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Iran's Soccer Team First To Arrive In Russia For World Cup

Iran's national soccer team

Iran's soccer team became the first to arrive in Russia for the World Cup on June 5, nine days before the opening match of the tournament, which runs from June 14 to July 15.

The team was welcomed at Moscow's Vnukovo airport by the Moscow regional minister of sport, Roman Teryushkov.

Iran will be in Group B alongside former World Cup winner Spain and reigning European champions Portugal and Morocco.

"Being in Russia is a dream come true for Iranian soccer," Iranian team 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."

"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 said.

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

Iran's team will play a friendly game against Lithuania in Moscow on June 8 and then kick off their bid to win the World Cup in a match against Morocco at the new St. Petersburg Stadium on June 15.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS