Portugal manager, Fernando Santos has been sacked after their World Cup quarter-final defeat against Morocco on 10th December. Santos, who had been managing Cristiano Ronaldo and co. from October 2014 was contracted until Euro 2014.
Besides, the 68-year-old had shown his intentions to guide the side until after Euro 2024 even though there had been a lot of speculations he will step down from his role following the World Cup exit.
The Portuguese Football Federation released a statement on Thursday, 15th December, announcing Santos’ departure from the national team. The statement (translated) read,
“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.”
Santos made headlines after keeping Ronaldo on the bench in the round-of-16 match against Switzerland, however, ultimately critics praised his move as Ronaldo’s replacement, Goncalo Ramos hit the first and the only hat-trick of World Cup 2016 in Portugal’s 6-1 win.
Again, in the quarter-final match against Morocco, Santos put Ronaldo out of the starting XI, however, this time Portugal’s tactic didn’t do well against stubborn Morocco who defended the 1-goal lead they took in the first half. Portugal, on the other hand, with a vastly talented and experienced squad was unable to find the net once in the match.
As a coach, Santos lead the Portuguese team to its first major international trophy; Euro Cup in 2016. And three years later, Portugal went on to win the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019.