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Publish Date: 27 January 2022 - 21:24
TEHRAN - The Iraq coach congratulated the Iranian national team on reaching the 2022 World Cup.
The Iraq national football team played against Iran today (Thursday) in the seventh week of the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which finally lost by one goal and moved away from the World Cup. "First of all, congratulations to Iran on reaching the World Cup," Iraq coach Zeljko Petrovic told a news conference after the match. "They deserved this promotion and I think they are the best team in Asia. Korea is a good team, but Iran is a better team."
 He added: "In this match, we played better than our first match against Iran. I am proud of our players because despite the loss of eight players, we performed well against Iran. The Iraq players fought for their nation in this match. We played against a team that has several players in Europe. I wish Iran success in the World Cup. Playing with Iran was a good experience for us. Against teams like Iran, you need a chance to win, but we could not use our opportunities."
Asked why his team has difficulty scoring goals and how much chance they have of qualifying for the World Cup, the Iraq coach said: "I changed a lot of things from the Arab Cup and brought young players to the team so that the next coach can  Use the new generation of Iraqi players. I am proud to be the head coach of Iraq and I hope that the people two years after me will thank me for the young players I brought. I am not a coach who blames my players. We win and we play together.  Players must be respected in order to gain mutual respect."
"We did not get a good result, but I am happy and I got a good result because I think I brought in players who will play for Iraq for the next 10 years," Petrovic said. "Young Iraq players must be trained.  I'm glad I was part of this project. I do not care what people say we do not take. It can not be concluded overnight. For example, Adnan is trying to promote Iraqi football, but I am also part of the project.  I brought Zidane, who is like a diamond, from Manchester United, and I know that there are many talents like him in Iraq."
 "I have worked mostly in Europe," he concluded. "I learned to cultivate good players to become stars in the future. This is the reason why I would like to work with the new generation of Iraqi football.  If the federation or anyone else does not like it, I have no problem with separation, but I have a lot of respect for the officials of the Iraqi federation.  Of course, it is not the case that I want to stay at any cost. I have changed 90% of the team and this is not an overnight way.  The new head coach will have similar problems if he comes."
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