Hosseini breaks silence on 2018 World Cup snub

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Tehran Times – TEHRAN, Jalal Hosseini has spoken out over his 2018 World Cup snub by saying that playing in the World Cup for the second time was his dream that didn’t come true.

Hosseini announced his retirement from international football on Saturday.

Persepolis captain Hosseini bade farewell after a glittering 11-year career in national team. His international career began back in February 2007 when he debuted Team Melli in a friendly match against Belarus.

Hosseini made 115 appearances for Iran national football team and scored eight goals as a center back. He represented Iran in three AFC Asian Cups (2007, 2011, 2015) as well as 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The 36-year-old defender was named in Iran’s preliminary squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia but did not make the final 23.

“Honestly, I’m naturally incredibly disappointed to have been left out of the Iran squad for the World Cup. To play in the World Cup was a dream that didn’t come true,” Hosseini said in a news conference held in Persepolis club on Sunday.

“Every player dreams of playing in a World Cup in their career. I experienced that once in the 2014 World Cup and I tried very hard to play in the World Cup once again but it didn’t happen. I want to thank all the people that helped me, especially my wife who has always supported me,” he added.

“I quit international football and I will never return to Team Melli. I want to concentrate on my club to make our fans happy. We failed to win AFC Champions League but will do our best to win more trophies in the future,” the Persepolis captain concluded.

Hosseini was surprisingly dropped from the 2018 World Cup due to conflicts between Persepolis coach Branko Ivankovic and Team Melli trainer Carlos Queiroz.

Hosseini helped Persepolis advance to the 2018 AFC Champions League, where the Reds came second after losing to Japan’s Kashima Antlers in two final matches.

He also played vital role in steering Persepolis to back-to-back titles in Iran Professional League.

Hosseini was handed No. 115 shirt by Persepolis coach Ivankovic at the end of the news conference.

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