Carlos Queiroz appointed Colombia coach

Colombia has appointed former Portugal and Real Madrid boss Carlos Queiroz as their new head coach. (Reuters pic)

BOGOTA: Colombia has appointed former Portugal and Real Madrid boss Carlos Queiroz as their new head coach.

Queiroz, who was unveiled at a news conference in Bogota on Thursday, replaces Jose Pekerman, who left the job after Colombia were knocked out in the last 16 of the World Cup by England on penalties in July.

Queiroz, 65, said he would hire local coaches to help him get started in the job and highlighted the importance of Colombia’s big-name players such as playmaker James Rodriguez, striker Radamel Falcao and goalkeeper David Ospina.

“These players are the core, the soul of the national team,” he told reporters. “They are an important part of my analysis and my selections.”

The well-travelled Queiroz has coached Iran, Portuguese side Sporting and South Africa, as well as serving as Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Manchester United.

His first match in charge will be a way to Japan on March 22.