Dejagah declares operation beat Nigeria
Like a general leading his soldiers to the war front, Iran’s midfielder Ashkan Dejagah has declared that defeating Nigeria in the opening match in Brazil, is the only way the Carlos Queiroz tutored side can dream of surviving the group stage where they will also confront Argentina and Bosnia
Dejagah, who has started in two of Iran’s three pre-tournament friendlies and, after five goals in 22 Premier League appearances for Fulham last season, is tipped to start in the battle against Nigeria on June 16.
Winning the first match, according to the impressive midfielder, will not only serve as a morale booster but will ginger the side to aim for the top no matter the challenge.
“We have a good chance of reaching the next stage if we can beat Nigeria in our first game,” the 27-year-old former Wolfsburg player said.
If there is one thing that is giving Dejagah migraine however, it is the reported desire of South Africa to engage Coach Carlos Queiroz as a replacement for Gordon Igesund who was relieved of his position as Bafana Bafana coach on Monday.
Dejagah believes that the experience of the coach and his blend with the players so far will be to Iran’s advantage and can push the team far in Brazil.
“I hope Carlos stays with us and qualifying for the next stage (of the World Cup) can help that. We will all benefit from his experience in the long-term,” he enthused
Aside from making a good show of his position in the midfield, Dejagah who has played all the junior categories for Germany is also known for his ability to attempt for goals when it is least expected. He had originally been tipped to play for Germany at the senior level but on September 21, 2011, he was invited to the Iranian national team by Carlos Queiroz. He scored twice on his debut for Iran against Qatar on February 29, 2012 in a World Cup qualifier. Upon qualification to the 2014 World Cup, his next international goals came on November 15 and 19 in Asian Cup qualifying wins over Thailand and Lebanon, sealing Iran’s place in the 2015 Asian Cup as well.
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