Soccer-Queiroz Confirms Iran Return as World Cup Finals Loom

By Michael Church

 – Former Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz confirmed on Tuesday that he will take charge of the Iran national team a little more than two months before the start of the World Cup finals in Qatar.

Queiroz replaces Dragan Skocic, who led Iran through Asia’s preliminaries, and the Portuguese coach will be taking the nation to the World Cup for the third time after also being in charge in 2014 and 2018.

“When the family call you home, all you do is simply just show up,” Queiroz wrote on Instagram alongside a photograph taken during his previous stint with the Iranians.

“Fully committed to your duties and ready for the mission. Let’s do it together lads! To the future! Thank you so much Team Melli.”

The Iranian football federation announced last week that Queiroz had returned, but sources informed Reuters the 69-year-old would not sign a contract until the situation with Skocic had been fully resolved. Read full story

Iran will kick off their World Cup campaign against England in Group B on Nov. 21 before taking on Wales and the United States.

Queiroz led the country to their best performance at a World Cup in Russia four years ago, when the Iranians defeated Morocco and drew with Portugal before narrowly missing out on a place in the knockout rounds.

Qatar will be Queiroz’s fourth appearance at the World Cup as a coach, having led his native Portugal in 2010 before taking Iran to the finals in Brazil and Russia.

Iran will be appearing at the World Cup for the sixth time and have never advanced beyond the group phase.

(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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