Victory, success not out of reach: Rouhani to Team Melli

.jwplayer{ display: inline-block; } TEHRAN, May 21 (MNA) – Iranian president Hassan Rouhani welcomed Iran national football team, also known as Team Melli on Sunday, before its journey to 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Appreciating the efforts made by players, coaches and officials for booking a place in the 2018 World Cup, President Rouhani said, “with regard to your training, efforts and high spirits, victory and success is not out of reach.”

The meeting was held with Iranian players, coaching staff, head of Iran Football Federation Mehdi Taj and Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Masoud Soltanifar in attendance.

“Victory does not mean being victorious against only one team and scoring or conceding a goal; these are not the only factors of success. A team may win a match but the other team’s [quality of] play be considered a real victory and success for its viewers,” he added.

The Iranian president went on to say, “billions of people will watch your games as the representative of a great country with high culture and ancient history and your high-quality football is one of the features that can promote our national pride and make Iran’s name more famous.”

“Prayers of the great people of Iran will always be with you and they want you to do your best,” continued Rouhani.

Touching on the fact that Team Melli has drawn on a difficult group, he highlighted, “do not pay much attention to what team you are playing against. Your will power is more powerful than any other factor. Try to exercise unity and take advantage of all your capabilities and experiences to bring honor for our country.”

“Among different sports, football is of a special place among all nations and peoples of the world; the day you started your football career, you knew what heavy responsibility you have and how much each success is effective in people’s spirits,” he noted.

He also added, “once our country’s national football team’s qualification for World Cup was a wish and a great success but today, we see that Iran’s football team has powerfully gained qualification for World Cup and this has made Iranian nation very happy”.

Referring to the 11th and 12th government’s contributions to sport, he said: “any time the sport sector of the country needed President’s help, it has been given quickly and I appreciate our hard-working minister of sports for his support and efforts.”

Iran have been drawn in Group B of the 2018 World Cup along with Morocco, Spain and Portugal. The Iran national football team will open the campaign with a match against Morocco at Saint Petersburg on June 15.Team Melli, meanwhile, face Spain in Kazan on 20 June before meeting Cristiano Ronaldo‘s Portugal in Saransk five days later.

MAH/PR