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Who could replace Fernando Santos at Portugal?

Fernando Santos has been criticised after Portugal were knocked out of the 2022 World Cup by Morocco. But not only that, the Portuguese coach was singled out for his approach in his country since even before the tournament.

According to Portuguese outlet A Bola, Santos’ departure is a done deal. The coach is said to have reached a mutual agreement with the Portuguese FA to terminate his contract.

Who will replace Santos?

In terms of replacements, the same outlet mentions Jose Mourinho, the current boss of AS Roma. Although he is on the shortlist, the coach from Setubal has already led the Serie A side to Conference League success, and could remain in the Italian capital.

Other names linked with the Portuguese national team job include current Lille coach Paulo Fonseca, former Wolves boss Bruno Lage and Rui Jorge, who is Portugal’s Under-21 coach.

Santos will leave a Portugal team with the best player in its history, Cristiano Ronaldo, although a player in evident decline. There remains a host of talent, including Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, João Félix, Rafael Leão and Diogo Costa. Whoever takes over the job will have a lot of talent at their disposal but also a transition to make.

Spell in charge of Portugal

At 68, Fernando Santos is nearing the end of a cycle in Portugal. The coach arrived in 2014 and made a hugely successful debut at a major tournament, the European Championship. In 2016, he was in charge of guiding Portugal to the first title in its history. The Seleçao, led by Ronaldo, won Euro 2016 in France by beating the hosts in the final. This was their greatest success, along with the victory in the 2018-19 Nations League, adding to the national team’s trophy cabinet.

In major tournaments, he also suffered. Portugal were dumped out in the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup, falling in the same round at the following European Championship and losing in the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup.

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