Fernando Santos has quit as Portugal's coach

Fernando Santos quits as Portugal coach; Jose Mourinho to succeed

Fernando Santos has quit as Portugal’s coach after his team’s dismal performance in the World Cup, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) confirmed. The 68-year-old departs in the wake of a World Cup quarter-final defeat to Morocco, a frustrating end to a terrific spell in charge that saw him lead Portugal to multiple titles.

The FPF said, “After one of the best participations ever by the national team in the final stages of the World Cup…FPF and Fernando Santos understand this is the right moment to start a new cycle.” The move comes in wake of huge criticism surrounding the coach’s controversial move to bench Cristiano Ronaldo in the FIFA World Cup quarterfinal clash against Morocco.

Santos, who was heavily criticised for his defensive tactics, became one of the most successful coaches in Portugal’s history, winning the UEFA Euro 2016 and UEFA Nations League in 2019.

The FPF further added, “In addition to the titles won, Fernando Santos became the coach with the most games and most victories. It was an honour to have a coach and a person like Fernando Santos as the head of the national team.”

Additionally, Jose Mourinho, the current coach of AS Roma, is rumoured to be approached for the high-profile job. Will the “Special One” be able to break the jinx and finally help Portugal lift the World Cup trophy?