Carlos Queiroz takes over Colombian national team

The former Real Madrid coach comes in to fill the vacancy left by Jose Pekerman following the side's exit from last summer's World Cup.

Carlos Queiroz en su presentación como nuevo técnico de la Selección Colombia en 2019

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

Queiroz into Colombia role

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 away to Japan on March 22.