June 5, 2018 / 8:59 PM / 19 days ago

Iran first team to arrive in Russia for World Cup

(Reuters) - Iran became the first team to arrive in Russia for the World Cup on Tuesday, nine days before the opening match of the June 14 to July 15 tournament.

Members of the Iranian national soccer team, who will compete in the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup, hold flags during a welcoming ceremony upon their arrival at Vnukovo airport outside Moscow, Russia June 5, 2018. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

Iran have been drawn in Group B alongside former World Cup winners Spain, reigning European champions Portugal and Morocco.

“Being in Russia is a dream come true for Iranian football,” Iran manager Carlos Queiroz said. “We have achieved this through hard work and sacrifices, which only heightens how honored and privileged we feel to be here.

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Iran will be based at the Lokomotiv Bakovka Training Center in the Moscow region. This will be their fifth appearance at the finals.

“The Iranian national team will relish rubbing shoulders with the best teams and being part of this fantastic World Cup family. We arrive raring to keep this dream going for as long as possible and we look forward to playing our part in making this the best World Cup ever.”

Queiroz’s side play a friendly against Lithuania in Moscow on June 8 and kick off their campaign against Morocco at St Petersburg Stadium on June 15.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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