Iran World Cup 2022 squad: Carlos Queiroz announces final 25-man team

Mehdi Taremi
Mehdi Taremi celebrates a goal for the Iran national team (Image credit: Getty)

The Iran World Cup 2022 squad has been announced, with manager Carlos Queiroz revealing a 25-man final team, opting not to fill the remaining allotted spot for the tournament. 

Making a fifth appearance in the last seven World Cups with a promising squad and a decent group-stage draw, Iran had their hopes of making the knockouts for the first time thrown into disarray by their own FA.

A coaching change made as late as September has given them little time to adjust and prepare. Could off-field organisational problems again affect on-pitch matters? Perhaps – but the returning Carlos Queiroz did then lead Iran to victory over a strong Uruguay and a draw with Sadio Mane’s Senegal.

Iran have a balanced, experienced squad featuring a powerful attack and an organised defence, with numerous top stars remaining from Russia 2018. Their attack is especially entertaining, Porto star Mehdi Taremi and Bayer Leverkusen forward Sardar Azmoun averaging a goal every other game. Alireza Beiranvand is a solid and very underrated goalkeeper, too.

However, the coach-related chaos in the summer divided Iran’s dressing room.

The FA no longer wanted Dragan Skocic, after he strolled to 15 wins in his 18 games in charge from February 2020, firing the Croatian in July this year, reinstating him days later, then firing him again.  Azmoun campaigned for Skocic to stay, while Taremi and Alireza Jahanbakhsh said they wanted Queiroz to return. Even if Queiroz does know this team well, and how to set it up, such tensions aren’t easily healed.

Their games in the group stage of the Qatar World Cup 2022 against USA, Wales and England will likely turn into a media circus, especially against the former nation, which the players do not want. Politicians and journalists will ensure there’s a farrago, and with two British group opponents as well, it’s Iran versus the English-speaking West – in Qatar of all countries.

Iran World Cup squad 2022

Iran World Cup 2022 squad: The final team

  • GK: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis)
  • GK: Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal)
  • GK: Amir Abedzadeh (Ponferradina)
  • GK: Payam Niazmand (Sepahan) 
  • DF: Ehsan Hajsafi (AEK Athens)
  • DF: Morteza Pouraliganji (Persepolis) 
  • DF: Ramin Rezaeian (Sepahan)
  • DF: Milad Mohammadi (AEK Athens)
  • DF: Shojae Khalilzadeh (Al-Ahli) 
  • DF: Hossein Kanaanizadegan (Al-Ahli)
  • DF: Sadegh Moharrami (Dinamo Zagreb)
  • DF: Majid Hosseini (Kayserispor)
  • DF: Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal)
  • DF: Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal) 
  • MF: Vahid Amiri (Persepolis) 
  • MF: Saeid Ezatolahi (Vejle)
  • MF: Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis)
  • MF: Saman Ghoddos (Brentford) 
  • MF: Ali Gholizadeh (Charleroi) 
  • MF: Ahmad Nourollahi (Shabab Al Ahli)
  • MF: Ali Karimi (Kayserispor) 
  • FW: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord)
  • FW: Mehdi Taremi (Porto) 
  • FW: Karim Ansarifard (Omonia)
  • FW: Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen)

Iran World Cup 2022 top scorers

2 goals: Mehdi Taremi

1 goal: Roozbeh Cheshmi, Ramin Rezaeian

Iran World Cup 2022 yellow cards

2 yellows: Alireza Jahanbaksh 

1 yellow: Morteza Pouraliganji, Ramin Rezaeian

Iran manager

Who is Iran's manager for the 2022 World Cup?

Carlos Queiroz led Iran from 2011 to 2019, taking Team Melli to two World Cups, but the Portuguese veteran’s sensational return – after failing to take either Colombia or Egypt to Qatar 2022 – divided opinion in Iran, being applauded enthusiastically by some and criticised heavily by others. The 69-year-old will be in the spotlight. 

Iran star player

Who is Iran's best player?

Sardar Azmoun’s January move to Bayer Leverkusen has yet to bring fireworks but he remains Iran’s brightest star, even when searching for his best form. The 27-year-old has hit 41 goals in 65 matches for his nation – only the legendary pair of Karim Bagheri and Ali Daei have been more prolific. He is a classy and elegant penalty-box predator. 

How many players are Iran allowed to take to the 2022 World Cup?

National managers were allowed to bring 26 players to last summer’s European Championship for the first time at a major tournament, as a special measure brought in due to the COVID-19 pandemic – while last year's Copa America allowed squads of 28 players.

Now it has been announced that 26-player squads will return for the Qatar World Cup, an expansion from the usual 23-man teams.

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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).

With contributions from