Fernando Santos, legendary Portuguese manager who has managed a Cristiano Ronaldo led side to 2016 EURO Cup triumph, has been sacked by Polish Football Federation after mixed performances in his first three games as a Polish coach, after winning three and losing three. With EURO qualifiers reputation on line, Poland would look for a switch at the wheel.
Fernando Santos sacked from Polish football
Fernando Santos has been one of the legendary managers in the international stage. Having been at the managerial scenario since years, Santos has been dubbed as one of the successful managers in football, when it comes to international tournaments. He has previously led his native Portugal to UEFA EURO cup triumph over France in 2016, when an Eder screamer on the dying minutes snatched the bragging rights from France, with superstar Ronaldo on the sidelines due to injury, as he was seen shouldering his “assistant managerial” role quite efficiently. Santos was also at helm when Portugal won the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019. With Portugal crashing out of the coveted World Cup edition of Qatar in 2022 against surprise package Morocco, Santos had left the squad with new beckoning of his managerial stint.
As they say, when you are a successful manager, you would not be having a dearth of potential suitors, as Santos was appointed Poland boss in January, after Czeslaw Michniewicz was sacked, owing to Poland’s unsatisfactory World Cup campaign, before crashing out of the tournament against eventual finalists France. But, as it seems, Polish football would require a new face in charge after their shock defeat at the hands of Albania, where they lost 0-2 in the hands of “The Eagles”, as the official organization PZPN has informed of Santos being relieved of his duties.
Qualification at stake
With a shock loss in the hands of Albania with 0-2 margin, Poland currently stand on the fourth position, amassing six points from five games. But, they are four points behind leaders Albania, and two points behind tied holders Czech Republic and Moldova. After getting defeated at Tirana, Santos had opted for an affirmative response when he said he was not considering resigning from the portfolio position.
According to PZPN President Cezary Kulesza, “The selection of a new manager is now a priority for the board of the Polish Football Association (PZPN), so we will soon announce when the presentation of the new coach will take place.” For Santos’ first game as a Poland manager, Robert Lewandowski led side was defeated by Czech Republic by a margin of 3-1, before going one-up against Albania, winning 1-0.
Defeating 2014 World Cup champions Germany in a June friendly by 1-0 was the high point in Santos’ short tenure, as they lost again, in the hands of lowly Moldova, when they sabotaged a 2-0 lead at half-time to lose 3-2 at the final whistle. Poland struggles to beat Faroe Islands, as Barcelona front man Lewandowski was responsible for breaking the deadlock on 73rd minute with a prolific spot-kick which further surmounted the match in Polish side, winning 2-0. Their next qualification game is away against Faroe Islands, which will closely follow a home game with Moldova.