Sardar Azmoun plays down Iran 'favorites' tag

January 19, 2019 - 2:46

TEHRAN – Iran national football team forward Sardar Azmoun has played down his side's tag as 'one of the favorites to win the AFC Asian Cup' underway in the UAE.

Team Melli are going to bring an end to 43-year title drought in the competition but the striker believes that the fans’ expectations could make life difficult for them.

Carlos Queiroz’s team advanced to the Round of 16 as Group D winners after beating Yemen 5-0 and Vietnam 2-0 and a goalless draw against Iraq in the group stage.

“Iran will play Oman on Sunday and if we beat them we will play either China or Thailand but I really don’t care who we will play,” Azmoun said.

“I believe Iran are a good team but Saudi Arabia, Japan, Australia and South Korea are also strong teams. The Iranian fans must help us to win but I think the expectations will put us under pressure. For example, the match against Iraq was not an important match but the fans and media provoked the players,” he added.

Azmoun is Iran’s best goalscored in AFC Asian Cup with three goals but he says he doesn’t care who scores.

“What is the most important is that we keep progressing in the tournament,” Azmoun concluded.

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