Tasnim – TEHRAN, Iranian national football team head coach Carlos Queiroz said Team Melli has no choice but to defeat Guam in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and 2019 AFC Asian Cup the UAE.
In an exclusive interview with Tasnim news agency, Queiroz said to win a place at the 2018 World Cup is difficult, but not impossible.
“To defeat Guam is so important for us since we have no enough time in the first round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Without a doubt, the other teams in Group D will lose points due to long trip. I am sure it will happen. We will play Guam at home and must defeat them,” he said.
“Now, we have several young players in our team. More than 50 percent of the team consists of young players and the players are inexperienced. It’s an important moment for us since to book a place in the World Cup is not playing with kids at the backyard.”
“It’s not time we teach our young players the new lessons. They should show their best performances in the World Cup qualifiers,” Queiroz noted.
“We cannot play friendly matches since there are no days scheduled for the friendlies. We have a tough job ahead of us but we will do our best. Iran football team needs preparatory matches and the football officials must take it serious. We need experience but how are you going to gain it if you don’t have friendly games? This is a cat and mouse game and is very difficult to deal with,” he underscored.
“I praise Mr. Kafashian (head of Iran Football Federation) due to his efforts for beach soccer, futsal and women football teams. I had opportunity to attend the Beach Soccer World Cup in Portugal. I have never seen a team like Iran beach soccer team who can be success with insufficient facilities. I watched Iran, Brazil match in Portugal and I wanted from the bottom of my heart to win the match,” the Portuguese coach added.
Asked about Javad Nekounam who retired from international duty four months ago, Queiroz said, “It’s hard for me to talk about these kinds of things. I think Nekounam’s decision was made at the right time because he announced his retirement after two friendly matches against Chile and Sweden; however I think he deserves more respect for what he has achieved in the international level.”
“Nekounam had to announce his retirement in Sweden friendly match. I am sorry I could not take advantage of my personal relations to arrange a glorious ceremony. I am sure if I had told the Swedish federation that the Iranian football captain with 152 caps was going to hang his shoes, they would have arranged a good match for him. I also thought Nakounam would join Iran’s staff after his retirement but I don’t know what happened.”
As regards possible friendly matches against Germany and the Netherlands, he said, “I know Kafashian has said he will travel to Germany and the Netherlands to arrange some friendly matches with the teams but I don’t know when it will happen since we have no free time. If we cannot organize the big friendly matches, I will go to France to arrange warm-up matches with French clubs. Also, we can meet with Italian, Spanish, South African and Portuguese teams.”