Iranian TV reports that national team manager Carlos Queiroz has seen his contract extended after leading the country to the 2014 World Cup.
The former Real Madrid manager took charge of Iran in 2011 on a deal that ran through the World Cup in Brazil. The country put in a good shift in a tough Group F, drawing with Nigeria 0-0 before holding Lionel Messi and Argentina scoreless until the final minute.
Five days ago, an official of the team said, “Queiroz sent his positive response through email last night and he is supposed to travel to Iran as soon as possible to sign the contract.”
However, the extension still comes as a surprise given the 61-year-old’s declaration in June that he would step down after the tournament in Brazil. At the time, he said, “Yes my connection will finish here at the World Cup. There was not support from the government – there has stopped being a genuine interest because of the financial situation.”
Obviously, things have changed. Now, he has stated his intent to win the 2015 Asia Cup hosted by Australia, according to the Associated Press. The tournament begins in January – summer in Australia – and Iran is in Group C alongside Qatar, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates.
He has also, according to the AP, stated his intent to secure a World Cup spot in the 2018 competition as well. Clearly the success of 2014 has led the country to set a high bar for the future.
There are no details yet on the length or financial situation of the contract extension.
Quieroz managed Real Madrid for a season back in 2003, and also spent time in charge of the Portuguese, South African, and UAE national teams, as well working as an assistant at Manchester United.