FIFA World Cup Squads: Group B

Group B


Portugal

Coach: Fernando Santos

Star player: Cristiano Ronaldo

World Cup best: Third place 1966

How they got here: Portugal enjoyed a real battle with Switzerland for automatic qualification but came out on top. Looking to continue their unbeaten run at tournaments after winning their first major title at Euro 2016.

Squad news: 

  • Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyonnais), Beto (Goztepe SK), Rui Patricio (Sporting CP)
  • Defenders: Antunes (Getafe), Bruno Alves (Rangers), Cedric (Southampton), Joao Cancelo (Internazionale), Jose Fonte (Dalian Aerbin), Luis Neto (Fenerbahce), Mario Rui (Napoli), Nelson Semedo (Barcelona), Pepe (Besiktas), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Ricardo (Porto), Rolando (Marseille), Ruben Dias (Benfica)
  • Midfielders: Adrien Silva (Leicester City/), Andre Gomes (Barcelona), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP), Joao Mario (West Ham United), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv Moscow), Rony Lopes (Monaco), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Sergio Oliveira (Porto), William (Sporting CP)
  • Forwards: Andre Silva (AC Milan), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder (Lokomotiv Moscow), Gelson Martins (Sporting CP), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), Nani (Lazio), Paulinho (Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas)

Spain

Coach: Julen Lopetegui

Star player: Isco

World Cup best: Winners 2010

How they got here: The previously all-conquering Spanish suffered the ignominy of group stage exits at the 2014 World Cup and 2016 European Championship. The squad has seen evolution rather than revolution.

Squad news: 

  • Goalkeepers: David De Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli), Kepa (Athletic Bilbao);
  • Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Nacho (all Real Madrid), Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique (both Barcelona), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Odriozola (Real Sociedad);
  • Midfield: Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta (both Barcelona) Saúl, Koke (both Atletico), Thiago (Bayern) Silva (Manchester City), Isco, Marco Asensio, Lucas Vázquez (all Real Madrid);
  • Forward: Iago Aspas (Celta), Rodrigo (Valencia), Diego Costa (Atletico).

Morocco

Coach: Herve Renard

Star player: Medhi Benatia

World Cup best: Second round 1986

How they got here: Well-travelled coach Renard will have relished beating his former employers Ivory Coast to top spot in a tough qualifying group. The North Africans are back at the finals for the first time since 1998.

Squad news: 

  • Goalkeepers: Mounir El Kajoui (Numancia), Yassine Bounou (Girona), Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti (Ittihad Tanger);
  • Defenders: Mehdi Benatia (Juventus), Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Manuel Da Costa (Basaksehir), Badr Benoun (Raja Casablanca), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce), Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid), Hamza Mendyl (Lille)
  • Midfielders: M’bark Boussoufa (Al Jazira), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord), Youssef Ait Bennasser (Caen), Sofyan Amrabat (Feyenoord), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray), Faycal Fajr (Getafe), Amine Harit (Schalke)
  • Forwards: Khalid Boutaib (Malatyaspor), Aziz Bouhaddouz (St. Pauli), Ayoub El Kaabi (Renaissance Berkane), Nordin Amrabat (Leganes), Mehdi Carcela (Standard de Liege), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax)

Iran

Coach: Carlos Queiroz

Star player: Sardar Azmoun

World Cup best: First round 1978, 1998, 2006, 2014

How they got here: This will be Iran’s fourth appearance from the last six World Cup finals, but their only victory came against the USA in 1998. Won their final qualifying group ahead of South Korea.

Squad news: 

  • Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Seyed Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal), Rashid Mazaheri (Zob Ahan), Amir Abedzadeh (Maritimo)
  • Defenders: Ramin Rezaeian (Ostende), Voria Ghafouri (Esteghlal), Steven Beitashour (Los Angeles FC), Seyed Jalal Hosseini (Persepolis), Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh (Padideh), Morteza Pouraliganji (Alsaad), Mohammad Ansari (Persepolis), Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal), Seyed Majid Hosseini (Esteghlal), Milad Mohammadi (Akhmat Grozny), Omid Norafkan (Esteghlal), Saeid AGhaei (Sepahan), Roozbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal);
  • Midfielders: Saeid Ezatolahi (Amkar Perm), Masoud Shojaei (AEK Athens), Ahmad Abdolahzadeh (Foolad), Saman Ghoddos (Ostersunds), Mahdi Torabi (Saipa), Ashkan Dejagah (Notthingham Forest), Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal), Ehsan Hajsafi (Olympiacos), Ali Karimi (Sepahan), Soroush Rafiei (Al Khor), Ali Gholizadeh (Saipa), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis);
  • Forwards: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar), Karim Ansarifard (Olympiacos), Mahdi Taremi (Al Gharafa), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Heerenveen), Kaveh Rezaei (Charleroi)
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