Sept 6 (Reuters) – Former Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz has agreed a deal to lead Iran at the World Cup finals in Qatar in less than three months’ time, Iranian state media reported on Tuesday.
The Islamic Republic News Agency, the country’s official news outlet, said Queiroz travelled to Tehran over the weekend and has signed a deal to replace Croatian Dragan Skocic as coach.
Skocic qualified the Iranians for the World Cup finals and won 15 of his 18 games in charge since taking over as the fulltime replacement for Marc Wilmots.
Queiroz previously led Iran at the World Cup finals in both Brazil in 2014 and Russia four years later.
He has been linked with a return to the role since Mehdi Taj was elected president of the Iranian football federation last Tuesday.
Iran will begin their World Cup campaign against England on Nov. 21 in Group B before facing Wales four days later. They complete the group stage against the United States on Nov. 29.
Under Queiroz Iran secured their best World Cup performance in Russia, defeating Morocco and drawing with Portugal to claim four points and narrowly miss out on progressing to the knockout rounds for the first time in five World Cup appearances.
(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Christian Radnedge)