President Hassan Rouhani welcomed Iran's national football team, also known as Team Melli, on Sunday.

In addition to Iranian players, coaching staff, Minister of Sports and Youth, Masoud Soltanifar and head of Iran's Football Federation Mehdi Taj were also present.

Rouhani said:  “I would like to express my happiness at participating in the farewell ceremony for the national football team. I want to thank you because you made the Iranian public happy, by qualifying for the 2018 World Cup (in Russia)".

In further remarks, Rouhani said:  "You will have to do your best in the competition and I believe that you can shine in  the World Cup".  He pointedly added:  "I believe yiou have a difficult task ahead of you because you have been drawn in a difficult group."

President Rouhani was ceremoniously handed an Iranian national football team No 12 jersey at the meeting.


The President also said: “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 play be considered a real victory and success for its viewers”.

Stating that “your good play is very important”, Dr Rouhani said: “Billions of people will watch your games as the representative of a great country with high culture and ancient history and your good game 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.

He added: “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 honour for our country”.

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”.