Everyone has a chance to play in Team Melli: Marc Wilmots

May 29, 2019 - 15:4

TEHRAN – Newly-appointed coach Marc Wilmots says everyone has a chance of playing in Iran national football team.

The Belgian coach penned a 3.5-year deal with Iran on Wednesday. The former Belgian striker has reportedly signed a $1.2 million (1 million euros) a year deal with Iran. The contract runs until the end of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Wilmots took over from Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz who stepped down after eight years in charge in January following Iran's semi-final exit in the Asian Cup when they went down 3-0 to Japan.

“From now on, Iran is my country and we have to work together to achieve a successful outcome. I’ve visited here in the past days and I have to say Iran is a developed country. We are going to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, that’s why we are here,” Wilmots said in his first press conference.

“We need to display a level of tactical maturity. The friendly matches will help us to do that. It’s a good opportunity for coaching staff to watch out the foreign based players in the friendlies. I’ve already worked in national teams and clubs and need to work hard to reach our goals,” Wilmots said.  

With one week until the first friendly match in charge of Iran, Wilmots says each player has an equal chance of being selected.

“Iran will meet Syria and South Korea and it will be a good opportunity for the coaching staff to analyze the team's performances. Every player has a chance of playing in the national team. There is no guarantee for the players who play abroad. After these two matches, I can talk more,” the 50-year-old coach stated.

“I’ve chosen Vahid Hashemian as my Iranian assistant since he has worked in Bundesliga and is fluent in German. It can facilitate the connections. Manu Ferrera is my first assistant since we’ve worked together for 25 years. However, the match analyst has yet to be selected,” he added.

“I am proud of being here to coach the Iranian football national team. My family didn’t agree with me but it is my decision to take charge of Iran and it’s part of football,” Wilmots concluded.

Reporting by Masoud Hossein

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