Osasuna pair highlight Iran Asian Cup squad

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz named his 23-man squad for the Asian Cup in Australia, led by captain Javad Nekounam.

The Osasuna stalwart, 34, is joined in the squad by club team-mate Karim Ansarifard, who moved to La Liga in mid-year from Tractor Sazi.

The squad was announced despite reports assistant coach Ali Karimi quitting his post hours before their scheduled flight to Australia.

Thirteen players that travelled to Brazil for the World Cup retained their positions for the Asian championship.

Iran open their tournament against Bahrain in Melbourne on January 11, before further group matches with Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

Squad in full: 

Goalkeepers: Alireza Haghighi (FC Penafiel), Mohsen Forouzan (Esteghlal), Alireza Beiranvand (Naft Tehran)

Defenders: Jalal Hosseini (Al Ahli), Amirhossein Sadeghi (Esteghlal), Mehrdad Pooladi (Al Shahniya), Vouria Ghafouri (Naft Tehran), Hashem Beikzadeh (Esteghlal)

Midfielders: Javad Nekounam (Osasuna), Ehsan Hajisafi (Sepahan), Morteza Pouraliganji (Naft Tehran), Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal), Vahid Amiri (Naft Tehran), Andranik Teymourian (Tractor Sazi), Ashkan Dejagah (Al Arabi), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan)

Forwards: Masoud Shojaei (Al Shahniya), Khosro Heidari (Esteghlal), Karim Ansarifard (Osasuna), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Kuwait SC), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (NEC Nijmegen), Ramin Rezaian (Rah Ahan), Soroush Rafiei (Foolad Khuzestan)