Kuala Lumpur, 18 June 2023 - Qatar national football team's Portuguese Coach Carlos Queiroz said that he is focused on helping Qatar defend their AFC Asian Cup title and guiding the Maroons through to the Finals of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Talking to the-AFC.com, Queiroz said: "When I put those two pieces together it is the right explosive combination with my enthusiasm and belief and hope to be able to put on the pitch 45 years of my experience and really serve the goals and the dreams of the Qatar federation and the people to qualify the team for the first World Cup."
Regarding taking office as Qatar national team coach, "The most important, is that I follow in the last 13 years the football development of Qatar, everything this country is delivering and supporting and helping and investing in football all over the world." he added.
The Portuguese coach was able to lead four other national teams through World Cup qualification: South Africa in 2002, his native Portugal in 2010 and the Iranians, in 2014 and 2018.
On Qatar winning the Asian Cup in 2019 and then competing in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, three years later, Queiroz said that the team reached a peak in 2019 by winning the Asian Cup, considering it a win, no matter when or how. He then went on to comment on the Maroons' participation in the World Cup by saying: "It was the first time they had played at a World Cup, they were playing at home and it's not easy.
Especially when I believe the expectations that they had around the team were too much." The Qatar national team's coach added: "Playing in a World Cup is a difficult thing for any team, in Argentina, in Brazil or in Qatar. When it's your first World Cup, it's your first step. And to do it at home it's a giant step. If you put this all together I think the boys did it respectfully, as much as it was possible."
As for his priorities, Queiroz explained: "My goal is to work hard on these innovative solutions in order to be the best team in Asia. We cannot challenge the competitive environment of Europe or South America if we're not one of the best teams in Asia. That's our first step."