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Iran’s World Cup countdown begins with coach Queiroz at helm | Reuters

The top coach of the Iranian national football team, Carlos Queiroz, attends the Iranian team training at Azadi training camp in Tehran, Iran on September 14, 2022. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

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Sept 17 (Reuters) – Iran are racing against time and energy to be equipped for the planet Cup finals, but returning coach Carlos Queiroz is confident upcoming friendly matches against Uruguay and Senegal might help prepare his team for November’s tournament in Qatar.

After months of speculation, Queiroz was named the other day to displace Croatia’s Dragan Skocic at the helm however the former Real Madrid and Portugal coach has a little over 8 weeks to fine tune the squad.

Queiroz returns after stints with the national teams of Colombia and Egypt. He took Egypt to the verge of qualification for Qatar this season.

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He’ll be dealing with a squad he knows well from his eight-year stint in Tehran, having led Iran at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups. He left the role after his side’s semi-final exit from the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates in January 2019.

“That is our first rung on the ladder towards finding your way through the planet Cup,” the 69-year-old said of working out camp in Austria, which begins in a few days and sees Iran undertake Uruguay on Sept. 23 and Senegal four days later.

“We shall do our best both on / off the field to ready for your competition. It’s our responsibility to boost the conditions and make progress and always progress,” media quoted him as saying in Tehran.

Queiroz has named a 27-man squad for the camp as he prepares his team for a challenging World Cup campaign which will start to see the Iranians open your competition against England on Nov. 21 prior to going to face Wales and america.

Sixteen of the 23 players selected for the planet Cup finals in Russia four years back have been contained in the roster picked for the camp, including 35-year-old Omid Ebrahimi.

The midfielder, who plays his club football in Qatar for Al Wakrah, was a stand-out performer under Queiroz in 2018 but has made only two appearances for Iran since November 2019.

Other familiar faces include goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and also strike duo Sardar Azmoun of Bayer Leverkusen and Porto’s Mehdi Taremi.

“As a specialist coach, I understand that teams on earth have progressed,” said Queiroz. “We shall also do our far better face our opponents in Qatar and you will be fully prepared for the campaign.”

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Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Edwina Gibbs

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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