Fernando Santos & Fernando Gomes
Fernando Santos & Fernando Gomes with a "pandemic handshake" on the new deal (image courtesy of the FPF)

Portugal coach Fernando Santos has had his contract renewed as head coach of the Seleção until 2024.

The 65-year-old will therefore lead his team’s defence of the European Championship and the Nations League, two trophies won under Santos, making him Portugal’s most successful ever coach.

He will also be in the dugout for World Cup 2022 in Qatar and oversee qualification (at least) for Euro 2024. 

“This decision was very easy insofar as we are renewing the contract of a national team coach that is a European Champion,” said Fernando Gomes, the head of the Portuguese Football Federation.

“The results, on top of the excellent work done over these last six years, give us a guarantee that he is deserving of this new agreement. He is a person who is respected, who respects others, and above all he is a winner.”

It is curious to recall that when Fernando Santos was appointed in the wake of the sacking of Paulo Bento in 2014, the choice was far from consensual. Winning Euro 2016 instantly catapulted the veteran manager to national hero status in Portugal.

He continues to enjoy widespread support, although critics point to the team’s unambitious style of play, with many fans and analysts claiming the Seleção should play a more proactive brand of football given the lavish talent available.  

Record number of victories

Santos himself maintains the stance he has championed since Day One in the hotseat, saying winning is all that matters. And 44 wins so far in his tenure - an outright record for a Portugal national team coach - provides strong support for his football philosophy.

“It’s a great privilege for me and my coaching team to serve Portugal and Portuguese football,” said Santos. “We will always have one ambition, which is to win.”

“We know that we’re not going to be able to win everything, but we will be fighting to win everything. Since we arrived here, this is the target we set ourselves.”

by Tom Kundert

 

Comments (4)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I don’t know how I feel about this. It’s hard to argue against the past results but that doesn’t indicate future success with the younger generation of players. You have to realize that the team that won the euros was disciplined and had a very...

I don’t know how I feel about this. It’s hard to argue against the past results but that doesn’t indicate future success with the younger generation of players. You have to realize that the team that won the euros was disciplined and had a very strong core group of veterans from Pepe, Ronaldo, Fonte, Moutinho, Quaresma, Nani, Adrian Silva(not a veteran but disciplined), Ricardo Carvalho and I’m probably missing a couple more. The point of what I’m saying is that we have a generation of talent from 18-24 years old right now that most likely will not respond to the older pragmatic approach. You can point to the nations league trophy but that team had a lot of the remnants from the euro 16 team. Let’s say Santos actually lasts until 2024, Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes will only be 28-29 and Joao Felix will be 23, obviously we’ll have more stars come through by that point but our main young players now will still be in their prime when another coach takes over in 4 years. I’m not saying that Santos can’t do this job, what I’m saying is that from what I’ve seen all over the world at club level and national team level. The teams that are consistently successful are playing a more aggressive high press high intensity system, we have the guys to do that and will Santos adapt to them or will he “make” his players adapt to his style? The French, Germans, Spanish, Brazilians, Dutch, English etc are all just like us in terms of having young talent coming up through the pipeline. For example you look at Joao Felix right now, in my estimation he’s overrated and certainly not worth that money. I understand that he’s playing under a pragmatic coach himself that is stunting his growth but I’ll tell you right now that for every Joao Felix, there’s 2-3 players on these other big teams that don’t have the name recognition he has and they’re just as good as he is. I’m getting a little off topic but that’s another conversation for another day.

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I agree, commendable job and so grateful for our first senior level trophies!!! And, i think going out at the end of a cycle with many players for this coming Euros was befitting all he has done BUT moving forward for Qatar and beyond with a new...

I agree, commendable job and so grateful for our first senior level trophies!!! And, i think going out at the end of a cycle with many players for this coming Euros was befitting all he has done BUT moving forward for Qatar and beyond with a new pool of players combined with players currently that will be in their prime was prime for a more progressive tactical coach portuguese or not...makes no difference to me if we win. We have a generation that could technicaly win every level of uefa competition u17, u19 and u21 if many of then werent already being put into the senior side and i suspect many will be called up bwfore qatar 2022.

Its always hard to predict development of players, you can only base an assessment from the information available. We dont know if Trincao will succed at Barca or Leao will come good with his incredible talent or Florentino will really be the octopus they hope and so on...but based on current info...the talent pool is very bright and in-line with the other heavy hitters of world football..we can only compete if we are producing the players.

Also, like renato sanches who with a very good season at Lille and will take a step up probably after another great season showed that immense potential just doesnt go away but requires the right choices of palying style, opportunity and environment to succeed. I wrote that Bayern Munich was a poor choice over man utd in where he went not becuase of who was a better team but because of opportunity, style of play, both environments are high pressure so that is void. Even though man utd havent been at their best, he would have played and the competition at the time was non existant in midfield, and he is a player at his best with counterattacking, fast breaking teams...joao felix i said same thing, wrong team and coach for a elegant player....a guardiola type player..not simeone...this was purely money driven....mistake. Leao i also said ac milan...wrong era...terrible team...he would have been better off staying in Lille where he had a very good season or stepping up with a team that would use his gifts...bad decisions make good players bad...they are all young with time...lets hope they learn...lets hope other young stars see this and make better decisions....you think jorge mendes based on ronaldos example would put players in environments that nurture their talent....not ala Joao felix type deals....

Could go on forever...

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100% agree. Excellent post.

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He deserves it. Two Championships in 3 years with two different teams. Enough said.

His predecessor used to exclude players who were too old or players he did not like. Santos came back saying "I will pick the best player, despite age". I still...

He deserves it. Two Championships in 3 years with two different teams. Enough said.

His predecessor used to exclude players who were too old or players he did not like. Santos came back saying "I will pick the best player, despite age". I still remember when he called up Ricardo Carvalho, Tiago, and Jose Fonte (first call up at 30 yrs old). Also, he successfully integrated William Carvalho and Adrien, during the qualification phase. And, who can forget Renato Sanches during the tournament! All these players were vital in securing qualification, and victory, for Euro 2016.

Now he has been creating a new team. So far, he has successfully brought in Pizzi, Rafa, Bernardo, Dias, and Fernandes as key players, while keeping CR7 effective. I remember Portugal always had difficulty in integrating new stars, including Ronaldo. Santos was able to transition in rapid time, and he even won the Nations League!

The critics of Santos act as if Portugal is a big team like Brasil or France. Newsflash, we are not! Santos is doing the best job any manager can do.

Parabens Mister!

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