Ex-Iran forward Faraki wary of England threat in World Cup

April 15, 2022 - 16:18

TEHRAN – Former Iran national football team forward Hossein Faraki says that Iran must be fearful of England’s attacking threat in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Faraki was a member of Iran national football team in the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Iran drew 1-1 with Scotland, lost 4-1 to Peru and 3-0 to the Netherlands. He also participated in the 2006 FIFA World Cup as Branko Ivankovic’s assistant coach. Iran lost to Mexico 3-1 and Portugal 3-0 and were held to a 1-1 draw against Angola.

The 65-year-old coach believes that Iran have been drawn in a tough group and need to prepare well for the prestigious competition.

“Without a doubt, England are the strongest team in Group B and they are favorites to qualify for the next stage. The team have key players in English Premier League and several great coaches work in their league. Definitely, they will be different than the previous editions,” Faraki said in an interview with ISNA news agency .

“To play with England are very difficult since they play at a high tempo and play physically. The Asian teams usually have problem playing English,” he added.

There are speculations that the Iranian football federation will change coach Dragan Skocic but Faraki believes that the Croat is the best coach to lead Iran in Doha.

“Skocic has worked with Iran national football team for more than two years and has a good knowledge of the team. In my opinion, the federation must support Skocic because he is the best foreign option for the national team at the moment.

Iran will also play the U.S. and one of Scotland/Wales/Ukraine in the group.

“We faced the U.S. in 1998 but they are more experienced than before. This is sport and football transcends a lot of the political stuff. We must just focus on playing football.

“The other team in our group will also be a tough opponent. It means we have a difficult task in the World Cup.

“We have to prepare well for the competition since the good warm up matches will increase our chance of qualifying for the next round,” Faraki concluded.

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