Thursday 07 February 2019, 19:11

Queiroz named new Colombia coach

  • The 65-year-old Portuguese coach replaces Jose Pekerman

  • Spent eight years prior managing IR Iran, including two World Cup appearances

  • Set to make his debut in March ahead of June's Copa America

The Colombian Football Federation officially announced the appointment of Carlos Queiroz as men's national team manager on Thursday. The presentation took place at the federation's headquarters and included a press conference.

"For me it's an honour, and I'm happy to have the trust of the federation," Queiroz said. "First off, I intend to take care of the great tradition here that has grown larger over the years. From there, my mission is to improve in all facets. We are going to be demanding."

His first official competition will be the 2019 Copa America in Brazil, which begins in June, but his primary objective will be to guide Los Cafeteros to qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.

"I have many colleagues and friends who work with national teams," he said. "Everyone knows that this is the most difficult region for qualification. It's like winning half of a world championship. We have to prepare extremely well."

The Portuguese manager knows what it takes to reach world football's grandest stage. He's done so four times as a coach: once with South Africa (2002), once with Portugal (2010) and twice with Iran (2014, 2018). Queiroz also piloted a triumphant Portugal side at the 1991 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

"I can promise that we will approach each game with the intention to win, to raise the profile of the team even higher," he added.

A former boss at Real Madrid and trusted assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Queiroz is the 11th foreign manager for Colombia, and the first European in 40 years, following Macedonian Blagoje Vidinic.