Iran will have a familiar face back at the helm for the 2022 FIFA World Cup following the reappointment of former Carlos Queiroz.
Queiroz, who originally gained prominence for being Sir Alex Ferguson’s righthand man at Manchester United but then had a spell in charge of Real Madrid, remains Iran’s longest-serving coach from his previous stint between 2011 and 2019.
After his departure in January 2019 following Team Melli’s disappointing semifinal exit at the most recent edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the Portuguese has had spells in charge of Colombia and Egypt — parting ways with the latter back in April following a failure to qualify for this year’s World Cup.
Nonetheless, it has now been confirmed that Queiroz will be at Qatar 2022 following his return as Iran coach — where he will lead his side against England (Nov. 21), Wales (Nov. 25) and United States (Nov. 29).
The move, which was heavily speculated since Mehdi Taj was elected as president of Iranian Football Federation on Tuesday, was confirmed by Team Melli media officer Jamaat Mohamad and will see Queiroz replaced Dragan Skocic.
“Thanks to Dragan Skocic’s efforts to advance to the World Cup,” tweeted Jamaat.
“Based on the decision of the Football Federation’s Executive Board, Carlos Queiroz will be the head coach of Iran’s national football team in the Qatar World Cup.”
While Skocic successfully guided the Iranians to World Cup qualification with an impressive 25-point haul from ten matches, his two-and-a-half year reign was constantly blighted by reported conflict with key players.
Most notably, Porto striker Mehdi Taremi was dropped from the squad for two qualifiers back in November, although both parties were said to have buried the hatchet since.
Still, the return of Queiroz is likely to be widely welcomed given his standing among players and fans alike.
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