Queiroz warns Spain: “Nobody wins for their reputation alone”

AS English– Iran coach Carlos Queiroz was pleased to see his side open their World Cup campaign with a 0-1 win over Morocco – a result which puts Iran top of Group B. Queiroz is now looking forward to the next game – Wednesday’s meeting with Spain and Portuguese tactician warned that reputations on their own count for little over 90 minutes.

Iran’s Ramin Rezaeian battles with Morocco’s Amine Harit in yesterday’s Group B match in Saint Petersburg. Stanley Chou (Getty Images)

Respect for Iran

“Spain have a great team and players who are very difficult to control but we have to play the game which we know how to play. Spain have the best players, the best technical skills, but that alone won’t win you the game – you still have to play, to compete. No team can win a football match just on its reputation”, Queiroz told EFE after Friday’s win in Saint Petersburg. “When the final whistle blows on Wednesday, I hope that Spain, our rivals, leave the pitch with the greatest respect for Iran’s players”.

Tehran celebrates ATTA KENARE (AFP)

Huge match

When asked whether he has devised a special plan to combat Fernando Hierro’s team when Iran take on Spain in Kazan in four days’ time, Queiroz broke into a smile. “I don’t know how we are going to do it but I do know that we are going to try”, he explained, adding that victory in the opening game has raised expectations among Iran’s fans. “Beating Morocco was almost like winning the final, and the game against Spain will be like the final of all finals because it will be us against the universe. Spain have a fantastic team, and apart from all of the magnificent home-grown players, they’ve also naturalized a Brazilian player, Diego Costa, to play for them”.