Sanchez determined to take Asian champions to next level
Kuala Lumpur: Felix Sanchez, the man who will lead FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar in their debut appearance at the tournament, is as much a father figure as he is a coach to a squad the Spaniard has shaped for well over a decade.
Appointed as national team coach in 2017 to replace Uruguayan Jorge Fossati, Sanchez’s association with football in the Gulf state stretches back to his arrival at the Aspire Academy in 2006 from Barcelona.
Queiroz primed to guide IR Iran into untravelled territory
Kuala Lumpur: Carlos Queiroz’s return to the helm of the Islamic Republic of Iran may have come late in the day, but the former Real Madrid head coach’s influence has already been felt within a team that has become synonymous with the Portuguese tactician.
Team Melli and Queiroz have become entwined with one another over the last decade, the 69-year-old leading the Iranians to the FIFA World Cup Finals in both 2014 and 2018 as he forged a unique bond with one of Asia’s leading footballing nations.
Korea Republic's Bento raring to face unique challenge
Kuala Lumpur: Paulo Bento will take Korea Republic to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 looking to overcome his own disappointing memories of a previous tournament while taking on his homeland in the group phase in a highly personal clash.
Capped 35 times as a player for Portugal, the former midfielder experienced reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2000 with his nation while claiming the Portuguese league title with Sporting before taking over as an academy coach at the Lisbon-based club in 2004.
Kuala Lumpur: Hajime Moriyasu overcame doubts about his tenure midway through the qualifiers to steer Japan to Qatar 2022 and maintain his nation’s record of qualifying for the Finals every time since the Samurai Blue made their FIFA World Cup debut in France in 1998.
The 54-year-old’s time in charge looked destined to end when, after losses against Oman and Saudi Arabia in their first three games of the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar™, the calls for a new head coach were growing louder by the day.
Arnold's opportunity to chart new course for Australia
Sydney: Graham Arnold will not be appearing at his first FIFA World Cup when he leads Australia out for their opening game in Qatar 2022 against defending champions France on November 22, but the former striker will finally be the man calling the shots for the Socceroos.
The 59-year-old has been present at the tournament in the past, working as an assistant alongside Guus Hiddink in 2006 when the Australians reached the knockout stage before also serving as deputy to Pim Verbeek in South Africa four years later.
But this time will be different for the former Sydney FC and Vegalta Sendai coach as he makes the decisions that will determine Australia’s fate at the game’s greatest event.
Kuala Lumpur: With less than two weeks to go until the kick-off of the FIFA World Cup™ Qatar 2022, the-AFC.com continues its look back at how the Asian teams have performed at the global showpiece over the years.
Four years ago, Russia 2018 marked the first time the Asian Football Confederation had five representatives as Australia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Korea Republic and Saudi Arabia all advanced to the 2018 edition.
And it was to be a campaign that produced a number of memorable moments, from Son Heung-min eliminating Germany to Alireza Beiranvand denying Cristiano Ronaldo and much more.