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England v Iran Will See The Return Of A True World Cup Cult Hero

England v Iran Will See The Return Of A True World Cup Cult Hero
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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England v Iran in the opening game of Group B of the World Cup may see the return of a cult hero from the 2018 World Cup in the Iranian side.

Place yourself in this scenario. Your team have qualified for the World Cup. Despite a tough draw placing you alongside the might of Iberian giants Portugal and Spain, you have managed to win the game you should (against Morocco in the opener) and, with the clock ticking down against the Spaniards, you are still in with a shot of snatching a 1-1 draw.

That draw would be even more crucial, as it would put you in pole position to progress to the knockout stages, at Spain's expense.

Time is of the essence and, with only 20 seconds of the four additional minutes left at the end of the 90, it's going to take some cool heads. You must keep your composure - nothing fancy, just get the ball in the box, and try to force some chaos to get that crucial equaliser.

The scenario is Iran v Spain at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Enter Iranian defender Milad Mohammadi.

England v Iran: 2018 throw in hero to return

England will kick off their World Cup campaign on Monday afternoon against Iran, who have never progressed to the knockout stages of a World Cup despite appearing on five previous occasions.

Last time out in Russia, they were unlucky not to progress after claiming four points from a tricky group - though it could have been even more, if they had managed to snatch a point against Spain in their second group game.

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Diego Costa's second half goal had the Spanish side 1-0 up in the closing stages, when Iran were awarded a throw in deep in Spanish territory in the 94th minute. Defender Milad Mohammadi stepped up, and created one of the most iconic moments in recent World Cup history.

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Everything about it is perfect.

The second Mohammadi takes to think over his decision before nodding to himself and committing to the front flip. The kiss of the ball to reassure himself. The two anxious looks to the sky, as he weighs up the importance of the throw and the chaos of what he is about to do.

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And then, the decision to instantly bail out of the throw in after - not before - he executes the front flip.

You simply have to admire the balls to try it. Even if he didn't actually try it.

It is one of the funniest moments in World Cup history, but it also has the air of something a school child would dream of pulling off when playing "World Cup" on the playground. If it had been pulled off, it would have been one of the greatest gambles in the tournament's history.

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But, alas, the resultant throw in led to nothing, Iran lost 1-0, and Spain went through just one point ahead of the Iranians to the last 16.

Milad Mohammadi is in the squad for 2022, and so he may feature in England v Iran on Monday.

Every time we watch that clip from the 2018 World Cup, we are filled with laughter, and also the hope that this World Cup may produce similarly entertaining and unpredictable moments.

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SEE ALSO: The Definitive Guide To The Third Choice Goalkeepers Of The 2022 World Cup

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