Carlos Queiroz will send his Iran team out to display the ‘three Rs’ of respect, realism and romanticism when they take on Portugal on Monday.
Iran’s 1-0 defeat of Morocco in their opening Group B encounter means their subsequent hard-luck loss to Spain by the same scoreline has not had a terminal effect on their hopes of advancing to the knockout stages.
They do, in all likelihood however, need to beat the European champions in Saransk if they wish to advance.
Queiroz, born in Mozambique to Portuguese parents and a former Portugal coach, is aware of the significance of the clash at the Mordovia Arena.
He said: “It’s a great honour to be here knowing that on Monday we are still fighting for our dream.
“We are still alive with full hopes and full commitment to try to get an historic qualification for the next round.
“Portugal are a candidate to win the World Cup and one of the favourites but our philosophy will be the same. It will be based around respect, realism and romanticism because we have based our game around those fundamentals.
“We are not here to be nice losers, we’ve come here to compete and to work with dignity and pride.”
حلقه اتحاد ملیپوشان در آخرین تمرین پیش از بازی با پرتغال pic.twitter.com/zvuVDj6nNh
— Team Melli IRAN (@TeamMelliIran) June 24, 2018
Iran will come up against Cristiano Ronaldo on Monday, a player Queiroz knows well having worked with him during his spells with Manchester United and Portugal.
The 65-year-old was asked directly how Iran intended to stop the Real Madrid superstar but Queiroz preferred to focus on Portugal as a collective.
He said: “If Morocco and Spain were difficult [games], Portugal is even more difficult. We knew this, we didn’t come here to play easy teams.
“Not even in their dreams did my players imagine they would one day play against Cristiano, and all of Portugal’s other great players so they are very excited.
“We will try to do our best, concentrate and fight from the first minute. We have nothing to lose, they have everything to lose, we have everything to gain.
“We also hope we have that bit of luck that is always necessary.”
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