If We Love Soccer so Much, Why Do We Suck So Much?

by asefati

They call us the powerhouse of Asia but we haven’t won an Asian cup in almost 30 years! They say we have the most talented players in the Asia but we saw them in do nothing in the last world cup and the last Asian cup. Also our Olympic team hasn’t made it to Olympics for past several Olympics. Our European based players are mostly bench warmers and some even don’t make it to the benches! So much with our talents!

It’s sad because we are the most soccer fanatic in the entire region but we are becoming less and less important in the sport. Even Iraq has now achieved more than Iran recently. They just won the Asian cup and back in 2004, their Olympic team came 4th surprising and beating many teams including the Portuguese.

Some want to blame it on the Iranian government and the way things are ran in Iran. But I have a question for those people; how come we are getting results in other sports such as wrestling, weightlifting, and martial arts?

Some blame it on the fact that Iranian people are not good in team sports but how did our youth volleyball team become the world champion and our basketball team is getting better and better?

I know there is investment going on in Iranian soccer. I know many of IPL players get paid well. I know we have foreign coaches in Iran and I know that our facilities are better than Iraqis and many African countries.

So what is it really? I have been on all Iranian soccer forums and no one is there to give good answer on this issue. Everyone has theories but none of them have answer the question. So I know Iranian.com audience often think outside the box so I want to ask that here; If we love soccer so much, why do we suck so much then?


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It is the education. It is

by justbassingby (not verified) on

It is the education.
It is shown that soccer players generally learn most of their skills (80%) by the age 16, any improvement after that counts for only 20%. Iran does not have any soccer (or anything else) education system in place for the youth. Kids just learn the individualist of side of soccer and there is the begining of the problem. Most of our success in sport has been in individual sports and the success in volleyball and waterpool in the asian games in tehran were simply becuase those group of people played together for a long time a took the shape of a team.
It is the education and we do not learn to play as a team and failure of Iranian soccer players in Europe is also contributed mostly to that fact not their individual skills.


Thank you for your replies.

by asefati on

Thank you all for your replies and comments. Most of you had valid points, but
the interesting point is that we are making better progress in other sports,
both team sports and individual sports so why we are doing so badly in
this sport?


wrong...... The high school

by Anonymous22 (not verified) on


The high school PE teachers are useless lousy. They could not do anything but polishing shoes. They are K... Goshad and they are not educated.

There are enough foreign coaches in Clubs so no need for that however the latest disasters were assigning Ghalenoi and Mayeli kohan, two lousy coaches and lousy results should not make you feel bad. We are a lot better than you say and we just need to avoid giving jobs to ones with partibazi as it happened during shah's regime.
In Asian Cup one player was offside 12 times and the coach ghalenoi could not shout to tell him or pull him out. the player was khatibi. Arash Borhani was not used in asian cup and that was a mistake.


I think our failure is.. 1-

by Football lover (not verified) on

I think our failure is..

1- lack of knowledge of sport psychology among our coaches.
2- lack of up to date coaching knowledge
3- lack of management.
4-Jealousy among athlete themselves.
they don't support each-others, even at international tournaments
and the last. we have to teach our athlete to do it for love of the game.


Football not soccer I cannot

by Footbalist (not verified) on

Football not soccer
I cannot believe you and a few east asians who are not good in the game have started to call it so.... please us the proper term.
I think any country that calls it soccer on TV stations should be banned by FIFA making this error.
It is just as bad as calling the Persian Gulf something else.

good luck

Kaveh Nouraee

Simple Answer to a Simple Question

by Kaveh Nouraee on

Asefati, you are right. Iranians are not good at team sports, or anything that requires teamwork, for that matter.

The typical Iranian mindset is that everyone wants to be the general, but no one is willing to be a foot soldier. That's the basic premise of teamwork, and it has been lost on Iranians, for the most part.

Nice article!!!


Agreeing with johnny's assessment...

by ahvazi on

Love is the first part of the equation. I love to play the piano and fly a plane, but I can't do either because despite all the love in the world i have not spend any money or been given training by a teacher or a trainer to learn how to be painist or a pilot.

 The love for football needs to be channeled properly so that the youngsters (both boys and girls) can start early and those more talented and driven can come up through a system of footballing schools and academies and become professional footballers.

Parti-bazi has always been part of iranian society and sports. But when you are running a professional sytem you know you put the best 11 on the field and you don't care if they are Ali Daei or Azizi or the nephew of some politician.

Unfortunately under the present condition football is not a piority, wrestling, weightlifting, and martial arts perhaps cost less and does not need much investment. But if Iran does invest in football be assured that Iran could field a championship team everytime (atleast in Asia) and host prestigious international football tournments.




Politicizing Sports

by Johnny Irani (not verified) on

Its not talent--its politics. In a nutshell--to get on the national team in Iran you have to know the right people, just like you need to know people to do practically anything in that dysfunctional country. Want to remodel your house? got to have permission. Want to open a business? You have to have connections. Want to play on the national team? Party-bazi. Half the World Cup team had no business on the pitch, especially that gumpy goalie who kept fixing his hair after every play.

Football requires investments in training, player development, facilities--given Iran's funding potential and its existing resources it doesn't make any sense why we don't succeed more in football.

I have two theories, one "ordinary", one political.

First, are there youth leagues, and competitive high school athletic associations that sponsor fottball teams in high school? Do schools have intermural sports? IF there isn't, that could be a big part of the answer. That does wonders for young player development, to have year-round opportunities to play.

Here's what I think politically--after subtracting a huge amount of money being siphoned off in corruption by the government theives there is stil a lot of money left. But when we are funding Hezbollah, Arab satellite channels, giving money to Bosnians, and using Iranian money to reconstruct masjeds in Iraq and Afghanistan, what you see is what you get!