What Does ‘Team Melli’ Mean? Understanding Team Iran’s World Cup Nickname

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Find out the meaning behind the nickname for Iran’s national team.

The World Cup is underway in Russia and Iran is making its fifth World Cup appearance.

Ranked No. 37 in the world, Iran is looking to reach the knockout stage for the first time ever. This year also marks the first time the national team has had back-to-back World Cup apperances after also qualifying in 2014.

The highly ranked team often goes by the nickname “Team Melli,” which means “National Team” in Persian.

During their first game on Friday, Iran beat Morocco 1-0 on an own goal when Morocco’s Aziz Bouhaddouz dove for a header and the ball ended up going in his team’s net.

Team Melli will face Spain on Wednesday in the Group B stage.

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