World Cup 2018 Team Preview: Iran (So Far)

Senor Weaselo

Senor Weaselo

Senor Weaselo plays the violin. He tucks it right under his chin. When he isn’t doing that, he enjoys watching his teams (Yankees, Jets, Knicks, and Rangers), trying to ingest enough capsaicin to make himself breathe fire (it hasn’t happened yet), and scheming to acquire the Bryant Park zamboni.
Senor Weaselo

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Welcome to another DFO World Cup preview. Today we’ll be looking at the Iranian team. They are known as “Team Melli,” which means “The National Team.” They’ve also been called the Persian Stars, Shiran e Iran (the Iranian Lions), the Cheetahs (due to conservation efforts), or the Princes of Persia.

No word on whether they can use the sands to rewind time. (Photo via the Prince of Persia wiki.)

Would you would know anyone on their roster? Probably not. Nobody from the roster plays in one of the major European leagues, though a couple players play for Olympiacos of Greece, one plays for AEK Athens, and one plays for Nottingham Forest—that would be midfielder and captain Ashkan Dejagah.

But famous names are unnecessary. Iran is currently a powerhouse of Asian soccer, attempting to restore their former (pre-Revolution and pre Iraq–Iran War) glory. They won three consecutive Asian Cups in 1968, ’72, and ’76, and now, over 40 years later, would have to be considered a favorite in 2019 in the United Arab Emirates. They are currently ranked 36th in the world according to FIFA, which the highest of any Asian Football Confederation teams (Australia is second, ranked 40th… yes, I know Australia is not a part of Asia, don’t ask me); and they are ranked 21st in the World Football Elo Rankings, which apparently exist. It was Iran that won their group in AFC World Cup qualification. And out of the two group winners it was Iran with more points throughout their group, with 22 to Group B’s Japan’s 20, winning 6 of their 10 matches without losing a single one, and only giving up 2 goals throughout, drawing 2–2 with Syria in their last match while already being assured of a trip to Russia. So it’s safe to say they’re also pretty solid defensively.

As for the world stage, they’ve never advanced past the group stage, and their World Cup win was in 1998 over (who else) the United States. This go-around, they’ll have difficulties, being in Group B with Morocco and the entire Iberian Peninsula, because someone clearly thought having Spain and Portugal in the same group would be a good idea. Their best chance to get that second-ever win will definitely be their first game against Morocco in St. Petersburg on June 15th, before they take on Spain on the 20th and Portugal on the 25th. My guess, and probably most people’s, is that the two Iberian teams come out of the group, which would be a pretty damn good guess since they’re both top-10 teams, so anyone else would be an upset. But perhaps the Iranians can get that second-ever win and maybe steal a point from one (or both?) of the other matches with that stingy defense, and in that case, and in that case with four points maybe they get to the round of 16? Maybe even the quarters if they can get past, um, Uruguay I’d guess? That’s definitely a shocking best-case, but stranger things have happened in sports the last few years…

[DOOR FLIES OPEN]

(Photo via IMDB)

The Iron Sheik: YOU SAY IRAN BEST CASE QUARTERFINALS? I CALL YOU A PUNK!

GO FUCK YOURSELF, YOU FUCKING JABRONI!

YOU SAY THE IRAN TEAM NOT MADE OF PLAYERS COMPETING IN EUROPE? THEY FROM AND PLAY IN IRAN BUBBA, THE GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH. YOU SAY THE CRISTIANO RONALDO AND THE DIEGO COSTA FIND WAYS TO SCORE AGAINST THE IRANIAN DEFENSE? THE IRAN TEAM WOULDN’T GIVE UP SIX GOALS TO COSTA RICA IN TWO MATCHES OR LOSE A MUST-WIN TO TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO. IRAN TEAM, THEY ALL THE LEGEND IRON SHEIK CLASS! USA TEAM, HACK-TOO!

FUCK THE JABRONI RONALDO MCDONALDO. I BREAK HIS BACK AND MAKE HIM HUMBLE. THE LIONEL MESSI TOO.

AS FOR MY WORLD CUP PREDICTION, BUBBA?

IRAN VS. RUSSIA. I WATCH WITH MY BROTHER THE LEGEND NIKOLAI VOLKOFF. GOD BLESS HIM.

AND THE NEXT TIME YOU SPEAK ABOUT IRAN, I PUT YOU IN CAMEL CLUTCH. GO FUCK YOURSELF, RAISIN BALLS.

[DOOR SLAMS SHUT]

…Is… is he gone? I’m gonna get my ass handed to me about now, right? Help? Anyone? Please?

Matches
June 15th vs. Morocco, 11:00 Eastern (18:00 local), St. Petersburg
June 20th vs. Spain, 14:00 Eastern (21:00 local), Kazan
June 25th vs. Portugal, 14:00 Eastern (21:00 local), Saransk

Banner image from Wikipedia–it’s the skyline in Tehran, the capital.

Senor Weaselo
Senor Weaselo
Senor Weaselo plays the violin. He tucks it right under his chin. When he isn't doing that, he enjoys watching his teams (Yankees, Jets, Knicks, and Rangers), trying to ingest enough capsaicin to make himself breathe fire (it hasn't happened yet), and scheming to acquire the Bryant Park zamboni.

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Rikki-Tikki-DeadlyBrick MeathookballsofsteelandfuryBeerguyrobBrettFavresColonoscopy Recent comment authors
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Beerguyrob

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Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

I feel like Iran was one of my biggest misses. She was a Ph.D. substance abuse counselor who lived in Beverly Hills. I met her when an old roommate of mine from San Diego (who later went on to hit it big by co-creating lonelygirl15) asked me to bring my truck to help her move a piece of furniture. A month or two later she invited us to a house party mostly attended by her sister’s friends in the LA public defender’s office. At some point in the night she gave me “the look” and I can’t for the life of me understand why I didn’t follow up on it with a request for “a tour of the house” or something. She ended up trying to set me up with a friend of hers who I accidentally stood up while thinking *I* was the one being stood up – I invited the friend to a concert and was waiting inside without realizing that the show had sold out. I found this all out when I had jury duty with the sister. I ultimately blew my shot with her when I stupidly asked if her family – which I knew was from Iran – celebrated Christmas. Her silence before coldly saying “no” was so deafening I thought the phone line had gone dead.

ballsofsteelandfury

So many questions, but my first one is: What’s “lonelygirl15”?

/ is out of the loop.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

It was a web series about ten years ago – I never actually watched it but it was a pretty big hit at the time.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Small world, a little research reveals that she’s facebook friends with my neighbor!

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

Iranian living in Beverly Hills meant she was Jewish not Muslim. They all fled the revolution and they all went there.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Yup. More than anything it was a product of my younger self assuming everyone is either Catholic or Protestant. Thanks, New England upringing!

ballsofsteelandfury

Iron Sheik was perfect.

LemonJello
LemonJello

Don’t worry, there’s gotta be someone that has your back in this situation, Senor.
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BrettFavresColonoscopy

Haters gonna say it’s ‘shopped