Contact Us

Iran’s Squad for FIFA World Cup 2022 & Team Profile

Iran announced the 26-man squad list for the 2022 World Cup with a lot of on-field and off-field issues to deal with in the tournament. In this article, check out the Iran FIFA World Cup 2022 squad, fixtures, lineups and team analysis.

Last updated: 20.11.2022

Iran announced the 26-man squad list for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with a lot of on-field and off-field issues to deal with in the tournament. Coach Carlos Queiroz is in charge of Team Meli for the tournament after Dragan Skocic was sacked despite leading the team to their best qualification campaign ever. Iran will hope to reach the knockout stages to build on their excellent campaign in the 2018 World Cup.



Iran are participating in their sixth World Cup with the first appearance coming in 1978 after years of failed qualifying campaigns since they became a FIFA member in 1948. The 2022 World Cup is the first time they have qualified for three straight finals but have not reached the knockout stages ever in their history of the tournament. In 2018, they came the closest with only a point separating them from second-placed Portugal and group-winners Spain for a place in the knockouts. In a tough group locked with Morocco and Spain, another powerhouse, Iran did exceedingly well in grinding out a 1-0 win over the African nation and halting Portugal in a 1-1 draw in the last match after a defeat to Spain. The four points gathered were not enough to take them through.  



Team Meli registered the best points tally in the World Cup qualification with 25 points from 10 matches claiming the top spot over South Korea. They allowed just four goals in that period and scored 15 themselves. Despite that, there were tensions in the dressing room between the players and the manager Dragan Skocic ultimately leading to his sacking after the qualification. It was said the dressing room got divided over the manager’s position with one set happy to carry one while the others with the star names wanted him to be axed. Skocic was actually sacked twice this year from his role, reasserted the first time because of a lack of options to replace him and then fired again after Carlos Queiroz was chosen for his second stint at the national team.  


Preparation for World Cup

Iran had a solid preparation for the 2022 World Cup. Keeping aside their 2-1 defeat to Algeria, Team Meli triumphed over Uruguay and drew against Senegal in a remarkable fashion. The latest friendly win came against North American Nicaragua last week. The Iran team is arriving at the 2022 World Cup high on belief both for their form and events happening back in their homeland.

Iran 2022 World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Amir Abedzadeh (Ponferradina), Seyed Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal), Payam Niazmand (Sepahan)

Defenders: Ehsan Hajsafi (AEK Athens), Morteza Pouraliganji (Persepolis), Ramin Rezaeian (Sepahan), Milad Mohammadi (AEK Athens), Hossein Kanaanizadegan (Al Ahli), Shojae Khalilzadeh (Al Ahli), Sadegh Moharrami (Dinamo Zagreb), Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal), Majid Hosseini (Kayserispor), Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal)

Midfielders: Ahmad Noorollahi (Shabab Al Ahli), Saman Ghoddos (Brentford), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Saeid Ezatolahi (Vejle), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord), Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis), Ali Gholizadeh (Charleroi), Ali Karimi (Kayserispor)

Forwards: Karim Ansarifard (Omonia Nicosia), Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen), Mehdi Taremi (Porto)


Coach: Carlos Queiroz


The strength of Iran is understandably their defense. They are one of the hard sides to penetrate against and their pragmatic tactics yielded necessary results in the past. Carlos Queiroz’s appointment promises more rigidity with the manager earlier having success with the national team in the 2018 edition. The players will know the manager’s demands especially Mehdi Taremi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Sardar Azmoun who were key members in his first stint. The striker duo is also potent on the counter-attacks.



The weakness of the team is being too much dependable on the defense to stand strong and a lack of a creative player in midfield could nullify their attacking threat. The inefficiency of the team to keep possession for a considerable period of time will be a problem. This time the group stage will be a lot trickier than four years ago with three talented squads in England, USA and Wales to tackle which could be too much for the Asian nation.  


Star Player: Mehdi Taremi

In another sensational scoring season for FC Porto, Mehdi Taremi is in the mood to rack up some strikes on the World Cup stage after not doing so in his last participation. He also scored eight goals in 13 matches in the AFC qualification and has bagged 28 strikes in total in 58 caps for Iran. Taremi is a sensational goal-machine Iran are blessed with. The 30-years-old will be crucial for the side to hold up play, link up with Sardar Azmoun or do it by himself through his brilliant scoring instinct.   

How will Iran line up at the 2022 World Cup?


A 4-4-2 is the most suitable formation to go for the side with variations happening in matches. Also having a pragmatic manager, Iran is unlikely to change their strategy. The team’s priority will be to get the ball as quickly to the two forwards should they able to recover the ball from more crafty7 sides in possession.


Opponents & Fixtures

England vs Iran - 21 November 2022, Khalifa International Stadium (6:30 PM)

Wales vs Iran - 25 November 2022, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium (3:30 PM)

Iran vs USA - 29 November 2022, Al Thumama Stadium (12:30 AM)


Off-field issues

The fiasco over the coach was little to what circulated around the Iran national team before the tournament. Firstly, a group of sportspersons had to stand against their own federation citing a discriminatory attitude and violence sponsored by the state towards the ordinary citizen, especially women. This came after the country saw widespread protests over the death of 22-year-old Mahasa Amini in September after she was arrested and tortured by the Iranian morality police for attire deemed inappropriate. The group even sent a letter to FIFA to remove the football team from the 2022 World Cup. The football’s governing body declined to comment on the matter. Football legends of the nations like Ali Karimi and Ali Daeli have also backed the protests happening in their homeland. Also, Ukraine wanted them expelled from the tournament because of supplying missiles to Russia which are being used to target the military and citizens of the war-torn country. The national team has also decided to voice their support of the protests during the tournament after Iran declared death penalties to the anti-government protestors. Carlos Queiroz said the team can show a solidarity message as long it complies with the FIFA rules and regulations but then cut a controversial figure moment after when asked about his role of managing a country’s team where women are being oppressed. He retaliated at the question asked and left the conference room.                


Iran could be an unpredictable side in this tournament. Team Meli could either cause a lot of problems with their brilliant defensive work or the same reason could suppress their attack altogether. In 2018 and in the qualification this term, they have shown the strategy is their solution. The cries of protest back in the homeland could give additional spirit to do better in this tournament. Carlos Queiroz has also dragged the teams he managed deeper into the contest through his pragmatic style. However, this group possesses a different kind of challenge and one which will not open an escape route that easily. 

Chase Your Sport

Stay up-to-date on the latest sports news, stats, expert analysis and trends, including cricket, football, wrestling, tennis, basketball, Formula One and more. Find previews, schedules, results of upcoming events, and fantasy tips on Chase Your Sport.