Carlos Queiroz has confirmed Iran’s World Cup squad as he looks to steer the Asian nation to the knockout stages for the first time in their history.
The former Real Madrid manager decided to leave out Ali Gholizadeh from the 24-man party who attended a training camp in Turkey.
Queiroz – who took charge in April 2011 but will stand down after the tournament – had already sprung a surprise by leaving experienced defender Seyed Jalal Hosseini out of his preliminary squad.
Iran will hope Alireza Jahanbakhsh can inspire them to qualify from Group B, with the AZ Alkmaar forward heading to Russia after finishing as the leading scorer in the 2017-18 Eredivisie season.
Rubin Kazan’s Sardar Azmoun and Ashkan Dejagah – who endured an injury-hit campaign at English second-tier side Nottingham Forest – also add European experience.
Iran will be playing in their fifth World Cup but this is the first time they have qualified for back-to-back editions of the competition.
Queiroz’s final chapter in charge will include a clash with Portugal on June 25, which follows on from group fixtures against Morocco and Spain.
Iran’s final 23-man World Cup squad:
Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Rashid Mazaheri (Zob Ahan), Amir Abedzadeh (Maritimo); Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal), Seyed Majid Hosseini (Esteghlal), Roozbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal), Milad Mohammadi (Akhmat Grozny), Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh (Padideh), Morteza Pouraliganji (Alsaad), Ramin Rezaeian (Ostende), Ehsan Hajsafi (Olympiacos); Saeid Ezatolahi (Amkar Perm), Masoud Shojaei (AEK Athens), Mahdi Torabi (Saipa), Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Saman Ghoddos (Ostersunds), Ashkan Dejagah (Notthingham Forest); Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar), Karim Ansarifard (Olympiacos), Mahdi Taremi (Al Gharafa), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Heerenveen).
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