Iran face high expectations in AFC Asian Cup: Karim Ansarifard

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Tehran Times – TEHRAN, Iran international striker Karim Ansarifard says they face high expectations in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup since Team Melli have not won the title for 42 years.

Iran will enter the Asian Cup with high expectations, boasting what is arguably their strongest roster in the recent years.

Iran have been drawn in Group D along with Yemen, Iraq and Vietnam.

The Asian Cup three-time champions had good performances in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Iran picked up four points in their three games in Russia, including the country’s second-ever World Cup win with a 1-0 victory over Morocco, to narrowly miss out on a place in the last 16, despite being in the same group as Spain and Portugal.

“We achieved the best results in our history at the 2018 World Cup. We could have qualified for the next stage with a little bit of luck,” Ansarifard said.

“Now, the 2018 World Cup is finished and we are determined to get the best result in the competition. We are facing high expectations because Team Melli are the Asian first team in FIFA rankings and we must meet the fans’ expectations,” he added.

“Beyond that, under leadership of a great coach like Carlos Queiroz, I think it’s available to win the AFC Asian Cup title,” Ansarifard stated.

The 28-year-old striker has recently joined English Championship side Nottingham Forest from Olympiacos. Ansarifard is optimistic about his future in the team.

“I know that I have a difficult task ahead since Nottingham Forest are among the best teams in Championship but I will do my best and I’m happy and I hope to help the team to achieve our goals. I think so many football players dream of playing in England,” Ansarifard said.


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