TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran midfielder Ashkan Dejagah believes that his team can spring a few surprises at the Brazil World Cup.
Iran will play Nigeria on June 16 in its opener.
Carlos Queiroz’s men will face Argentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 21 and June 25, respectively.
“We’re not going there expecting to win the tournament but we think we can cause a few surprises,” Dejagah told Fulham’s official website.
“It’s the fourth time the country has reached the World Cup but they’ve only ever won one game and have never got out of the Group Stages, so it would be great if we could get into the knock-out rounds. I think we have a chance,” he added.
“We can go there and play in a relaxed way because there’s no pressure on us. It’s a difficult group – we face Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nigeria so it won’t be easy – but in football you never know,” Fulham midfilder said.
“It’s the biggest thing to happen for Iran for many years. Hopefully we can do the country proud. We have some good players. There’s Reza Ghoochannejhad, a striker who plays at Charlton Athletic, Alireza Jahanbakhsh plays for NEC Nijmegen in the Netherlands and goalkeeper Daniel Davari is at Eintracht Braunschweig in Germany,” he said.
“It doesn’t get much better for a footballer,” said Dejagah, who hit five goals for Fulham in the league last term. “It’s a dream for every young player. It’s the first World Cup I’ve played in so I’m a little bit nervous but also very excited.”
“The first tournament I really remember was World Cup ‘94 when Roberto Baggio missed in the penalty shoot-out as Brazil beat Italy. I’ve since watched a DVD of Italia ‘90 when West Germany beat England on penalties. West Germany went on to lift the trophy. I was only four at the time but my neighbor in Germany knew I liked football so gave me a DVD of the tournament and I watched it a lot of times,” Dejagah concluded.
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