TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian national football team coach Carlos Queiroz said that football is in the DNA of the Iranian people.
“IF you go to Iran, you will see football in the DNA of the people,” the Portuguese coach told the Weekend Australian.
“They (Iranian) have football in the blood. The passion in the people is real. This is our strength. My players have the passion and the spirit to play the game. With the right support like the other nations have, which we do not have, we could reach fantastic levels in football.”
“The international sanctions are a factor in sport,” he said.
“They’re a factor in the football federation. If you want to play a friendly game, you don’t have money to travel, you don’t have money to buy the tickets, you don’t have money to pay the team. We come to this tournament after one game against (South) Korea in November,” Queiroz underscored.
“They offered to play us for free, so we took the opportunity. But in our pool in this tournament, we are competing against Bahrain, who have 12 games in the legs. We are playing Qatar, who have 15 games in the legs. UAE have 14 games in the legs from June until now. We can’t do that because we don’t have the resources and we don’t have the support. We have one game in the legs.”
Thirteen of Queiroz’s 23-man squad are from the Tehran-based Persian Gulf Pro League.
“Most of our players are professionals in the sense that they do receive salaries to play football,” he said.
“But you can’t compare the professionalism in Iran to the professionalism of players competing in England, Germany and Spain. It’s like day and night,” Queiroz said.
“So when you face a team with eight or nine starting players from Bundesliga, with the demands on those players for preparation and intensity and training, you cannot compare them to us,” Queiroz underlined.
“It’s like sometimes you can have two cars that look the same, but the power of the engines is completely different. Players who are used to European football are ready to play 90 minutes at one level, but other players cannot do that.”
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