December 20, 2014
Iran need miracle to beat Argentina, says coach
Holding African champions Nigeria to a stalemate is one thing, but miracles will be required if Iran are to get anything from their World Cup Group F clash against Lionel Messi's Argentina, coach Carlos Queiroz said.
The two sides meet in Belo Horizonte on Saturday with a lopsided victory for the twice champion South Americans the only result expected against the limited, defensive Asians.
"It will require a miracle since Argentina is one of the best teams in the world and also they have one day of rest more than we do," the former Portugal coach said.
"Messi could be the best player in the world if he was human, but as he is not human he does not enter the race."
But it wasn't just the four-time World Player of the Year, who scored a stunning goal in the opening 2-1 win over Bosnia, that was of concern to Queiroz.
"All the other players also worry me Argentina (Angel) Di Maria, (Gonzalo) Higuain, (Javier) Mascherano they all are great players."
The two teams have met once before, a 1-1 draw in a friendly in Madrid in 1977 with a repeat result in Brazil highly unlikely with the Iranians having won only one match in three previous World Cup appearances.
Queiroz, though, will take heart from his side's impressive defensive display in the 0-0 against Nigeria in Curitiba on Monday where they restricted their opponents to few opportunities despite the Africans bossing possession.