Queiroz has point to prove after Portugal flop

16 May 2014 01:31

Carlos Queiroz's reputation took a battering at the last World Cup but the former Portugal boss can prove a point when he returns to the big stage with Iran.

The ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid coach was axed by Portugal after South Africa 2010, when his Cristiano Ronaldo-led team scored in just one of their four games and went out in the round of 16.

A 7-0 hammering of North Korea was the only win for Queiroz's side. They played out goalless draws with Ivory Coast and Brazil before losing 1-0 to eventual champions Spain in their first knock-out game.

A similar result at this year's tournament would constitute a big success both for Iran, who have never climbed out of the group stage, and their passionate Portuguese manager.

Since joining Iran three years ago, Queiroz has slipped from view, a far cry from when he was one of football's most highly-rated managers.

The 61-year-old has so far been unable to build on his two successful stints as Alex Ferguson's assistant at Manchester United, punctuated by a brief and less happy spell in charge of Madrid's 'Galacticos'.

With next year's Asian Cup in mind, he will want positive outings in Group F against Argentina, Nigeria and newcomers Bosnia, who represent Iran's best chance of scoring only their second World Cup win.

Carlos Manuel Brito Leal Queiroz was born on March 1, 1953 in Nampula in Mozambique, then a Portuguese colony and also the birthplace of the late, legendary Eusebio.

After playing in goal for Clube Ferrovario de Nampula, Queiroz coached Portugal's successful youth side, including future "Golden Generation" members Luis Figo, Rui Costa, Fernando Couto, Joao Pinto, Jorge Costa and Vitor Baia.

However, after graduating to head the senior side, Portugal failed to reach the 1992 European Championships and the 1994 World Cup.

More coaching jobs followed in Portugal, the United States, Japan, United Arab Emirates and South Africa -- whom he qualified for the 2002 World Cup -- before Queiroz started his spell at Manchester United.

Qualification for Brazil was hard-won, with Iran needing an acrimonious 1-0 away win over South Korea in their last game, which ended with home fans hurling debris and the two sides coming close to blows.

And Queiroz, who has complained about the difficulty of preparing a team in a country under international sanctions, and with mainly home-based players, is under no illusions about the task ahead.

"This is our mission impossible once, twice and three times," Queiroz told AFP in an interview this year. "But that is what makes the tournament attractive."

Source: AFP