Santos, 68, assumed leadership in 2014. Led Portugal to their first-ever senior international championship when they defeated France in the Euro 2016 championship game. The Seleccao won the 2019 UEFA Nations League title under the direction of the former Greece national team manager.
Santos benching Cristiano Ronaldo
Santos made the audacious decision to remove Ronaldo from his starting lineup following the competition’s group stage. While that strategy initially succeeded, with substitute, Gonzalo Ramos scoring a hat-trick in a 6-1 victory over Switzerland. The Seleccao lacked a competitive edge against their African opponent in the following round.
Santos’s long-term viability was significantly questioned as soon as Morocco eliminated them from the World Cup.
FPF Statement on Fernando Santos Sacked News
His time in Qatar came to an end in despair after a shocking 1-0 loss to Morocco. His contract covered the 2024 European Championship.
According to a statement from the FPF, “The Portuguese Football Federation and Fernando Santos agreed to stop the extremely successful voyage that began in September 2014.”
“FPF and Fernando Santos recognize that this is the appropriate time to begin a new cycle. After one of the best performances by the National Team ever in the World Cup finals in Qatar.
“The process of selecting the next national coach will now be started by the FPF Board.”
Santos’ Message after the quarterfinal loss
Santos described coaching Portugal as a “dream come true” and a “life goal” he had achieved in an emotional video message.
“You have to make some tough judgments when you manage people,” he continued. It’s understandable that not everyone agreed with my judgments, but I always considered what would be best for our team when I made them.
Potential replacement after Santos’ Exit
Several Portuguese media sites claimed that candidates like Lille manager Paulo Fonseca, national Under-21 coach Rui Jorge, and AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho were being evaluated as potential replacements.
Mourinho landed earlier on Thursday in southern Portugal. Where aS Roma will play three friendlies, but he chose to remain mum when asked about Santos’s replacement by the media.
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