Meet the Iranian squad set to take on England in the World Cup opener in Qatar, including Iranian Messi, Brentford star, former Brighton bike kick hero and next target transfer from Arsenal


Iran will be looking to create a clash against England at the World Cup and will have several familiar faces in their ranks in Qatar.

‘Team Melli’, led by former Manchester United assistant Carlos Queiroz, could be the dark horse of Group B.

Iran face a difficult group
Getty

Iran, who are ranked 20th in the world, put together a decent squad and topped their qualifying group ahead of South Korea.

Here, talkSPORT.com goes over several of their dangerous ones that the Three Lions should be wary of in Doha, Qatar’s capital.

Sardar Azmoun

The Bayer Leverkusen striker is set to be Iran’s key man at the World Cup – despite having been nursing a calf injury since October.

Azmoun has been dubbed ‘The Iranian Messi’ despite his stature of 6’1 ​​eclipsing that of the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

Still, the 27-year-old’s goalscoring record speaks for itself, with the striker scoring 41 goals in 65 games for his country – which puts him second on their all-time list behind Iranian icon Ali Daei.

Azmoun, a former Liverpool target, moved to Leverkusen this summer on a free transfer from Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Meet the Iranian squad set to take on England in the World Cup opener in Qatar, including Iranian Messi, Brentford star, former Brighton bike kick hero and next target transfer from Arsenal
Azmoun started all three of Iran’s games at the 2018 World Cup
Getty


Mehdi Taremi

Taremi will be the man Iran should turn to in attack if Azmoun fails to prove himself in time to face England.

The 30-year-old memorably scored a spectacular bicycle kick for Porto in their Champions League quarter-final win over Chelsea in April.

The strike saw the Portuguese giants win 1-0 in the second leg and went on to be voted UEFA Goal of the Season, but the Blues still progressed on aggregate.

Taremi, however, has since taken on his fine form in the new campaign and has netted 13 times in 19 appearances so far.

He’s even sparked interest from Arsenal, who are said to be keen on bringing in Gabriel Jesus in January.

Meet the Iranian squad set to take on England in the World Cup opener in Qatar, including Iranian Messi, Brentford star, former Brighton bike kick hero and next target transfer from Arsenal
Mehdi Taremi scored a spectacular consolation goal for Porto against Chelsea
Getty

Alireza Jahanbakhsh

Mason Mount, for his part, will have flashbacks as he takes on the other player from the Iranian team who scored a bicycle kick against Chelsea.

Mount played for the Blues in both games – with Jahanbakhsh’s stunts coming a year ahead of teammate Taremi’s effort.

Jahanbakhsh earned Brighton their first-ever league point against Chelsea with rival Puskas in a 1-1 draw in January 2020.

The 29-year-old has yet to live up to the Seagulls’ record signing under current Chelsea manager Graham Potter.

That cycling stunt came days after his only other goal for Brighton and Jahanbakhsh joined Eredivisie side Feyenoord in July 2021.

Meet the Iranian squad set to take on England in the World Cup opener in Qatar, including Iranian Messi, Brentford star, former Brighton bike kick hero and next target transfer from Arsenal
Jahanbakhsh scored a superb equalizer for the Seagulls against Chelsea
Getty Images – Getty

Saman Ghoddos

Another Premier League player with a link to Chelsea manager Potter!

Ghoddos helped set up goals for both Ostersunds in a memorable 2-1 win over Arsenal in 2018, which saw Potter become the first English manager to win at the Emirates in European competition.

The 29-year-old joined Brentford two years later and helped the Bees clinch promotion to the Premier League, but has since found minutes hard to come by.

His only start under Thomas Frank this season came in the Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out loss to Gillingham.

Although he played more than 30 times for Iran, Ghoddos’ international career originally started in his native Sweden.

The midfielder made two friendlies and scored once for Sweden before declaring his allegiance to Iran in the summer of 2017.

Meet the Iranian squad set to take on England in the World Cup opener in Qatar, including Iranian Messi, Brentford star, former Brighton bike kick hero and next target transfer from Arsenal
Ghoddos has made six appearances on the bench for Brentford in the Premier League this season
Rex

Milad Mohamed

Mohammadi caught the world’s attention at the last World Cup in Russia 2018.

The Iranian defender infamously attempted an incredible throw-in in his country’s group stage loss to Spain.

More of these antics in Qatar please…

Meet the Iranian squad set to take on England in the World Cup opener in Qatar, including Iranian Messi, Brentford star, former Brighton bike kick hero and next target transfer from Arsenal
Mohammadi hit the headlines with his failed throw-in

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Meet the Iranian squad set to take on England in the World Cup opener in Qatar, including Iranian Messi, Brentford star, former Brighton bike kick hero and next target transfer from Arsenal

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