With Quieroz as head coach, Iran unfolded new levels in the footballing industry.
Former Iran coach Carlos Queiroz, who led the Iranian national team to the World Cup 2022, is reportedly taking over as Qatar’s head coach.
The Portuguese coach will shortly be introduced as the new manager of the Qatar national football team, according to the Portuguese DN online magazine, and is currently on route to Doha to sign a contract with the Qatar Football Association (QFA).
Following Iran’s exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying stage, Queiroz entered Qatar’s radar.
The 69-year-old was allegedly invited to the Gulf nation to watch the final game, where he was asked if he would be interested to replace ex-Qatar coach Felix Sánchez. He then later returned to Doha to negotiate and departed with a pre-agreement that would only become formal after the 25th Gulf Cup, the report detailed.
It came as the Qatar Football Association confirmed its ‘mutual decision’ with Sanchez to not renew his contract following Al Annabi’s early exit from the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Qatar lost all three matches, playing against Ecuador, Senegal and Netherlands. The team became the first host nation to become the first team to exit the tournament.
QFA said at the time that it would decide on a replacement to lead the next phase of the national team shortly, however, Tasnim News Agency said it was unlikely an announcement would be made prior to the conclusion of the Gulf Cup.
Who is Quieroz?
The Portuguese coach began his managing career with the Portuguese Under 20 team, which went on to win the FIFA World Youth Championships in 1989 and 1991.
Quieroz served as the manager of renowned European teams like Real Madrid and as the assistant manager of Manchester United.
He also led various international football teams, including Portugal, South Africa, Colombia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
During his stint in Iran, Quieroz helped Team Melli qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, 2015 AFC Asian Cup, 2018 FIFA World Cup as well as the most recent FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
With nearly eight years under his belt between 2011 and 2019, Queiroz was the Iran national team’s longest-tenured manager and the only coach in Iranian history to have guided the squad to three straight World Cups.
The Portuguese manager returned to Iran for a second time to lead the Persian Leopards less than three months prior to Qatar’s World Cup.
With Quieroz as head coach, Iran unravelled new levels in its footballing record, becoming the first ranked team in Asia before dropping down a position after this year’s FIFA World Cup.
He emerged as an unexpected unifying figure in Iran at a time of extreme conflict and turmoil. Among the Iranian players and journalists that cover the team, Queiroz had evoked a certain degree of devotion and adoration.
At Qatar 2022, Quieroz made global headlines and earned respect in Iran for his bold statements to western media outlets at press conferences.
The Portuguese coach responded to an ‘accusatory’ question from a UK-based reporter with a reminder of his own country’s human rights violations.
During a press conference in Qatar ahead of the World Cup kick-off, a Sky News reporter asked Queiroz if he was “okay representing a country like Iran at this World Cup that represses the rights of women?”
“How much you pay me to answer to that question?” Queiroz responded, asking the reporter to identify his employer.
As he stood up to exit the presser, Queiroz gave a last minute clap back telling the journalist to focus on the UK migrant crisis. “I think you should start to think about what happened with the immigrants in England also,” the Portuguese manager said.
The European manager had also, on multiple occasions, defended his players in a formidable manner.
Queiroz confronted a BBC journalist at the World Cup in Qatar and questioned why Gareth Southgate, his English counterpart, is not asked questions about issues like Afghanistan, after an Iranian player was badgered with political questions about the ongoing protests back home.
“I’m asking you one thing now: Why don’t you ask questions to other coaches? That’s only fair,” Queiroz was heard saying amid a crowd of reporters, directly asking BBC Persia reporter Shaimaa Khalil.
“Why don’t you ask Southgate: ‘What do you think about England and the United States that left Afghanistan and all the women alone?’”
Iran has been rocked by protests for months-long protests that were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died while in police custody, shifting global focus away from its performance at the World Cup.