3 Key Figures for Iran in the 2014 World Cup

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3 Key Figures for Iran in the 2014 World Cup
Hasan Jamali/Associated Press

Carlos Queiroz's Iran side have progressed with their preparations for the World Cup this past week, drawing 1-1 with Angola following scoreless draws with Montenegro and Belarus.

A final warm-up match has been scheduled against Trinidad and Tobago for June 8, some six days before their opening clash with reigning African champions Nigeria.

Issues with the Iranian Football Federation have dampened expectations heading into the tournament, as poor planning and a lack of funding prevented Queiroz from holding a training camp in his native Portugal and also prevented Iran from securing friendlies with higher-ranked nations.

Speaking with reporters last week, Queiroz expressed guarded optimism: 

Those who think Iran’s national team will be successful with only 14 days of preparation, are either crazy or are living in Disneyland... if we plan a good preparation programme for the team in accordance with reality, then we can expect to go to the second round.

Iran face a difficult group, but not a group that could be called one of the famed "groups of death."

Indeed, three of the four Asian sides avoided placement in notably strong groups (Japan, South Korea and Iran), while Australia face perhaps the most difficult set of matches any team will have to play. All the Asian sides with the exception of Australia have a reasonable shot at progression.

With that being said, the task for Iran will be a monumental one.

Without proper preparation, they will need to play incredibly disciplined football and win at least one of the matches with Bosnia and Nigeria. A point against Argentina would be a massive shock.

Here are Iran's three most important figures, in terms of potential impact during the tournament.

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