Afghanistan calls up PSG B’s Keyvan Mottaghian for World Cup Qualifiers

Paris Saint-Germain B goalkeeper Keyvan Mottaghian has been called up to the Afghanistan national team for their upcoming FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers against Qatar and Kuwait in June, according to reports.

Mottaghian, 21, must impress head coach Ashley Westwood to secure a starting spot over Owais Azizi.

Westwood, who persuaded Mottaghian to join the national team, first invited him to Afghanistan’s training camp in January ahead of their qualifiers against India.

Although Mottaghian was not selected at that time, he decided to make himself available for the Lions of Khorasan after discussions with Westwood.

The French-born goalkeeper, eligible to play for Afghanistan through his mother, has had a varied career across Europe. Despite initially expressing interest in representing Iran, where his father is from, Mottaghian chose Afghanistan after Westwood’s invitation.

Standing 6 feet tall, Mottaghian began his professional career in France before moving to Cypriot club APEP Pitsilia in 2022. He later joined Swedish club Vrigstads IF in February 2023. His performances caught the attention of PSG scouts, and he joined the Ligue 1 club’s reserve side in September. Although he did not make a competitive appearance last season, Mottaghian focused on developing his skills and competing with 19-year-old goalkeeper Louis Mouquet.

Mottaghian’s inclusion brings European experience to the Afghanistan squad, but he faces stiff competition from Azizi, who was impressive in the matches against India in March, earning a clean sheet and conceding just one goal in two games.

In addition to Mottaghian, Afghanistan’s squad has been bolstered by the return of winger Hossein Zamani and midfielder Najim Haidari for the qualifiers against Qatar and Kuwait.