TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Mehdi Taremi is among the six Asian stars who could make the difference for the continent's representatives in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
- Sports news -
AFC representatives Australia, Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will feature some of the biggest names in Asian football at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
With a record six Asian teams at the FIFA World Cup, the participating nations will be turning to their star players to drive them forward against the world's elite.
The-AFC.com profiles six players who could make the difference for the continent's representatives in Qatar.
Taremi is in many ways the main reason Iran is in the FIFA World Cup, solely responsible for home and away wins against the UAE, the home triumph against Iraq, and while he didn't score in every game, his assists bore wins such as the 1-0 victory against Syria early in the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar.
Able to play anywhere across the frontline, Taremi is mainly an out-and-out striker but has been devastating when deployed on the flanks.
The 30-year-old striker has lit up the Liga Portugal since he moved to Rio Ave from Qatar's Al Gharafa in 2019/20, a move that saw him win the league's top scorer award before joining powerhouse Porto where he currently plies his trade.
Having taken the AFC Champions League by storm while playing for Persepolis, it is Taremi's exploits in the UEFA Champions League that have earned him recognition in Europe, with his goal against Chelsea last year winning the 2020-21 UEFA Goal of the Season award. He has continued excelling in the current campaign, producing five goals and two assists in six games to send Porto into the Round of 16.
Akram Afif - Qatar, Son Heung-min - Korea Republic, Salem Al Dawsari - Saudi Arabia , Daichi Kamada - Japan and Ajdin Hrustic - Australia are other stars in the list.