Fernando Santos sacked by Portugal after World Cup quarter-final defeat

Portugal have parted ways with manager Fernando Santos following their world Cup quarter-final loss to Morocco.

Santos had been under contract until after Euro 2024 but the Portuguese Football Federation said now was the ‘right time to start a new cycle’. The 68-year-old took over in October 2014 and guided Portugal to success at Euro 2016 and then again in the inaugural 2019 Nations League campaign.

Despite losing to South Korea in their last Group H game in Qatar, Portugal had progressed as winners and beat Switzerland 6-1 in the last 16 when Santos dropped Cristiano Ronaldo of the initial training. Ronaldo started on the bench again for the quarter-final as Morocco continued to secure a memorable game 1-0 win with a first-half header from Youssef En-Nesyri. Santos insisted he had no regrets over the decisions regarding Ronaldo, who was left in tears at the final whistle.

Portugal will now begin the process of appointing a new head coach, with Roma boss Jose Mourinho an early favorite for the job. A statement from the Portuguese Football Federation said: “It was an honor to have a coach and a person like Fernando Santos at the helm of the national team. The FPF thanks Fernando Santos and his technical team for the services provided during eight unique years and believes that this thanks is also given on behalf of the Portuguese people. The FPF Board of Directors will now begin the process of selecting the next National Coach.

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