TEHRAN (ISNA)- Captain of National Iranian football team Javad Nekounam said the squad can advance from its group in the World Cup 2014 if it is manages to prepare well for in the 6 remaining months to the international tournament.
“We can be optimistic about advancing from this group, if we hold acceptable friendly matches,” he said.
Asked about who will be able to control Messi during Iran’s upcoming match with Argentina next year, he said, “Messi cannot be controlled by one person. In my opinion although we are grouped with Argentina but the draw was not bad and we are in a good group among 32 groups in world.”
Nekounam expressed the hope that the Iranian team could do well in the world cup against professional teams.
National Iranian football team has been drawn with soccer powerhouse of Latin America, Argentina, the Giant of Africa, Nigeria, and debutant Bosnia and Herzegovina in Group F of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Iranians will open their competition at the international men’s football tournament against Nigeria at the Arena da Baixada stadium in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba on June 16 next year.
The Iranian squad will take on Argentines at the Estadio Mineirao in the city of Belo Horizonte on June 21.
Carlos Queiroz’s men will face Bosnians at the Arena Fonte Nova stadium in Salvador on June 25 in their last group stage match.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th edition of the international sports event and is scheduled to take place from June 12 to July 13 in Brazil.
Brazil and Croatia will participate in the opening match at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.
The hosts have Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon for company in Group A, while Spain is drawn in Group B with Chile and Australia, as well as the Netherlands.
Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan and Greece are together in Group C. Uruguay, Italy, Costa Rica and England comprise intriguing Group D.
Switzerland, Honduras, Ecuador and France make up Group E.
Group G looks set to be the 20th FIFA World Cup’s ‘Group of Death’, containing Germany, Ghana, the United States and Portugal.
Belgium, South Korea, Algeria and Russia complete the draw in Group H.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage matches will come to an end on June 26, with the first games of the round of 16 to take place only two days later in Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro.
The four quarterfinals will then be staged on July 4 and 5, while the semifinals will take place on July 8 and 9.
The final match will unfold at the cathedral of Brazilian football, the iconic Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, on July 13.
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