Marc Wilmots is Iran’s new national team manager.
The rumour that has been going around in the past 10 days has been materialized, as the 50 year old Belgian agreed terms (reportedly for $1.5m a year for three years) with the Iranian Football Federation for the Team Melli job.
After Carlos Queiroz’s great nine year tenure in charge, Iran looked for a new gaffer since the end of the 2019 Asian Cup in the UAE. Plenty of names have been circulating. Herve Renard, Morocco’s French coach, as well as Slaven Bilić and Alexander Nouri. Eventually, the IFF decided to go on the conservative option in a coach that is known for his unattractive style of play and problematic man-management relations.
Wilmots is an unpopular choice among Iranian football experts, and for the majority of fans as well, as his record speak for itself. His coaching history includes a below average period with one of the most talented teams in the world - Belgium, and a failure to qualify to the 2018 World Cup with the Ivory Coast.
With that being said, Wilmots can add some experience to this talented Iranian generation. He dealt with superstars, he managed in two different continents, and it could offer a fresh start for the Iranians. Besides, almost any choice after Queiroz would have been a ‘mental downfall’, unless it was a more prominent name. In that case, worldwide, Wilmots has more credibility than Renard or Nouri.
All in all, Wilmots starts his time as Iran’s coach with a huge question mark and mixed emotions of fans around his signature. As football is unpredictable as it gets, it will be tested in the results the Belgian will produce in the long run.
A new era starts in the best football nation in Asia.