Carlos Queiroz said he felt "honoured" by his appointment as the new coach of Real Madrid CF, as he was presented to the media at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday evening.
The Portuguese coach has signed a two-year deal with the Spanish champions and said: "It is an honour and a great opportunity to coach Real Madrid because this is the most successful club in the world of football and this will inspire me to try and meet the club's objectives."
Queiroz said he had spoken to Madrid's sporting director, Jorge Valdano, about the coach's position on Monday, the day of Vicente del Bosque's dismissal. "When I received a call from Jorge Valdano last Monday I felt two things. First, this was a dream for me, but I also felt a kind of reserve and respect as I didn´t know if I would be able to cope with this challenge.
I can't imagine anything bigger."
'Dedication and hard work'
Queiroz said he would make no promises, but would bring "dedication and hard work" to the role. Born in Mozambique, his coaching CV includes spells in charge of Portugal and South Africa but his most recent role was as Sir Alex Ferguson's No2 at Manchester United FC. The Old Trafford club did not stand in the way of his move and for that Queiroz said he was grateful.
Praise for Ferguson
He also had praise for Ferguson, of whom he said: "It was an honour for me to work with such a good professional and such a high-quality person. I have never met a person like this in my entire career. Thanks to him, I have this opportunity here. He gave me his permission and I´d also like to express my personal admiration for everyone at Manchester - players, directors and technical staff."
His new job will reunite Queiroz with Luis Figo, who played under him in the Portugal Under-20 team which won the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1991 and later at Sporting Clube de Portugal. "I coached him from 13 to 22. Now he is much more mature and making him a better player will be a challenge for me. I just hope he will do better with me."
Accent on youth
Given his success with Portugal's youth teams, it was no surprise to hear him stress the importance of young players, as he said: "The first team will require 25 hours of dedication a day but we also need to look at the future." Madrid president Florentino Pérez echoed this sentiment, when he said the new manager "believes in quality and in youth".
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