Iran announce Asian Cup squad featuring Europe-based trio of strikers

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has confirmed the 23 players that will join him in Australia for next month’s Asian Cup.

Mohsen Forouzan and Alireza Beiranvand join first-choice goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi, with just 11 senior international caps between the three. Domestic players Ramin Rezalan, Morteza Pouraliganji and Vahid Amiri have been given opportunities to earn their international debuts.

Experienced midfielder Iman Mobali and goalkeeper Rahman Ahmadi failed to impress Queiroz in Iraq’s South Africa camp earlier in the month. Rubin Kazan striker Sardar Azmoun, who scored the winner in ’s friendly against South Korea last month, has received a further boost to his blossoming career with a vote of confidence to join fellow overseas forwards Karim Ansarifard and Reza Ghoochannejhad.

Team Melli, the only country to win three straight Asian Cups, will be looking to match Japan in achieving a fourth. They will play Iraq in Wollongong on Sunday, January 4 as final preparation for their campaign, which will start against Bahrain before rounding off the group stage with Qatar and UAE.

Iraq’s 23-man Asian Cup squad

Goalkeepers
Alireza Haghighi (Penafiel/Portugal)
Mohsen Forouzan (Esteghlal)
Alireza Beiranvand (Naft Tehran)

Defenders
Khosro Heydari (Esteghlal)
Jalal Hosseini (Al-Ahli/Qatar)
Mehrdad Pooladi (Al-Shahania/Qatar)
Amir Hossein Sadeghi (Esteghlal)
Hashem Beikzadeh (Esteghlal)
Vouria Ghafouri (Sepahan)
Ramin Rezaian (Rah Ahan)
Morteza Pouraliganji (Naft Tehran)

Midfielders
Javad Nekounam (Osasuna/Spain)
Andranik Teymourian (Tractor Sazi)
Ehsan Hajsafi (Sepahan)
Masoud Shojaei (Al-Shahania/Qatar)
Ashkan Dejagah (Al-Arabi/Qatar)
Alireza Jahanbakhsh (N.E.C./Netherlands)
Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal)
Soroush Rafiei (Foolad)
Vahid Amiri (Naft Tehran)

Forwards
Karim Ansarifard (Osasuna/Spain)
Reza Ghoochannejhad (Charlton Athletic/England)
Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan/Russia)

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