TEHRAN(Tasnim) – Iranian national football team’s coach Carlos Queiroz says that the FIFA rankings are just a ranking and doesn’t mean too much.
Iran is the best Asian team in the FIFA rankings, followed by Japan, South Korea and Australia.
“The FIFA rankings are just a ranking – it doesn’t mean too much but our position in comparison with other countries does reflect the development process. Countries like Japan, South Korea and Australia are in a better position because of the capacity they have,” Carlos Queiroz said.
“It’s nice to be there and we prefer to be Asia’s best but we are facing the reality and believe that we have other things we should do to keep that position and become more strong,” former Real Madrid coach added.
“Passion for football among the Iranians is unique in nature. No other country has such love and passion for the game like Iran,” the Portuguese told sports 360.
“It’s extremely tough to repeat what we did for them [in 2014]. It is very, very hard. But that’s why we have to work harder than before.”
Iran sits top of Group D with seven points. Team Melli was held to a 1-1 draw by Turkmenistan, but recorded back-to-back wins over Guam (6-0) and India (3-0).
“Australia, Japan and South Korea have a lot of players playing in Europe; that’s an advantage for them. But one thing is sure, they are going to be with us for 90 minutes and we are going to make life difficult for them. On the pitch, it’s just us and them after all,” Queiroz added.
“The young players are the spirit of the team,” he says. “They have refreshed the enthusiasm, desire and pride of Team Melli. This transition is also the strategic movement for the future of Iranian football. You got to believe that you are doing the right thing for the team. You got to believe this is the right thing for the future. And you got to trust yourself and your players. I believe I am doing all these things. God bless my decisions.”
“The challenge for Iran is not only to be one of the best in Asia but we have great potential to challenge some of the best in Europe. Not in the level of Germany, France or Argentina, Brazil. But there is no reason for Iran not to be a team in level of Sweden, Denmark, Greece, Uruguay… That should be the challenge in the next 10 years,” Queiroz stated.