Tehran Times – DOHA, Iran winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh says that they will “fight for their dreams” to end a 43-year trophy drought in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Iran national football team last lifted Asian football’s most coveted trophy on home soil in 1976, when they completed the third leg of three consecutive championship wins that mark the country out as one of continent’s most successful ever.
Iran head to the United Arab Emirates as one of favorites, where they will meet Yemen, Vietnam and Iraq in Group D.
Albion’s record signing Jahanbakhsh sustained hamstring damage in the 3-1 defeat at Everton at the start of last month. He has not featured since and is now with Iran for the Asian Cup in Doha’s training camp.
“My recovery process goes well and I think I will be fit for the Asian Cup,” Jahanbakhsh told reporters.
“We are desperate to win the title after 43 years. We feel obliged to make our people happy and we also know that the fans’ expectations are very high after the 2018 World Cup. They are right to have a dream and we will do our best to make their dreams come true,” Jahanbakhsh said.
“Iran played very well against three powerhouse teams in the 2018 World Cup and our people celebrated in the streets despite we missed out on advancing from the group stage. It shows they are behind us and pushing us,” he added.
“Iran can make history in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup because we take advantage of one of the best generations we have ever had. Four years ago, we were knocked out of the Asian Cup in penalty shootout against Iraq but this time we are determined to win the title,” Jahanbakhsh stated.