Iran’s Azmoun Set to Breakout in Russia 2018
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - As the countdown to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia starts to heat up, Sardar Azmoun could be among the Asian players that could make a name for himself next month.
Touted as the heir to Ali Daei's throne, Sardar Azmoun may already be the closest Islamic Republic of Iran have to a globally known starlet. It is easy to see why, given the 23-year-old already ranks fifth in the list of Team Melli's all-time top goal scorers. His 23 goals in 31 caps means he boasts a hit rate identical to that of Daei too.
Similar to Luongo, Azmoun starred for his country in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, although Iran's relatively early elimination at the quarter-final meant he was denied the chance to prove his credentials in international football. Three years on, the Rostov striker now has the chance to show what he can do in front of a global audience.
As Iran takes on Morocco, Spain and Portugal in Group B, the World Cup will feel like a home tournament for Azmoun, who has spent his entire professional career in Russia, having been snapped up by Rubin Kazan at the early age of 17 before making a single appearance in the Iran Pro League for Sepahan, the-afc.com wrote.
Azmoun has already shown glimpses of his ability in the UEFA Champions League, finding the net against the likes of Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich while playing for Rostov, and this summer could see the forward's final big display on Russian soil as interest from European clubs in his services intensifies.