Carlos Queiroz Speaks His Mind, “Reputation of the game in general was lost in today’s game”

( – Like many heartbroken Team Melli fans, the Iranian head coach, Carlos Queiroz had trouble sleeping after Iran’s devastating loss to Iraq in the quarter finals of the 2015 Asian Cup. In true form, Iran’s skipper conducted an unscheduled interview at 3am local time lasting more than 40 minutes. You can watch the full video at the end of the article but here are some key outtakes where Queiroz let’s everyone know his feelings without holding anything back.

Interviewer: What do you think about the game today?

Carlos Queiroz: The game was in our hand until the 42nd minute, until a very difficult decision… difficult to understand by the referee, brought us down one man to 10 players and after that it was very difficult to play and keep up the same intensity. Anyways, we answered by moving attacking players to the front line, we reversed the result by putting in Gucci, Jahanbakhsh, and Amiri but unfortunately we were unlucky in the penalties.

Personally I am very proud and very happy to coach the Iranian national team and could not any more proud of the players. As a coach of many years I have never been this proud of a group of players like I was today. I want to say to the Iranian fans that you deserved better than today. But considering the many difficulties that face the players in the build-up to this competition the fans should be proud of these players.

Interviewer: Wasn’t the selection of Ben Williams strange after the problems we had with him the first match?

Carlos Queiroz: Unfortunately any single comment I make in regards to this referee is considered insulting to the referee by the AFC (Asian Football Confederation). If I really express my feelings after seeing my players crying, I’m sure I will finish my career as a head coach here in Australia and I hope Iranian fans understand why I can’t say any more about the referee. Unfortunately the AFC is a type of organization that will do this to me, because of this I can’t even say what I want to say and I can only hope the press follows up and keeps the pressure.

I believe that there is some work to do here and I think it has to be done by the federation as I can’t do it alone. It was not only the Iranian fans that were damaged by the referee and what happened, it is also the reputation of the game that was lost in today’s game.

Interviewer: Other than the problems with the built up to the tournament, what did we lack technically in the team?

Carlos Queiroz: We didn’t have that many games to prepare and the commitment from the players in a short period of time is amazing. We had a disciplined and organized team. In comparison to the game today, Iraq had 10 friendly games; we only had 2. We’re not talking about Japan, UAE; Iraq had 10 friendly games. They have played 20 more games than Team Melli since 2011. Even with this, we were a better team and unfortunately because of one decision that I can’t comment on, the game was taken away from us.

Imagine if our young players like Jahanbakhsh, Azmoun, or Amiri had 10 or 15 caps under their belt. I compared Iraq’s players to our players, and their young players already have 20 to 30 caps where our players have 2 or 3 caps.

It is time for Iran to invest in these young players that we have brought to the team and for them to do what we in football call “work”, not “luck” as some so called experts call it when we win our games.

Interviewer: Some viewers or experts say we don’t play beautiful football, all our best players are in defense and we can’t play more offensive?

Carlos Queiroz: I never see those experts talk about the league’s games being beautiful football. I only see them make those comments when they see Barcelona play. I remember reading the press, 90% of the press were negative in regards to the last Perspolis Esteghlal game, how can you make a comment about Team Melli playing beautiful football when a beautiful game starts at the league level?

Interviewer: Is this our form to give up possession and play counterattack?

Carlos Queiroz: We have a reality to deal with and have players that play to a certain standard. If you have Messi or other players they can add a new element. Every player has a certain style of play and we play to our style of play. They also don’t have our players and our style of players. I’ve been in Iran for 4 years, and in Iran there are still people praising and crying for players like Ali Daei or Mahdavikia. It’s time for Iran to praise new players like Jahanbakhsh, Haghighi, or Soroush.

The most important thing and I don’t have a problem telling this to the experts in front of their face, some of these so called experts are complete hypocrites. When they criticize our team they don’t talk about the lack of support. Give me 14 friendlies like UAE had and I will promise a much better result. This is exactly what experts call luck, the UAE team has been playing together since they were 16 and played fourteen times this year. This is not luck, this is preparation. When I see comments from so called experts, I know they have a hidden agenda but the Iranian fans are smart; they know the story. One thing it is clear, this hypocrisy will not help football in Iran.

Watch the full Interview Here