Skipper of Iran's national beach soccer team, Mohammed Ahmadzadeh, has tipped his country to finish top of Group B which has Nigeria, Italy and Mexico at this year's FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Bahamas.
The 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup kicks off on Thursday, April 27 and will end on May 7.
On the opening day of the tournament – in Group B, Nigeria will face Italy, while Iran and Mexico will do battle.
Ahmadzadeh, 30, says that their knowledge of Italy and Mexico especially in past meetings will be to their advantage.
“I think we’re going to win the group," Ahmadzadeh tells FIFA.com.
"We’re going to do everything we can to beat Italy and Mexico. We know both of them well because we’ve played them before in competitions and friendlies.”
A veteran of five Beach Soccer World Cups, Ahmadzadeh tips Iran to make it to the semi-finals in Bahamas, pointing out that the experience he garnered in past World Cups and some of his teammates will be a factor for the team.
He states: “Iran are one of the top teams in the world and we’re not inferior to anyone. I’m convinced that if we can make the second round, then we’ll go on to the last four.
“There are five or six of us who’ve played at five World Cups. That’s half a team with a lot of experience.”
“I’ve played in a lot of Beach Soccer World Cup matches and I’ve seen the highs and lows. The team has pulled together whenever things have gone against us, and I’m going to draw on all my experience to help my team-mates and make sure we can go as far as we can.”