Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Queiroz Banks on Three Rs to Get Revenge on Ronaldo

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Queiroz Banks on Three Rs to Get Revenge on Ronaldo

Article excerpt

Byline: IRAN v PORTUGAL (Saransk, today, 7pm, BBC4) Dan Kilpatrick in Moscow

IRAN coach Carlos Queiroz will put friendships, feuds and patriotism aside for tonight's Group B decider against Portugal.

Victory over Cristiano Ronaldo and Co in Saransk would take Iran to the World Cup knockout stages for the first time and Queiroz said: "In Portugal, we have a saying: friends are friends but football aside."

The former Manchester United assistant-manager coached Portugal at the 2010 World Cup, where Ronaldo pinned the blame for their last-16 defeat to Spain on his former mentor at Old Trafford.

The Mozambique-born Portuguese national has also been friends with current Portugal coach Fernando Santos for more than three decades, but only an Iran victory matters for him tonight. "We're friends but everyone is going to try to win," said Queiroz. "It will be difficult because Fernando comes with very strong animals and they can bite quite hard."

He said his team's approach would be based on the three Rs: respect, realism and romanticism.

"The respect we have for our opponents," he explained. "Realism because we're playing against one of the strongest teams in the world. But the third R is romanticism. We have to base our values on team values: sacrifice, work, braveness, commitment, honesty, integrity. The main leader of our team is the team itself."

As Sir Alex Ferguson's No2, Queiroz played a key role in the signing of Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 and helped the teenager to settle in Manchester on and off the pitch. They were once so close that United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy referred to their relationship as like a father and son.

But asked for an explanation for Portugal's 1-0 defeat to their Iberian neighbours in Cape Town eight years ago, a furious Ronaldo said: "Ask Carlos Queiroz."

In 2014, Quieroz admitted he still felt Ronaldo's behaviour was unbecoming of a national team captain. …

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