Sep 28, 2012, 10:29 AM EDT
Carlos Queiroz is either an absolute freakin’ genius in terms of developing soccer talent or one of the most overrated figures in the modern game, depending on whom you ask.
Well, the itinerant tactician has a major task before him, trying to get Iran into the next World Cup.
Iran shares Asian Group A along with (group favorite) South Korea, Uzbekistan, Qatar and Lebanon. The top two teams qualify for Brazil 2014, with the third-place sides going to a playoff (which puts the winner into an intercontinental playoff).
In all honesty, I had forgotten where Queiroz landed after sacking from Portugal in September of 2010. So I was a bit excited to read a Q&A at FIFA’s website. I read the questions first, fearing it was just a fluff piece. But the writer actually does toss some good questions, like what went wrong with Portugal in 2010 and why that country seems to perennially underachieve?
But I also forgot what a politician Queiroz can be. His answers were every bit as revealing and evocative as 2 percent milk.
For instance: He says that falling out of the Round of 16 in South Africa was mostly about lack of preparation time, a couple of injuries and players coming off a long season. Whoa!
In other words, the very elements that everyone else faced two summers back.
So, yes … here’s the interview from FIFA from a smart and interesting man who finds himself in a fascinating situation – but manages to use a lot of words without being a bit interesting or fascinating.
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