- Carlos Queiroz says his time as longest-serving IR Iran coach has come to a close
- The Portuguese tactician spent eight years as Team Melli boss
- Coached 100th match in 3-0 defeat by Japan in Asian Cup semis
After eight years in charge of the Iran national team, Carlos Queiroz has said that he has ended his time as head coach, following a 3-0 defeat by Japan in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 semi-finals.
"I wish the Iranian people the best," said Queiroz in his post-match press conference. "After eight years, I have done my work, and this is the end. Good luck to the true Iranian fans."
"I think the simplest thing to do is to copy the famous song: ‘and now, the end is here’,” Queiroz said. "I’m very happy and very proud because I did it my way. It’s just time to show my gratitude to the Iranian fans and the players for the last eight years."
The Portuguese manager's highlights during his time with Iran include two trips to the FIFA World Cup™, becoming the first coach of the Iranian national team to lead the nation to consecutive world finals. On both occasions, Team Melli failed to progress past the group stage.
"A huge, huge thank you to my players for everything,” Queiroz added. "Taking into account the difficulties, the limitations they work under, they are going to be in my heart for the rest of my life."
Queiroz also leaves Iran as the highest ranked Asian nation in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
In his 100 matches in charge Queiroz won 60 games, drew 27 and lost 13.
"I am so proud of this adventure, this journey. The Iranian players have been fantastic, brilliant. They deserve to be in the final ... for everything they do.
"I wish for them the best that they deserve. In these last eight years, they built credibility, they got a lot of attention because they are reliable. They earned respect from all over the world."