For the first time in the history of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Iran won a bronze medal, as they claimed third place after a 4-3 penalty shootout win over Portugal following a 2-2 draw. The Iranians came from two goals down to take the third-place match to a dramatic penalty shootout, where six rounds of spot kicks were needed to decide the contest. This is the first time ever an Asian team reached the third place.
Iran achieved another first, when reigning and record futsal world champion Brazil was eliminiated in the round of 16, in a thriller that started with Brazil leading 3:1 against Iran and then losing on penalties after Iran fought back to a 4:4 draw. Brazilian futsal legend, Falcao, scored three goals, in what turned out to be his final game and as one, the entire Iran team went to Falcao to say their own farewells, throwing him into the air in celebration of a career that has left an indelible mark on futsal.
Last but not least, Iranian pivot Ahmad Esmaeilpour won the Bronze Ball. He is the first Asian player to be selected as one of the tournament’s top three players.
The 8th edition of the FIFA Futsal World Cup was held in Colombia from September 10th to October 1st, 2016.
Goalkeepers: Sepehr Mohammadi (1) and Alireza Samimi (2). Defenders: Mohammad Keshavarz (4), Hamid Ahmadi (5), Afshin Kazemi (9) and Farhad Tavakoli (13). Wings: Mohammadreza Sangsefidi (6), Ali Hassan Zadeh (7), Ghodrat Bahadori (8), Mohammad Taheri (10), Mehran Alighadr (11). Pivots: Ahmad Esmaeilpour (3), Hossein Tayebi (12) and Mahdi Javid (14). Coach: Seyed Nazemalsharieh.
Sources: Wikipedia | 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup, FIFA | Futsal World Cup, IRNA