Fernando Santos appointed Portugal coach

Fernando Santos appointed Portugal coach

The Portuguese Football Federation has announced that Fernando Santos has been appointed the new Seleção coach. The 59-year-old will be officially presented in a press conference in Lisbon on Wednesday.

Santos is one of a select group of managers who has coached Portugal's three major clubs, FC Porto, Benfica and Sporting, leading the Dragons to a championship triumph in 1998/99.

He has spent much of his career in Greece where he coached AEK Athens, Panathinaikos and PAOK before taking the reins of the Greek national team. He achieved notable success as Greece coach, qualifying the nation for Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup, reaching the knockout stages of the tournaments on both occasions.

One black mark on his career as Greece manager was a sending-off from the dugout in the country's final World Cup match, which ended in defeat to Costa Rica, leading to an 8-game suspension imposed by FIFA. Santos protested vehemently against the heavy punishment and the outcome of his appeal is expected to be released this week.

In any event, Santos appears set to be forbidden from sitting in the dugout for a substantial part of Portugal's Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. The suspension does not however prevent the coach from selecting the team, overseeing training and doing pre and post-match press conferences.

Portugal resume their qualifying campaign with a match away at Denmark on 14 October, having lost the first match 1-0 at home to Albania, a result that led to the dismissal of Paulo Bento.

The first game of the new era will take place three days earlier however, as the Seleção play France in a friendly in Paris on 11 October.

by Tom Kundert