July 11, 2008 / 4:59 PM / 10 years ago

Queiroz leaves Man United to become Portugal coach

LISBON (Reuters) - Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz has been named Portugal coach for the second time, the Football Federation (FPF) said on Friday.

Queiroz, who fills the post left vacant by Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari, will sign a four-year contract. He is scheduled to be formally presented at a news conference on July 16.

“I am very proud and honoured to be able to go back and serve my country,” the FPF quoted Queiroz as saying on its website (www.fpf.pt) “This is a very special position that any professional would want.”, he added.

“The first big objective is to qualify for the World Cup in South Africa (in 2010).”

His first game in charge will be a friendly against Faroe Islands next month ahead of their World Cup qualifying campaign against Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, Albania and Malta.

Scolari stepped down after Euro 2008, following 5-1/2 years in charge, to join Premier League Chelsea who will again be one of the main challengers to champions United for the title.

United tried hard to keep their assistant manager at the club but must now prepare for the campaign without Queiroz, who added: “I want to thank Manchester United for the agreement reached, which made my return to Portugal possible”.

MIXED SUCCESS

His first spell in charge ended when the country failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup finals but FPF president Gilberto Madail said he was delighted with the appointment.

“Carlos is without doubt a benchmark of excellence for Portuguese football coaches and my first choice for the job,” he was quoted as saying on the FIFA website (www.fifa.com).

Since his first spell in charge of his country Queiroz has enjoyed mixed success in coaching and management.

Short stays with the New York Metrostars, Japan’s Grampus Eight and the United Arab Emirates preceded a stint in charge of South Africa who he helped qualify for the 2002 World Cup.

However, he left in March before the finals in South Korea and Japan after a quarter-final exit at the African Nations Cup and a dispute with the team’s technical director, Jomo Sono.

Queiroz then became assistant manager alongside Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, who won the English Premier League title at the end of his first season in 2002/03.

His contribution caught the attention of Real Madrid who appointed him as manager for the 2003-04 season, but after a good start he was sacked following an early exit from the Champions League and a fourth place Primera Liga finish.

Queiroz returned to his old job as Ferguson’s assistant at United the following season and went on to help the club win a Premier League and Champions League double last term.

“Carlos is one of the best coaches in world football,” Ferguson said on United’s website (www.manutd.com).

“His attention to detail, ability to innovate and will to win have been a key factor in the team’s recent successes. He has played an important role in building and blending the exceptional squad of players at the club,” he added.

Additional reporting by Patrick Johnston in London, Editing by Ken Ferris

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