Milad Mohammadi: Iran’s World Cup defender with the viral throw-in

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Iran come to the World Cup 2022 facing an uphill battle to qualify in Group B, though they do bring several players with individual quality in the squad.

The likes of Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi and Saman Ghoddos are among the biggest performers, regular starters when fit, but another who became a household name four years ago was Milad Mohammadi.

A left-back who plays at club level in Greece these days, Mohammadi shot to prominence at Russia 2018 with one of the most inexplicable moments in World Cup folklore.

With his team trailing to Spain in the second group stage game, Mohammadi decided this was his moment to shine, to bring forth his speciality move: a roly-poly throw-in.

Iran had just seconds left to find an equaliser in that fixture, trailing to a Diego Costa goal, but with teammates loading up the penalty box Mohammadi launched head over heels up to the touchline - and then backed out at the last moment, pulling up short without actually releasing ball.

Needless to say, other than amusement around the watching world, there was little positivity to come from the attempt, which cost his side any real chance to build momentum in the final stages.

Indeed, he sent his follow-up attempt at the throw-in much shorter to a nearby teammate, following a stern word from the referee.

As to why he might have been timewasting when his team was trailing is anybody’s guess.

Mohammadi did line up for Iran against England in their opener, but three goals down at the break means there’s no likelihood of a last-ditch failed attempt of the same style.