Portugal legend Santos leaves manager’s job after shock World Cup exit
Fernando Santos has left his job as Portugal manager after his country’s shock World Cup defeat at the hands of Morocco.
A statement released on Thursday evening confirmed the mutual decision for the 68-year-old to depart after over eight years in charge.
Former Greece boss Santos joined in September 2014 and led Portugal to an historic European Championship triumph within two years of his appointment, famously defeating France in the Euro 2016 final.
The Selecao also lifted the 2019 Nations League title under the manager but fell in the last-16 at both the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020.
A falling out with Cristiano Ronaldo overshadowed Portugal’s run to the quarter-finals in Qatar, which ended with a 1-0 defeat to Morocco.
The side is now set for a transition period with a new generation of stars such as Rafael Leao, Diogo Costa and Goncalo Ramos set to take centre stage.
A Portugal FA (FPF) statement read: “After one of the best-ever runs by the national team in the World Cup knockouts in Qatar, the FPF and Fernando Santos understand that this is the right moment to start a new cycle.
“In addition to the titles won, Fernando Santos became our coach with the most games and most victories. It was an honour to have a coach and a person like Fernando Santos at the head of the national team.
“The FPF thanks Fernando Santos and his technical staff 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.”