|
|6||MF||Saeid Ezatolahi||1 October 1996||36||1||Vejle|
|7||MF||Alireza Jahanbakhsh (vice Captain)||11 August 1993||55||10||Feyenoord|
|8||MF||Ahmad Nourollahi||2 January 1993||16||2||Shabab Al-Ahli|
|11||MF||Vahid Amiri||2 April 1988||59||2||Persepolis|
|14||MF||Saman Ghoddos||6 September 1993||27||2||Brentford|
|16||MF||Mehdi Torabi||10 September 1994||33||6||Persepolis|
|17||MF||Ali Gholizadeh||10 March 1996||15||5||Charleroi|
|18||MF||Zobeir Niknafs||12 April 1993||0||0||Esteghlal|
|9||FW||Mehdi Taremi||18 July 1992||52||25||Porto|
|10||FW||Karim Ansarifard (Captain)||3 April 1990||87||29||AEK Athens|
|20||FW||Sardar Azmoun||1 January 1995||56||37||Zenit Saint Petersburg|
|23||FW||Mehdi Ghayedi||5 December 1998||6||2||Shabab Al-Ahli|
The following players have been called up for the team in the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Hossein Hosseini||30 May 1992||4||0||Esteghlal||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|GK||Mohammad Reza Akhbari||15 February 1993||1||0||Tractor||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|GK||Hamed Lak||24 November 1990||3||0||Persepolis||v. Syria, 30 March 2021|
|GK||Rashid Mazaheri||18 May 1989||3||0||Unattached||v. Syria, 30 March 2021 PRE|
|DF||Saeid Aghaei||9 February 1995||5||0||Persepolis||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|DF||Mohammad Hossein Moradmand||22 June 1993||0||0||Esteghlal||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|DF||Armin Sohrabian||26 July 1995||0||0||Gol Gohar||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|DF||Aref Aghasi||2 January 1997||0||0||Esteghlal||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|DF||Morteza Pouraliganji INJ||19 April 1992||44||3||Shenzhen||v. Iraq, 15 June 2021|
|DF||Majid Hosseini INJ||20 June 1996||14||0||Kayserispor||v. Iraq, 15 June 2021|
|DF||Siamak Nemati||17 April 1994||3||0||Persepolis||v. Cambodia, 11 June 2021|
|DF||Danial Esmaeilifar||26 February 1993||0||0||Sepahan||v. Cambodia, 11 June 2021|
|DF||Aref Gholami INJ||23 April 1997||0||0||Esteghlal||v. Cambodia, 11 June 2021|
|DF||Abolfazl Jalali||26 June 1998||1||0||Saipa||v. Syria, 30 March 2021|
|DF||Mehdi Tikdari||13 June 1996||0||0||Tractor||v. Syria, 30 March 2021|
|DF||Mehdi Shiri||31 January 1991||0||0||Persepolis||v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 12 November 2020|
|DF||Mojtaba Najjarian||15 February 1998||0||0||Foolad||v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 12 November 2020 PRE|
|MF||Milad Sarlak||26 March 1995||3||0||Persepolis||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|MF||Ahmad Reza Zendehrouh||9 July 1992||0||0||Gol Gohar||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|MF||Farshad Ahmadzadeh||23 September 1992||0||0||Sepahan||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|MF||Farshid Esmaeili||23 February 1994||0||0||Esteghlal||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|MF||Mehdi Tikdari||13 June 1996||0||0||Gol Gohar||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|MF||Mohammad Karimi||20 June 1996||0||0||Sepahan||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|MF||Yasin Salmani||27 February 2002||0||0||Sepahan||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|MF||Ehsan Hajsafi INJ||25 February 1990||115||6||AEK Athens||v. Iraq, 15 June 2021|
|MF||Kamal Kamyabinia||18 January 1989||5||1||Persepolis||v. Hong Kong, 3 June 2021|
|MF||Omid Ebrahimi||16 September 1987||52||0||Al-Wakrah||v. Syria, 30 March 2021|
|MF||Ali Karimi||11 February 1994||13||0||Kayserispor||v. Syria, 30 March 2021|
|MF||Akbar Imani||21 March 1992||3||0||Tractor||v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 12 November 2020|
|FW||Amir Arsalan Motahari||10 March 1993||0||0||Esteghlal||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|FW||Shahriyar Moghanlou||21 December 1994||0||0||Sepahan||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|FW||Mehdi Abdi||30 November 1998||0||0||Persepolis||Tehran training camp, August 2021|
|FW||Kaveh Rezaei INJ||5 April 1992||17||4||OH Leuven||v. Iraq, 15 June 2021|
|FW||Allahyar Sayyadmanesh||29 June 2001||2||1||Zorya Luhansk||v. Syria, 30 March 2021|
|FW||Sajjad Shahbazzadeh||23 January 1990||0||0||Sepahan||v. Syria, 30 March 2021|
|FW||Sasan Ansari||4 May 1991||0||0||Foolad||v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 12 November 2020 PRE|
INJ Withdrew due to injury
- As of 2 September 2021
- Players in bold are still active with Iran.
Most capped players
Most capped goalkeepers
|1||Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh||79||1987–1998|
|1||Ali Daei (list)||109||149||0.73||1993–2006|
|8||Gholam Hossein Mazloumi||19||40||0.48||1969–1977|
|World Cup finals||World Cup qualifications|
|1930||Not a FIFA member||No qualification|
|1934||Not a FIFA member|
|1950||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1974||Did not qualify||8||5||1||2||9||6|
|1990||Did not qualify||6||5||0||1||12||5|
|2002||Did not qualify||14||9||3||2||36||9|
|2010||Did not qualify||14||5||8||1||15||9|
|2022||To be determined||10||8||0||2||38||4|
|2026||To be determined|
1992 – present national under-23 football team.
|Summer Olympic Games Record||Qualifications record|
|1900–1960||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1968||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1980||Boycotted the event||5||3||2||0||18||2|
|1984||Did not enter|
|1988||Did not qualify||2||1||0||1||2||2|
|1992–present||See Iran national under-23 team||See Iran national under-23 team|
|Total||Quarter-finals||4 / 17||9||2||1||6||6||20||—||22||14||6||2||48||8|
|AFC Asian Cup finals||AFC Asian Cup qualifications|
|1960||Did not qualify||6||3||1||2||12||10|
|1968||Champions||1st||4||4||0||0||11||2||Squad||Automatic qualified as host|
|1972||Champions||1st||5||5||0||0||12||4||Squad||Automatic qualified as champion|
|1976||Champions||1st||4||4||0||0||13||0||Squad||Automatic qualified as host|
|1980||Third place||3rd||6||3||2||1||16||6||Squad||Automatic qualified as champion|
|Host nation(s) / year||Round||Position||Pld||W||D||L||GS||GA||Dif||Pts||Squad|
|1954||Did not enter|
|1962||Did not enter|
|2002–present||See Iran national under-23 team|
|Host nation(s) / year||Round||Position||Pld||W||D||L||GS||GA||Dif||Pts||Squad|
|2014||Did not enter|
|2019–onwards||Not WAFF member|
- 1 Iran played their B team in this tournament
- As of 16 June 2021
- Highest FIFA ranking
- 15 (July 2005)
- Lowest FIFA ranking
- 122 (May 1996)
- Best mover
- +65 (July 1996)
- Worst mover
- –43 (October 1995)
Last update was on 21 December 2020. Source:
Best Ranking Worst Ranking Best Mover Worst Mover
|Iran's FIFA world rankings|
- As of 16 June 2021
|2||1967–1970||Hassan Habibi||1958–1970||31||0||10||0||1968 AFC Asian Cup|
|3||1970–1972||Mostafa Arab||1959–1972||48||2||13||0||1972 AFC Asian Cup|
|4||1972–1977||Parviz Ghelichkhani||1964–1977||64||12||26||7||1976 AFC Asian Cup|
|5||1977–1980||Ali Parvin||1970–1980||76||13||31||2||1978 FIFA World Cup|
|6||1980||Nasser Hejazi||1968–1980||62||0||7||0||1980 AFC Asian Cup|
|Mohammad Panjali||1978–1991||45||0||27||0||1984 AFC Asian Cup|
|Sirous Ghayeghran||1986–1993||43||6||22||3||1988 AFC Asian Cup |
1992 AFC Asian Cup
|12||1996||Mojtaba Moharrami||1988–1996||37||5||2||0||1996 AFC Asian Cup|
|13||1996–1998||Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh||1988–1998||79||0||38||0||1998 FIFA World Cup|
|14||1998–1999||Nader Mohammadkhani||1988–1999||64||4||9||1||1998 FIFA World Cup|
|16||2000–2006||Ali Daei||1993–2006||149||109||80||44||2000 AFC Asian Cup |
2004 AFC Asian Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
|17||2006–2009||Mehdi Mahdavikia||1996–2009||111||13||17||1||2007 AFC Asian Cup|
|18||2009–2015||Javad Nekounam||2000–2015||151||39||56||18||2011 AFC Asian Cup|
2014 FIFA World Cup
2015 AFC Asian Cup
|20||2016–2019||Masoud Shojaei||2004–2019||87||8||10||0||2018 FIFA World Cup|
|21||Ashkan Dejagah||2012–2019||59||11||18||5||2019 AFC Asian Cup|
|22||2016–||Ehsan Hajsafi||2008–||114||6||21||2||2018 FIFA World Cup|
Most matches as captain
As of 8 September 2021, the 10 players with the most matches as captain:
|#||Player||Caps||Years active||Matches as captain|
|3||Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh||79||1988–1998||38|
|West Asian Championship||4||1||1||6|
|West Asian Games||1||1||1||3|
|AFC–OFC Challenge Cup||1||0||0||1|
|Afro-Asian Cup of Nations||0||1||0||1|
- Champions: 1968, 1972, 1976
- Third place: 1980, 1988, 1996, 2004
- Fourth place: 1984
- Semi-finals: 2019
* as B Team
- Champions: 2003
- Runners-up: 1991
Minor Tournament (Friendly)
- Football in Iran
- Iran national futsal team
- Iran national beach soccer team
- Iran national under-23 football team
- Iran national under-20 football team
- Iran national under-17 football team
- Iran women's national football team
- Iran women's national under-20 football team
- Iran women's national under-17 football team
- Iran women's national futsal team
- Tehran XI
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Iran national football team.|
- Official Website of IR Iran Football Federation at archive.org
- Official Website of IR Iran Football Federation (in Persian)
- FIFA profile
- Iran Football News,Iran Football League
- Iran Soccer News
- Iran Football News since 1997
- Extensive archive of Team's results, squads, campaigns and players
- Players Profile, Articles, Statistics and Gallery of National Team
- RSSSF archive of results 1941–
- RSSSF archive of most capped players and highest goalscorers
- Iran's archive of results and elo rating points
- Iran's National Football Team: The Smaller Iranian Society