Queiroz has won several awards as a coach in junior levels, and has been successful at senior and club levels, mainly as Alex Ferguson's assistant manager. In 1998, he authored the Q-Report, which detailed plans to enhance football player development in the United States.
Queiroz is the longest serving manager in the history of the Iran national football team after serving for over six years from his appointment in 2011. He is the only manager in the country's history who has led the national team to two World Cups and also the first manager to lead the national team to consecutive World Cups.
Born in Nampula, Portuguese Mozambique, to Portuguese parents, Queiroz had an undistinguished professional career as a football player, playing as a goalkeeper in Mozambique before turning to management. He moved to Portugal following Portugal's Carnation Revolution on 25 April 1974, and Mozambique's declaration of independence in 1975. Queiroz is a graduate of the University of Windsor. He coached the Portuguese under-20 side to two Football World Youth Championship wins, in the 1989 and 1991 tournaments.
In 1984, Queiroz was appointed as assistant manager of Estoril-Praia. After that, Queiroz was appointed senior national team coach in 1991. He had a record of 14 wins in 31 matches. Afterwards, he went on to manage the Portuguese SuperLiga team Sporting in 1994.
He subsequently coached the New York MetroStars in the United States and the Japanese team, Nagoya Grampus Eight. In between, he found time to author the "Q-Report", detailing plans to professionalize the development of football players in the United States. Queiroz returned to coaching national teams in 1999, when he took the job as coach of the United Arab Emirates, before becoming coach of South Africa in 2000. Under Queiroz, South Africa qualified for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, but Queiroz resigned before the finals after falling out with the South African Football Association. Queiroz was part of FIFA XI coaching staff, alongside Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira, in a humanitarian friendly match played in war-torn Sarajevo versus Bosnia-Herzegovina on 25 April 2000.
Queiroz became a coach at English club Manchester United in June 2002. He began his work at the start of the 2002–03 season, working alongside Alex Ferguson, who had gone without an assistant manager since the departure of Steve McClaren in the middle of 2001.
Queiroz's position at Manchester United as assistant manager attracted the attention of Real Madrid, who wanted Queiroz as their manager to replace departing manager Vicente del Bosque in the summer of 2003. It was an opportunity to work with FIFA World Player of the Year award winners Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and Luís Figo; an opportunity which Queiroz was unable to turn down. He was appointed on a two-year contract, only a week after the arrival of Manchester United player David Beckham. Although Real Madrid were playing some of their best football in recent years, some argue that Queiroz failed at Madrid because of his tactical decisions.
Real Madrid got off to a good start of the 2003–04 season, defeating Mallorca in the Spanish Supercup. By mid-season, the team topped the La Liga table and was in contention for the Spanish Cup and UEFA Champions League trophies. However, they lost their final five matches and finished in fourth place, with Valencia winning the title. Real Madrid also disappointed in the Spanish Cup and Champions League, ending the season with Spanish Supercup as the only trophy won. Following 10 months at Real Madrid, Queiroz joined the long list of managerial failures at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, as he was sacked in May 2004.
Reforming the old partnership with Alex Ferguson proved an attractive option to both sides. United had trailed 15 points behind Arsenal, and Ferguson was forced to bring in temporary help from Walter Smith during the tough end of season run-in. Subsequently, Queiroz returned to United as assistant manager on 1 July 2004, signing a three-year deal.
Queiroz was heavily rumoured to be one of the main reasons for team captain Roy Keane's departure from Manchester United in November 2005. According to Keane, he did not like the way Queiroz was given so much responsibility as if he were manager of the club and Keane did not like the tactics that Queiroz employed. One of the main outbursts of Keane's MUTV interview was aimed directly at Queiroz.
Queiroz was linked with managerial roles with Portuguese side Benfica and the United States national team in 2006 but he remained with Manchester United to help them win the Premier League in 2007. Queiroz was often seen conducting interviews with BBC programmes, such as Match of the Day, as at the time Alex Ferguson refused to speak with the BBC after allegations by the BBC's Panorama programme that Ferguson's younger son Jason, and then Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp, had been involved in corruption regarding cuts in transfer fees. Some of Queiroz's post-match opinions on refereeing were controversial. For example, in 2008 Queiroz was – unsuccessfully – charged with improper conduct by the Football Association after describing referee Martin Atkinson's performance in a match as "a disgrace".
In late March 2008, it was reported that Benfica had, once again, approached Queiroz to become their manager and had made a formal request to Manchester United. United were heavily involved in the 2007–08 Premier League title race, five points clear at the top, with just seven games remaining, and also were still competing in the Champions League – being in the quarter-finals at the time of the enquiry. Queiroz did not make any public response to the approach.
Following Benfica's approach, and amid rumors of an opening as the Portuguese national coach, Alex Ferguson started to push for Queiroz to be his successor as manager at Old Trafford and discouraged any possible suitors from approaching him. However, rumours over the summer of 2008 continued to link Queiroz with the Portugal national team managers' role, following the departure of Luiz Felipe Scolari. On 11 July 2008, Manchester United agreed to release Queiroz from his contract, and he was appointed manager for the Portuguese national team.
On 11 July 2008, it was announced that Queiroz was leaving Manchester United, having agreed to a four-year contract to become the head coach of the Portuguese national team.
Portugal struggled under his management during the qualification for the World Cup 2010. Despite kick starting their World Cup Qualification campaign with a comfortable 4–0 win against Malta in Ta Qali', Queiroz's team failed to win any of their subsequent four matches.
Home form was poor, with a 3–2 defeat to Denmark followed by 0–0 draws against Albania and Sweden. Together with another goalless draw in Stockholm against Sweden, these results left Portugal with only 6 points out of a possible 15 and on the brink of missing a major international tournament for the first time since 1998. Building on an improving reliability in defence, Portugal defeated Albania in Tirana 2–1 with a late goal, tied 1–1 versus Denmark on 5 September, beat Hungary 1–0 and again 3–0 in the return match, and finally defeated Malta 4–0. These results, together with a defeat of Sweden to Denmark, enabled Portugal to finish the campaign second in the group with 19 points, one ahead of Sweden, and qualify for the UEFA play-off. They played Bosnia and Herzegovina in home and away legs. Portugal won 1–0 in Lisbon and followed up with a 1–0 victory in Zenica, Bosnia, and as a result they advanced to the finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
At the World Cup, Portugal drew 0–0 with Côte d'Ivoire but then beat North Korea 7–0, the heaviest victory in the World Cup since Germany's 8–0 defeat of Saudi Arabia in 2002. This rout virtually guaranteed Portugal passage to the second round and a second goalless draw with Brazil confirmed qualification. In the second round they lost to Spain 1–0 and were knocked out having failed to score in three of their four World Cup matches.
Queiroz was sacked by the Portuguese Football Federation on 9 September 2010. He was also suspended for six months by the Portuguese Anti-Doping Authority (Autoridade Antidopagem de Portugal) on 30 August. On 23 March 2011, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the appeal of Queiroz.
On 4 April 2011, Queiroz agreed to a two-and-a-half-year deal to coach the Iran national football team until the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil alongside goalkeeping coach Dan Gaspar and assistant coach Omid Namazi.
Since Queiroz's role as manager of the Iran national team, he has been renowned for introducing players from the Iranian diaspora to the national squad. These players include German Iranians Daniel Davari and Ashkan Dejagah, Dutch Iranian Reza Ghoochannejhad, Swedish Iranians Omid Nazari and Saman Ghoddos, and Iranian American Steven Beitashour among others.
Iran, under Queiroz, began their World Cup qualification campaign successfully, defeating the Maldives 4–0 in the first leg of their second round of qualifiers. After winning 5–0 on aggregate, Iran advanced to the third round of qualifiers, where they were drawn with Indonesia, Qatar and Bahrain. Iran highlighted their position at the top of their group by defeating Bahrain 6–0 at home in the Azadi Stadium, as well as inviting former German youth international, Ashkan Dejagah, who scored twice on his debut against Qatar. After a 4–1 win at Indonesia, Iran qualified for the final round of direct qualifiers, the fourth round. In the fourth round, Iran was drawn with South Korea, Qatar, Uzbekistan, and Lebanon in their group. Queiroz made new foreign-based additions to his squad, adding players such as Reza Ghoochannejhad to his team. Iran started their fourth round of Asian qualifiers with a 1–0 win in Uzbekistan. Team Melli then drew Qatar and lost in Lebanon before defeating South Korea at the Azadi on 16 October with a goal from captain Javad Nekounam. After a 1–0 loss in Tehran against Uzbekistan, Iran defeated Qatar 1–0 in Doha and Lebanon 4–0 at home. In their last qualification match, Iran defeated South Korea 1–0 in Ulsan Munsu with a goal from European-based Ghoochannejhad, resulting in their qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup as group winners with 16 points. Thus, Iran became the third team that Queiroz has managed to qualify for the World Cup, having reached the 2002 edition with South Africa and the 2010 edition with Portugal, leading the latter to a knockout stage finish.
Iran qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup as group winners and competed in Group F alongside Argentina, Nigeria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 1 June 2014, Queiroz announced his 23-man squad. Prior to the tournament, they founded the Central Asian Football Association.
In the opening match of the tournament on 16 June, Iran drew Nigeria 0–0, making it their first clean sheet of the FIFA World Cup. In their next match, Iran was defeated by Argentina 1–0 with a late goal from Lionel Messi, and received praise after holding Argentina for 90 minutes while creating some attacking opportunities of their own. Iran was eliminated from the tournament in their next game, a 3–1 defeat to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Iran's lone goal was scored by Reza Ghoochannejhad. After the tournament, Queiroz extended his contract until the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Iran continued their winning streak after 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, securing qualification to the 2015 Asian Cup months later as the highest ranked seed. Iran qualified for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup as group winners, where they were the highest ranked seed. Iran faced Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE in Group C.
With the second highest number of fans in the tournament after hosts Australia, the Iranians defeated Bahrain 2–0 with limited preparations. A defensive minded Iran then defeated Qatar 1–0 thanks to a Sardar Azmoun goal before defeating the UAE by the same scoreline to reach the top of their group.
In the quarter-finals Iran faced underdog Iraq, who they had beaten weeks prior in a friendly match. Having received a controversial red card in the first half from referee Ben Williams, Iran led a valiant effort with ten men, scoring two goals late in extra time to draw the match 3–3. In the ensuing penalty shootout, Iran lost 7–6 in sudden death.
Iran began their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign with friendly matches against Chile and Sweden in March 2015. Queiroz resigned from his managerial post thereafter due to disagreements with the Iranian Football Federation. On 14 April 2015, Iran were drawn with Oman, India, Turkmenistan, and Guam in the second round of qualifiers.
On 26 April, Queiroz announced that he will continue as the manager of Iran for their 2018 World Cup campaign. Iran ended their second round qualifying with a 4–0 victory against India and a 2–0 win against Oman. Iran finished top of the group with 20 points from eight games, Queiroz and his team managed to avoid defeat and remain unbeaten in the second round of World Cup qualifying. Iran was placed in Pot 1 alongside Australia for the draw of the third round of World Cup qualifying. They drew with South Korea, Uzbekistan, Qatar, China and Syria. With two games remaining, Iran qualified to the World Cup with defeating Uzbekistan at Azadi Stadium. They became third team to qualify to the World Cup after host Russia and Brazil.
Prior to the final 2014 World Cup qualification match against South Korea, Queiroz was angered by the comment made from Choi Kang-Hee, the coach of South Korea, who complained that Iran did not provide the training facilities with sufficient qualities during Korea's away qualification match against Iran on 17 October 2012. Choi stated that Korea would defeat Iran to help Uzbekistan qualify for the World Cup finals with Korea, and that Iran would have to watch the World Cup on television. The South Korean team also pledged to “make life painful” for Iran and to force their captain to cry “tears of blood”. In response, Queiroz severely criticized Choi in his official comments and by wearing an affronting T-shirt.
After Iran's victory against South Korea in their final qualification match, Queiroz showed his anger at the South Korean coach with a raised fist gesture which was deemed offensive by the Korean players and staff, almost causing a fight between the two teams. As a result of the altercations, Sosha Makani was suspended for their opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Queiroz had answered previously to Choi that Iran had fairly shared what they had with the Korean team on their visit to Iran.As of 5 September 2017
Taça de Portugal: 1994–95
Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 1995
Nagoya Grampus Eight
Asian Cup Winners' Cup: Runner-up 1996–97
Supercopa de España: 2003
FIFA World Youth Championship: 1989, 1991
European Under-16 Championship: 1989