Carlos Queiroz is one of the most illustrious coaches in world football. A former assistant to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Queiroz is now the head coach of Iran.
Born in Mozambique, Queiroz played as a goalkeeper but could not make it to the highest level. He took up coaching after finishing his university degree in Lisbon. As a manager, his biodata is attractive. He managed seven national teams, including Portugal, and La Liga giant Real Madrid.
Defensively solid and possessing the ability to score in counter-attack made Iran, under Queiroz’s coaching, one to watch out for in Qatar World Cup.
Queiroz is the longest-serving manager in the history of the Iranian national team, serving the team for almost eight years between 2011 and 2019.
During his first stint, the Portuguese coach helped shape the popularity of Team Melli. Under his coaching, Iran qualified for two consecutive World Cups in 2014 and 2018 and conceded narrow 1-0 losses to Argentina in Brazil and 1-0 to Spain in Russia. But it is its 1-1 draw against Portugal that caught the attention of the world. So much so that Iranians back home started celebrating the draw.
However, Queiroz left Iran in February 2019 to join Columbia and later Egypt, with which he reached the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations final. The 69-year-old coach returned to Iran for his second stint on September 7, 2022, to replace Dragan Skocic. He is so popular in Iran that even Skocic’s dismissal despite winning 15 out of 18 games did not spark any uproar.
Queiroz did not make any major changes. He continued with the 4-1-4-1 formation and strengthened the team’s defence. In September, Iran registered a 1-0 win over Uruguay and played out a 1-1 draw against African champion Senegal.