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Iran boss Queiroz quiet on Spain’s coaching debacle

UK Sport | Published:

Friday’s opponents Morocco and Portugal make up the four-team Group B.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz is refusing to be distracted by Spain’s coaching calamities as his team prepare to kick off their 2018 World Cup campaign against Morocco in Saint Petersburg.

Spain and Queiroz’s native Portugal make up the rest of Group B but the 65-year-old insisted it would be “disrespectful” to bring up the sudden departure of Julen Lopetegui to Real Madrid.

Iran
Iran are preparing for their opening match against Morocco (Themba Hadebe/AP)

“Morocco are a great team with great players and they are one of the favourites to move through to the second round, alongside Portugal and Spain.

Morocco
Morocco are returning to the World Cup finals for the first time in 20 years (Andrew Medichini/AP)

“We are here to celebrate the sacrifices and commitments that we made over the last four years to be part of this competition, and we must remember that nothing will be decided after tomorrow’s game.”

Herve Renard
Herve Renard is relishing his World Cup finals debut (Matthew Impey/EMPICS)

And, ahead of the opener, the Frenchman sent a defiant message to those who consider the north African team – making their first World Cup finals appearance since 1998 – amongst the also-rans.

Sardar Azmoun
Sardar Azmoun is one of Iran’s main threats (Nikolay Alexandrov/AP)

“Since we’ve got here, we shouldn’t be feeling the pressure too much. We have been giving a lot of thought to the Iran team and I think we have reached the right level in our preparations. It is vital to get points in the opening match.”

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