Fernando Santos has officially been sacked as Portugal coach after he failed to lead his country past the the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
After eight years in charge and victory at Euro 2016, the 68-year-old has now left the job. He failed to repeat the success of his early tenure in Qatar and saw Portugal crash out to Morocco in the quarter-final after weeks of dealing with drama surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo. Santos benched Ronaldo mid-way through the tournament but the switch did not spark attacking success against the Atlas Lions.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Santos made the bold call to drop Ronaldo from his starting team after the group stages of the competition. While that plan initially worked – with replacement Goncalo Ramos scoring a hat-trick in a 6-1 win over Switzerland – the Selecao lacked a cutting edge in the next round against their African opponent.
Unsurprisingly, after the early World Cup exit, Santos’ long-term future immediately came under much doubt. Indeed, even before this confirmed news, GOAL was able to exclusively reveal that Paulo Fonseca is in contention to take over.
The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) may also look to hire Jose Mourinho if the latest rumours are to be believed.