Iran ready to qualify for next round: Skocic

The ‘Persian Leopards’ are drawn in Group B along with England, the U.S. and the winners of Scotland vs Ukraine, who then face Wales in the final.

“Every opponent in the World Cup are difficult but we are determined to qualify for the next stage. I think England are the best team in our group but the other teams are spirited as well,” Skocic said.

“We are a good team as well and want to advance to the next stage for the first time.

Team Iran last faced the U.S. at the World Cup when they won the match 2-1 in 1998 in France.

The Iran coach sidestepped the political fracas, saying they are focused on the tournament.

“I am thinking only about football and not exterior things. I hope that football makes a good contact and good relationship between people and that is what people expect of sport,” he said.

“Our opponents are star-studded teams but we know what we could be capable of as a team. Our players are ready to show how good they are,” the Croat added.

“Iran have previously shown that they are a team to beat. We will be there to get the better result than the previous World Cups.

Iran will begin the prestigious campaign with a match against England on Nov. 21. Skocic says that he has a good knowledge of English.

“I know English and their coach Gareth Southgate. They are a strong team and we have a good knowledge of them than the other teams in our group,” he said of Three Lions.