Ansarifard: Iran to become Asian Cup champion

IRNA – Iran’s Karim Ansarifard spoke out his views set on realizing the dreams of a nation by winning the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 title.

After comfortably beating China in the quarter-finals, Iran will now play Japan in the last four, a meeting which pits Carlos Queiroz’s charges against a side that has recorded five successive victories en route to Monday’s match at Al Ain’s Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.

Although more than aware of the test that awaits Iran, the 28-year-old forward – who plays his club football in England with Nottingham Forest – is nevertheless intent on claiming what would be a fourth Continental crown for Team Melli.

“It’s a hundred percent our dream to win the 2019 AFC Asian Cup,” declared the Ardabil native who bagged Iran’s third goal in their 3-0 win over China.”, he said in an interview with AFC site.

“Hopefully it happens as we are all dreaming of Iran being the champions. We will try for the people of our country, so that we can achieve everyone’s dream.’

Ansarifard noted, “The Japan team’s capabilities are recognized by everyone in Asia, everyone knows what a good and powerful team they have. However, we have a very powerful team too, something we’ve shown in our [previous] matches.”

“We are hundred percent ready for this match. We are going to use all our energy and the technical abilities that we possess. Hopefully, come the final whistle, we will be able to celebrate our progress to the final with all the fans in the stadium.”, the Iranian striker underlined.

“I believe it’s going to be a very hard game. Of course, Japan also want to advance to the final. Having said that, we will use all our might and strength to make it happen, so that the team which advances to the final is Iran.”

Iran have not won an AFC Asian Cup since 1976 and with history beckoning once again for Team Melli, Ansarifard is hoping one of Iran’s greatest names – Ali Daei – can play his part in the current generation’s quest for glory

“Mr. Daei is one of the legends of Iranian football,” he said.

“All our legends, all the pioneers of football in our country, have always supported us. I personally want to ask him [Daei] to be with Team Melli for this match so that he can give us the positive energy he always does.

“We are from the same city and he is the one who introduced me to football. Even now I wear his number, so I implore him to join us for this game.”