|Dejagah aims to spring a surprise||
Ashkan Dejagah said that Iran will surprise a few people at this summer's World Cup finals in Brazil.
The 27-year-old will make his first appearance in a World Cup finals when his Iran side face Nigeria in their opening game of Group F on Monday evening.
"We're not going there expecting to win the tournament but we think we can cause a few surprises," he 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.
"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.
“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.”
It’s arguably the pinnacle of any player’s career to feature in the greatest sporting event on the planet and Dejagah is set to start for Iran when they take on Nigeria in Curitiba.
“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.”
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader