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Iran's Karimi in good shape to play in 2006 World Cup

Friedrichshafen, Germany, June 7, IRNA-Iran's national football team's halfback, Ali Karimi, said on Wednesday that he is in good shape to play in the upcoming 2006 World Cup.

He told IRNA that given his increased practice, he will certainly be completely ready to play in the upcoming games.

"I am not worried about my injuries and promise to play the best game in the 2006 World Cup," he added.

Concerning his teammates, Karimi said that the best Iranian footballers have been invited to play in Iran's national football team, adding that there are other good footballers who could have been selected as members of the team.

The member of German Bayern Munich football team hoped that any Iranian footballer playing for Iran's national football team will do his best to give the Iranian football fans a reason to cheer.

About the games to be played during the contest, Karimi said "it is not easy to face any of the games we are scheduled to play." He added, "None of the teams qualified to enter the 2006 World Cup is weak. Therefore, we should make a double effort to play a good game while encountering our proponents."

Turning to the current needs of Iran's national football team, he said that more than anything it needs to be supported.

Karimi said that the team does not face any shortage of facilities and footballers, adding that in case they are equally supported by the officials in charge and people from all walks of life, there is hope for gaining success in this year's games.

"We have been always supported by the public and media. Even when the media criticize us, they continue their support for our team.

"Therefore, it is now time for the officials in charge of football to prepare the grounds and enable the national football team to win," he concluded.

Iran's national football team arrived in this southwestern German city, its training base for the 2006 World Cup, on Sunday.

Iran's Ambassador in Germany, Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh, local officials and large number of Iranians residing in Germany welcomed the Iranian team at the airport.

Friedrichshafen mayor, who welcomed the squad, hoped that the team would emerge victorious in its games at this year's 2006 World Cup.

Before departure for the World Cup, members of the national football team and the Iranian Football Federation met President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran Saturday afternoon.

Iran's World Cup team is in Group D with Mexico, Portugal and Angola and has chosen the southern German city of Friedrichshafen as its base.

Iran is scheduled to face Mexico in the group's opener in the southeastern German city of Nuremberg on June 11.

... Payvand News - 6/8/06 ... --

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