BOGOTA – Carlos Queiroz was named coach of Colombia on Thursday, the country’s football federation (FCF) said, replacing Argentine Jose Pekerman, who left the post in September.
Queiroz’s appointment had long been expected, but Colombia had to wait until the end of the recently-concluded Asian Cup for the Portuguese’s contract with Iran to run out.
He has signed a four-year contract, and his first major task will be to lead Colombia at the June-July Copa America in Brazil.
He said his aim would be to “look after the proud history and the reputation Colombia has today in the world”.
This is the fifth national side the former Real Madrid coach has led, three of which he took to the World Cup finals.
Queiroz coached South Africa in South Korea and Japan 2002, his native Portugal in South Africa 2010, and Iran at the last two tournaments in Brazil (2014) and Russia (2018).
The 65-year-old also had a short spell in charge of the United Arab Emirates in the late 1990s.
He lasted less than a year with Real after his team of Galaticos lost their final five La Liga matches in 2003/04, and plunged from top of the league to fourth place.
Queiroz had two separate stints as assistant to Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson, helping the English club win the Premier League title three times, as well as the 2008 Champions League.
He will be expected to help Colombia reach a third successive World Cup, in Qatar in 2022.
“He’s a European coach. Most of the national team players play in Europe. His methods could be very similar to those the players have at their clubs, and that’s very important,” said Blu Radio analyst Pablo Rios.