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De Sa gets new job in Iran, outlines World Cup plans

14:35 GMT+3 11/09/2022
Roger De Sa, Carlos Queiroz, Egypt, January 2022
The former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper has a new team after leaving his post as Egypt assistant coach

Roger de Sa has confirmed his new job as Iran assistant coach to Carlos Queiroz.

A few days after being appointed Iran coach Queiroz, the Portuguese has recruited De Sa who was his goalkeeper coach during his Bafana Bafana days, before the two worked together in the Egypt national team more recently.

De Sa has already revealed his plans in their new job as they prepare for the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

“Wednesday and Thursday we start training with the team,” De Sa said in a statement.

“Saturday we train again, and then we fly to Austria where we play Uruguay and Senegal. We return to Iran where we continue the scouting process with the team.

“These two games will give us a good idea. I may fly to Europe to watch some of the players with their clubs, and we will probably train in Dubai for a week before we go to Qatar.

“Once you qualify for the World Cup you give yourself a realistic chance, and with the tournament being held in Qatar, it evens it out a bit more because you are not playing in Europe, you are not playing in South America, so it’s almost a neutral venue.

“The heat and humidity will be a challenge for many of the players in the tournament. We have a short time to prepare, not ideal, ideally, we would have been there for a year but Carlos knows the team and the players know him, as he coached them in the last two World Cups.”

Queiroz and De Sa led Mohamed Salah’s Egypt to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year although the Pharaohs failed to qualify for the World Cup.

“We had a nine-month gig there. When we were called in to work with Egypt they were out of the top twenty in Africa, which is unusual for a country like Egypt, so they were struggling and we managed to get some good results early on,” added De Sa.

“We made it to the final of the Afcon, beating a lot of top teams to reach the final, which we lost to Senegal on a penalty shootout. We over-achieved in the Cup of Nations; by the time we finished we were fourth or fifth in Africa.

“We beat Morocco, Ivory Coast and Cameroon, the host team. The World Cup qualifier we, unfortunately, lost again to Senegal in a penalty shootout. Our goal was to qualify for the World Cup, which we did not achieve. We have left a good vibe in Egypt but I could not commit long-term to stay there.

“When I become a coach, priority number one is that I am a human being and so is the player – that is number one. I think Carlos is the same. Many coaches forget that, I think. I will be their coach for a year or two maybe, but we can be friends until we die.”

In returning to the Iran job, Queiroz replaced Croat Dragan Skocic, who had helped the team qualify for the World Cup.