Kranjcar Assigned to Lead U-23 Nat’l Football Team

Kranjcar Assigned to Lead U-23 Nat’l Football TeamKranjcar Assigned to Lead U-23 Nat’l Football Team

Croatian Manager Zlatko Kranjcar has been selected as the manager of the national U-23 football team of Iran.

The ex-manager of Persepolis and Sepahan FC was announced as the new head coach of the team on Monday, IRNA reported.

Iran U-23 team (also known as Iran Olympic team) represents Iran in the Olympic Games, Asian Games and the AFC U-22 Asian Cup, as well as any other under-23 international football tournaments. It is controlled by Iran Football Federation. The team has not qualified for the Olympic Games in the past 40 years.

Kranjcar, 61, has won the title of Persian Gulf Pro League with Sepahan in the 2011-12 season as well as Hazfi Cup in 2012-13.

After winning the Pro League title, he was selected as the Manager of the Year in 2012 and also won the Iran Football Federation Award Coach of the Season for 2012-13 campaign.

His first appearance on Iran’s football scene was with Persepolis in 2009 where he was sacked after a few weeks and shortened his contract from a two-year tie down to a season-ending deal.

During his 27-year management career, he has managed 24 teams and Iran U-23 makes his 25th team as the head coach.

As the manager of Dinamo Zagreb, Kranjcar took the team to the second spot of Croatian First League twice in 1995-96 and 1997-98 seasons, while winning the Croatian Cup twice in 1996 and 1998.

In the 2001-02 season at the Croatian First League, he rocketed NK Zagreb team to the first place.

Now it is time to see whether he can break the 40-year spell of Iran U-23 team not qualifying for the Olympic Games.

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