After eight years in charge, Fernando Santos has resigned as Portugal’s head coach in the wake of his team’s elimination from the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Portugal’s search for their first world championship was extended by at least another four years after they were defeated by underdogs Morocco in the round of eight.
“Fernando Santos and the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) have decided to stop their incredibly successful journey, which started in September 2014,” according to an official statement released by the FPF on Thursday.
“FPF and Fernando Santos understand that this is the appropriate time to begin a new cycle after Portugal’s exit from FIFA World Cup.”
“Fernando Santos became the coach with the most games and victories [in the history of the squad] in addition to the titles won. It was a privilege to have Fernando Santos as the National Team’s coach and leader.”
“The FPF appreciates Fernando Santos and his technical staff for their eight-year contributions. This appreciation is also on behalf of the Portuguese people.”
“The FPF Board will now start the process of selecting the next national coach.”
🚨 𝗢𝗙𝗙𝗜𝗖𝗜𝗔𝗟: Portugal have announced that Fernando Santos has left his position as head coach. 🇵🇹
(🎥 @selecaoportugal) pic.twitter.com/ONWeWyT543
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) December 15, 2022
Fernando Santos’s tenure as Portugal’s manager
Santos formerly served as manager of the Greek national team, Sporting CP, Benfica, and Porto before taking over as Portugal’s coach after the 2014 World Cup.
After winning just one game during regulation time, Santos’ Portugal defeated the French team in the final to win Euro 2016 in France.
At the first tournament with 24 countries, Portugal finished third in their group with three draws but went to the knockout rounds as one of the top third-place teams. They then defeated Wales, Poland on penalties, Croatia in extra time, and France in extra time by a score of 1-0.
OFFICIAL: Fernando Santos has stepped down as Portugal head coach:
◉ 109 games
◉ 226 goals
◉ 67 wins
◉ 2 trophies
The only manager in the nation's history to win an international tournament. 🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/WSHQ68HC70
— Squawka (@Squawka) December 15, 2022
Portugal was eliminated from the World Cup in Russia in the round of 16 after losing to Uruguay 2-1.
Portugal defeated Netherlands 1-0 to win the Nations League title on home soil in Porto a year later.
During his 109 games in charge of Portugal, Santos had a 67-win record. His team amassed 226 goals and two trophies as a result.
The 68-year-old is the only manager in the country’s history to have triumphed in a major competition. He won the European Championship in 2016 and the first season of the UEFA Nations League in 2019.