January 24, (THEWILL) – Fernando Santos, former coach of the Portuguese national football team, has been appointed as the head coach of Poland until 2026.
The 68-year-old had a successful tenure with Portugal, leading the team to victory at Euro 2016 and the inaugural Nations League in 2019. However, in recent years, Portugal fans had become frustrated with the team’s style of play and perceived underachievement given the wealth of talent on the team.
Santos’ contract with Portugal was not set to expire until after Euro 2024, but he was removed from his role after the team’s defeat in the World Cup quarter-finals to Morocco last month. Roberto Martinez has since taken over as coach.
Now, Santos has quickly taken on this new coaching position with Poland, his third international coaching position in succession after also coaching Greece for four years prior to taking over Portugal. The Polish Football Association (PZPN) president, Cezary Kulesza, announced the hiring of Santos through a photo posted on Monday, with a press conference to follow the next day.
Santos’ first goal with Poland will be to secure the team’s qualification for a fourth consecutive appearance at the European Championship, with the 2024 edition to be held in Germany. He will then lead Poland to the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, at the end of which his contract is set to expire.