Tag: South Africa

Rogério Paulo Cesar de Sá confirmed as assistant to Queiroz

The South African coach Rogério Paulo Cesar de Sá has been confirmed as the first assistant to Carlos Queiroz in Team Melli coaching Team.

The former Orlando Pirates coach also acted as South Africa’s goalkeeping coach during Carlos Queiroz’s reign and, in September 2021, was recruited by Queiroz to join him as Assistant Coach to the Egyptian national football team.

de Sá, confirmed his presence in Team Melli in an interview today and said:” Team Melli will start work on Tuesday and then travel to Austria, where they will play a friendly match with Uruguay and Senegal. We will start training with the team on Wednesday and Thursday.  We will train again on Saturday and then we will fly to Austria where we will play against those two teams in a friendly international. Then we will return to Iran and continue working with the team there.”

The newly appointed coach of Iran’s national football team emphasized: “These two games will give us a good idea of the standard of the players. I might fly to Europe to watch some players with their clubs and we’ll probably train in Dubai a week before we go to the World Cup in Qatar.”

Rogério de Sá who was on the bench of the Egyptian national team when he first worked with Queiroz, referring to the problems and challenges ahead for the World Cup said “the heat and humidity of Qatar will be a challenge for many players in the tournament. We have a short time to prepare which is not ideal. Ideally, we should have been there in Iran for a year at least but Carlos knows the team well and the players know him too because he coached them in the last two World Cups.”

de Sá is looking forward to working with the Iranian players and getting to know them in the coming weeks. He stated: “When I became a coach, the number one priority was that I am human and so is the player. I think Carlos is the same. I think many coaches forget this. I might coach them for a year or two, but we can be friends until we die. ”

Roger announced that he will be with Iran’s national team for one or two years because the Football Federation has not confirmed its plans regarding Carlos Queiroz after the end of the World Cup. First, Mehdi Taj, the president of FFIRI announced in his press conference that the Federation’s plan is that Queiroz to become the Technical Manager of the national team after the World Cup and that the team will participate in the 2023 Asian Nations Cup under the head coach of Javad Nekonam. While Mehdi Mohammadnabi, the general secretary of the federation, said that Iran will probably be coached in AFC Asian Cup with Queiroz on the bench!

Take your pick on whom to believe.

Iran cancel Bafana Bafana friendly plan – SAFA’s Motlanthe

South Africa Football Association Chief Executive Officer Tebogo Motlanthe has confirmed Iran have canceled plans to play Bafana Bafana in a friendly match in the FIFA international break of June.

SAFA CEO Advocate Tebogo Motlanthe.

Safa had proposed to face the Middle East nation – in Doha, Qatar – after their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Morocco on Thursday in Rabat.

“We had done all the paperwork with Iran where we were even asked to send the players’ passports. But later they came back to say they were unable to play us,” Motlanthe said, as per Sowetan Live.

“They said that through agents. And of course, because of their late cancellation we, unfortunately, do not have any friendly for this window period.”

The cancellation of the friendly means the 1996 Afcon champions will only play one game in June.

They were initially scheduled to face Morocco and Zimbabwe in this month’s Afcon qualifiers, but the latter were barred by CAF from participation since they are under FIFA suspension. The other member of Group K are Liberia, who South Africa will face in September.

Motlanthe, who is in Morocco with the national team, added the federation will wait for head coach Hugo Broos to give his plan for the next international break.

“But the coach has promised to submit his September program, which will include friendlies,” he concluded.

The cancelation of the South Africa match once again puts into question FFIRI plans, scheduling, and support for Team Melli. This is now the fourth Friendly international match that Team Melli has been deprived of due to one reason or another/. The unique difference with the South Africa game is that Iran has unilaterally canceled the match, while in Canada’s case it was the opponents that canceled.

Iran is scdule to play against Algeria on 12th June in Doha, the only friendly arranged in haste in this unusually long FIFA day.

Team Melli to meet Algeria in Doha

Team Melli, currently in a training camp in Qatar, Qatar is scheduled to meet with Algeria as announced by the Football Federation of Algeria.

Iran has previously held talks with several African football federations, including Congo, Cameroon, and Algeria, to play a preparatory game on FIFA Day in June. South Africa was also the latest possible opponent of Iran, which, with the announcement of its head coach, planned to play against our national team on June 14 in Doha.

However, it seems that the meeting with Algeria in Qatar has been decided for the Team Melli and Iran can have at least one friendly international game. This is the news announced by “Salah Bi-Abboud”, the director of communications and public relations of the Algerian Football Federation. “What is certain is that Algeria will play against Iran in Doha on June 12,” he told Algerian National Radio. There is an agreement between the two teams. We are waiting for the formalization of affairs at the level of organization and logistics.” The director of communications of the Algerian federation announced that after the official announcement, this news will be published on the website of the Algerian federation.

Tow previous games vs Canada in Vancouver and Ecuador were scheduled in Canada, but political interference lead to the unilateral cancellation of the match by pressure from the Canadian government. Next, Iran planned to travel to Uruguay and play with the national team of this country; This did not materialize due to the difficult logistics and objection of Iran’s head coach Dragan Skočić.

FFIRI has not confirmed the news of Algeria match.

Queiroz and the European style in Asia.

It is not a solid rule that a coach with a strong curriculum vitae and great experience can succeed, make a difference, lead a tactical revolution anywhere in the world, and with any footballing entity he trains.

Alberto Zaccheroni has been strongly established in Asia, where he lifted the AFC Asian Cup title with Japan, and had a reasonable time with UAE, not to mention that he was one of the biggest names in football world coaching beforehand. Yet , he failed to repeat the same success in UAE.

It is also not possible to think that moderately famous coaches with modest CVs and achievement have no keys to success. There simply no specific rule on that.

Zlatko Dalic for example, was not a great coach before coming over to train in the Persian Gulf,  training at club levels and not really to any great success, yet with Croatia , this man achieved a remarkable success.

The simple reality is that , many factors in football has to combine to produce success and lift trophies. Before coaching in Asia Marcello Lippi, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Alberto Zaccheroni and Carlos Queiroz, were household names, but that is no guarantee for winning titles.

The other reality is that the experience of most of the big names coaches is not so good in Asia, especially the European mindsets that have not been able to prove themselves, or have not succeeded in imposing their style on Asian footballers.

The nature of football in Asia and Europe is different in many aspects and that is the major reason for the lack of success of European coaching celebrities. It may be associated with physical weakness, mindsets, discipline, mental abilities and failure to absorb the European tactics, as hinted by veteran Italian Lippi when he talked about the players of China.

The current AFC Asian Cup  2019 wrote the final scenario in the march of Marcello Lippi, Goran Erikson and Carlos Queiroz, while continuing to swing Paolo Pinto with South Korea in spite of the state of anger sweeping the Korean fans  after their exit from the tournament and the loss of the dream they have been looking for 85 Years.

It is interesting to study Queiroz’s case

Carlos Queiroz has been with Team Melli for 8 years. More than any coach in the history of Iran National Team. The man coached Real Madrid, Portugal, UAE and South Africa with two stint as assistant coach to Sir Alex Ferguson in Manchester United. There is no denying his record of excellence. However, if one follows Queiroz’s career, a major lacking is noted in his CV. Queiroz is no title winner and has rarely succeeded in lifting trophies. Regrettably, he has no championship pedigree.

Queiroz succeeded in leading Iran to the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, and that was never achieved before him, it is a huge achievement but the big prize has always been the AFC Asian Cup.

It was a sad end for Queiroz tenure with Team Melli when they he was comprehensively beaten by Japan in the semi-final. Team Melli which has not conceded a single goal from the start of the competition, collapsed and lost by 3 goals. Queiroz , true to his character, blamed the momentary lapse of concentration of his players leading to the first goal for that defeat. The truth is much more complex. It was his failure to change the style of play and his poor reading of the Japanese tactics, that lead to this defeat. But the Portuguese man is adept in deflecting blame on something or somebody.

Ironically, he never talked about winning the title. Perhaps Queiroz never believed in his team’s ability and skill to lay a claim for the title. He did not even consider Iran Team good enough for the semifinal at the beginning naming Korea Japan Australia and China as the real contenders. Surely he knew his players much better than we do and hence he never intimidated the Championship.

His personal trait was quite suspect.

Carlos Queiroz was a man with so many persons created in one. By far the most contentious of Team Melli coaches. Frequently controversial, Creator of many soaps, divisive personality, and a person who will never shy from belittling or  insulting his opponents (the Donald Trump side of him). The man always depicted himself as the one that has the monopoly of knowledge and intelligence when it comes to football and Team Melli in particular (the Jose Mourinho side).

He could also be compassionate, caring and kind when he wanted to be.

The Portuguese, known for his controversial expressions and words, quoted the famous lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s song “The moment has come.”  Before he set course to what looks like a Colombian adventure.

Some will miss him, some are glad to see the back of him. In any case, credit must be given to the man for making a difference in Team Melli. It is doubtful that his legacy will survive, if a local coach is appointed to replace him.  A coach in the class of Queiroz or better might achieve the big success with this generation of Iranian footballers and win something. Queiroz has changed or at least tried to improve many aspects of the organization of Team Melli, his players mentality, discipline, physical training regime among many other positives of his career.

Carlos Queiroz to quit after the World Cup 2018

Source: Reuters

Carlos Queiroz will not remain at the helm of Iran after the conclusion of the country’s involvement in the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.

But the 65-year-old has decided to call time on his seven-year stint with Iran after the FIFA World Cup, where they have been drawn to take on Morocco, Spain and Portugal in Group B.

“It’s almost one year since we qualified for the World Cup and it’s true that they gave me an offer to go for six months to the Asian Cup in the Emirates, but it didn’t meet my expectations,” Queiroz said by telephone from his team’s training camp in Turkey.

“After all these years, for the Iranian federation to only extend the contract for six months is a decision that shows no appreciation or recognition for what I’ve done. It’s an offer that isn’t acceptable from my point of view.

“The negotiations are closed, they are behind me.

“Before we came here to Istanbul the federation was supposed to review the position and they did not come back to me, so from now on it’s time to move forward.”

Queiroz had considered retiring after the FIFA World Cup to spend more time with his family, but now wants to become the first coach to secure qualification for the FIFA World Cup finals on five occasions.

Brazilian Carlos Alberto Pereira and Serbian Bora Milutinovic have coached five times at the FIFA World Cup, with both taking charge of teams that had either qualified as hosts or stepped in as replacement coaches for already qualified nations.

Queiroz, however, qualified South Africa for the FIFA World Cup in 2002 only to step down from his position before the finals in Japan and Korea.

He then led Portugal to the 2010 tournament in South Africa before becoming the first coach to secure back-to-back FIFA World Cup appearances with Iran, and he is keen to lead another country to the finals in Qatar in 2022.

“After all these years in Iran there was the possibility that I would retire after the World Cup,” said Queiroz.

“But, in the meantime, the dissatisfaction at not qualifying for a fifth World Cup started to grow.

“It started to speak louder and the more I started to think more about that unique historical opportunity, to be the only coach in football history to have five World Cup qualifications under my belt, my anger and desire started to grow and this is now my main goal and my expectation.

“I’ve had two offers, one from Africa and one from Asia with the chance to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, and if that doesn’t happen then I can look at one or two options that I have in England after the World Cup.”

Portuguese from Man Utd enforcer to Mr. World Cup


Carlos Queiroz was once Alex Ferguson’s formidable number two at Manchester United, but he has now carved out a new reputation: the man who can take your team to the World Cup.

After Queiroz’s Iran became only the second team to qualify for Russia 2018, he is savouring the unique feat of reaching four World Cups with three different teams.

It’s a record that hasn’t gone unnoticed, with Asian champions Australia reportedly interested in Queiroz’s services once Ange Postecoglou departs next year.

“I feel very proud and honoured with that (World Cup) achievement,” the grizzled Portuguese told AFP by telephone. “Other coaches have qualified four times but not with different teams.”

The former Real Madrid boss has now qualified with South Africa in 2002, Portugal in 2010 — leading them to the last 16 — and now twice with Iran, after he also took them to Brazil 2014.

Carlos Queiroz has achieved the unique feat of reaching four World Cups with three different teams, including South Africa, Portugal and IranplayCarlos Queiroz has achieved the unique feat of reaching four World Cups with three different teams, including South Africa, Portugal and Iran


This month’s 2-0 win over Uzbekistan made Iran the first Asian team to qualify for Russia, clinching top spot in Group A with two games to spare — and without a single goal conceded in 720 minutes of football.

On top of that, Iran, who will now contest back-to-back World Cups for the first time, have been Asia’s number one team in the FIFA rankings for four years, helped by a growing number of players succeeding in Europe.

Walter Winterbottom took England to four successive World Cups starting from 1950, a record that was equalled by West Germany’s Helmut Schon from 1966 to 1978. Oscar Tabarez could also make it four with Uruguay if the South Americans reach Russia.

But nobody has done it with three different countries, apart from Mozambique-born Queiroz.

“To do it with these different countries, cultures and mentalities is at least, unique,” Queiroz said. “Each country has its own challenges, its own strengths and weaknesses.”

‘Football animal’

The 64-year-old became Iran coach in 2011 and has weathered cultural and logistical difficulties to find success with Team Melli, helped by the talent the country produces and the passion of the fans.

“The fans love the team and the excitement they provide is special,” said Queiroz. “When we play at home the atmosphere is great and there can be 100,000 fans. When we qualified, there were celebrations in Tehran all night.”

Among Queiroz’s players is Reza Ghoochannejhad, who was the second highest goalscorer in the Dutch league in the 2016-2017 season with 20 goals for Heerenveen.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh has also impressed in the Netherlands with AZ Alkmaar, and Karim Ansarifard is with Greek giant Olympiakos.

Then there are two highly-rated young stars in Russia: striker Sardar Azmoun and midfielder Saeid Ezatolahi, with both expected to head to one of the bigger European leagues this summer.

It all adds up to a formidable squad and coaching staff.

“Carlos Queiroz and his colleagues have done so much for Team Melli,” Ali Daei, a legend of Iranian football and former national team coach, told FIFA’s official homepage.

“One of the most important things he’s done is bringing in so many young players and changed the major players of the team.”

Although Queiroz is attracting interest from other federations, he says he hasn’t yet decided whether he will go for a fifth World Cup with a fourth national team.

“I have been coaching for a long time,” said Queiroz, who led Portugal’s U20 team to successive World Cup titles in 1989 and 1991. “I don’t really want to think what happens after the next World Cup.

“If this football animal is still biting me in the stomach then I can continue. I want to feel happy. If I can still make a contribution then maybe.”

First comes the challenge of taking Iran to Russia, and improving on their winless showing in Brazil.

“That is the ambition and starting from now, that is the objective we are working towards,” he said. “With the right preparation then we have the talent to make an impact.”

Queiroz or Renard, who is getting the Bafana job?



Carlos Queiroz. (AFP)

Cape Town – The South African Football Association (SAFA) has reportedly trimmed the Bafana Bafana head coach candidate list down to two names.

According to the SowetanLIVE website, Herve Renard and Carlos Queiroz are said to be the only choices for the Bafana Bafana hot seat.

Renard is currently the head coach of Morocco, while Queiroz’s contract with Iran has not been renewed.

Queiroz, who previously coached Bafana Bafana between 2000-2002, is said to be SAFA’s first choice.

However, Renard will get the nod for the job if the organisation cannot meet the demands of Queiroz.

SAFA will have to cough up around R20m to pin down Queiroz into a deal as that is the estimated amount the former Manchester United assistant coach earned as Iran head coach.

Reports suggest that Queiroz’s representatives will want SAFA to either match or better the sum he earned in the Middle East.

On Monday, (February 27) the official Bafana Bafana Twitter account revealed images of a meeting between the selectors who will chose the next coach.

“Finalising naming of new Bafana Bafana coach at SAFA House,” read the tweet.

Pictured in the meeting was Bafana Bafana legend Lucas Radebe along with SAFA president Danny Jordaan and Farouk Khan.

SAFA spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi earlier this week exclusively revealed to Sport24 that the association is “almost” close to making an announcement.

The Bafana Bafana job has been vacant since December 2016 after SAFA sacked Shakes Mashaba.

The national football governing body is expected to make the announcement before the end of the week.

Queiroz? Where is fair play?

The South Africans think that Carlos Queiroz  is free agent and unattached to any team , therefore he leads a pack of candidates to coach the Bafa Bafana!
It is a safe bet to mention that Queiroz must have made himself available for the vacant job for the South African National team ignoring his contract and commitment with FFIRI!!
What is the truth with Queiroz and his never-ending maneuvers. only time will tell.


Carlos Queiroz. (AFP)

Johannesburg – Despite Fifa always preaching fair play, there is absolutely no fair play in the beautiful game.

If there was, Carlos Queiroz and Roy Hodgson would not have made the short list for the Bafana Bafana coaching job.

But that is not the case as the Mozambique-born Queiroz and Englishman Hodgson have made the cut to be included in the five-man short list.

In fact, it should not come as a surprise if Queiroz gets the nod.

Compared with other contenders, Queiroz’s and Hodgson’s CVs do not come close to those of Hervé Renard, Hugo Broos and Stuart Baxter, if the SA Football Association (Safa) criteria for the job are to be followed to the letter.

But the fact that Queiroz is close to the association’s leadership makes him a favourite for the job. The former Portugal coach last coached on the continent back in 2000 when he was in charge of Bafana Bafana and his knowledge of the country and players could be misguided.

With two Africa Cup of Nations titles under his belt, Renard should automatically get the nod ahead of the others on the short list.

The Frenchman has already proven himself on the continent after winning the championship with Zambia and Côte d’Ivoire.

He is also clued up on South African football conditions as his Zambia side always had camps in the country and played friendly games against local sides. Moreover, the Zambian style of play and player physique is similar to that of the South Africans and it won’t be a mission to manage South African players.

Broos, who has just won the Nations Cup with Cameroon, also fits the bill and should be considered if Renard is not available.

The Belgian showed his shrewdness when he guided the unfancied Indomitable Lions against all odds. Unless he wants to go to the Fifa Confederations Cup in Russia in June, he should be a serious contender.

Then there is Baxter, who is not new to the position. Having been there, done that and left unceremoniously, Baxter finds himself in the mix of things, and rightfully so. The SuperSport United coach knows South African players inside out and should fancy his chances – if his club agrees to release him.

The selection panel will meet on Sunday to decide on their preferred candidate and the new coach could be announced before the end of the week.

The new coach should be in charge of Bafana’s friendly games against Angola and Guinea-Bissau next month.

Team Melli routs Platinum Stars 6-0

Team Melli defeated Platinum Stars 6-0 in its final preparation match of its training camp in Johannesburg , South Africa.

Mohammad Nouri scored a hat trick, while Habib Gordani, Masoud Hassanzadeh, and Sajjad Shahbazadeh scored a goal each to complete the rout against the bottom of the table South African First Division team . Platinum Stars played a league match on Saturday against Free State Stars and lost 3-1. For the match against Team Melli , mostly reserve players were utilized by the struggling South african team.


This match concludes the weak and low-key preparations by Team Melli in South Africa.  While almost all the legionnaires who are expected to form the bulk of the team line up are absent , except for Azmoun, the federation failed to arrange any quality opposition to test these players against strong teams which Iran will be facing in Australia. The 3 breadcrumb friendlies were mostly due to personal contacts of Carlos Queiroz , however none of the South African clubs were prepared to field their strongest side due to league programs commitments and the upcoming festive seasons holidays.

Team Melli is scheduled to return to Tehran on December 24th. The next friendly before the AFC Asian Cup 2015 will be against Palestine.


Second win for Team Melli against Pirates reserves

 Team Melli defeated Orlando Pirates’ reserves 3-1 in a friendly in Johannesburg, South Africa on Friday.

The Sepahan contingent managed to score all the goals of Team Melli in the match. Ehsan Hajsafi was on target twice in the 47th and 70th minutes helping himself to a brace while Mehdi Sharifi scored in the 61st minute.

Orlando Pirates pulled a goal back in the 75th minute. A group of about 30 Iranians mostly families residing in Johannesburg attended the match to cheer for Iran.

Team Melli was held 3-3 against the South African football club in April as part of the preparations for the 2014 World Cup.

Iran had defeated Kaizer Chiefs reserves 2-0 on Wednesday.

The Asian Cup will kick off in Australia on January 9, with Iran playing Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE in Group C.

Team Melli is scheduled to play against Palestine on December 28 in Tehran before departing to Australia. Team Melli will meet Iraq in another friendly in Australia six days before their opening match against Bahrain.