End Of An Era As Portugal Sack Coach Fernando Santos After 2022 World Cup Exit.

Fernando Santos,  international games are in MarcheFrnando Santos, has been sacked as coach of the Portugal's national team with immediate effect following the team’s quarter-final exit at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

A new era is set to begin for Portugal after the FPF (Portuguese Football Federation) parted ways with long-time head coach Santos who has been in charge of the team for eight years.

The manager had enjoyed success with the national side guiding them through their greatest period, as he helped them win the trophy at Euro 2016 in France, just two years after he was appointed, he also won the inaugural 2019 UEFA Nations League which are the country's only major trophies till date.

Portugal were one of the favourites to win the competition in Qatar but were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Atlas Lions of Morocco.

Portugal won two of their group games as they beat Ghana and Uruguay, although they did lose to South Korea in their last group game.

Santos made headlines after dropping superstar Cristiano Ronaldo for the last 16 match with Switzerland after his antics in the 2-1 loss to South Korea, but his decision proved inspired as replacement Goncalo Ramos bagged a hat-trick in the 6-1 win.

As if that wasn't enough, the 68-year-old coach also dropped Ronaldo to the bench again in their quarter-final clash against Morocco, but the time the European country was unlucky as they were beaten 1-0.

The 37-year-old star Ronaldo who is currently clubless after his contract was ended at Man United, has made five appearances at World Cups over 16 years and is Portugal's record scorer and greatest ever player.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Portuguese Football Federation said it was the “right moment” to start a new cycle.
“The FPF thanks Fernando Santos and his technical team for the services provided over eight unique years and believes that this thanks is also made on behalf of the Portuguese people.
“The FPF Board will now begin the process of choosing the next national coach."

According to reports, former Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is the Portugal chiefs’ favourite to take over the job.

The Portuguese FA would like to have the current Roma boss in position well before their next match.

However, due to his commitments at the Serie A club, an arrangement would need to be agreed upon.

It is believed that Portugal chiefs are prepared to let Mourinho work BOTH roles should Roma agree to the arrangement.

READ MORE: Guardiola, Ancelotti, And Mourinho, Are Top Candidates To Become The Next Brazil Manager After Tite's Departure.

Another candidate for the role is LOSL Lille’s Paulo Fonseca who snubbed the a job to become Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers boss in October

Fonseca in particular is said to be desired due to his track record of promoting young players as well as his style of play, which would bode well for Portugal given the wealth of young talent currently in the player pool.

Should Mourinho or Fonseca replace Santos, one of their first tasks will be to decide the future of Cristiano Ronaldo in the national team.

Reports claim that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is not planning to retire from international duty and sees himself leading the line at the next Euros.

The qualifying campaign for Euro 2024 starts on March 23 next year as Portugal take on Liechtenstein.

Their qualifying campaign for Euro 2024, at least, appears straightforward. In Group J its opponents are Bosnia, Iceland, Slovakia, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

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