Manager Profile – Portugal: Fernando Santos

Manager Profile – Portugal: Fernando Santos
Former Teams:Greece, Benfica, PAOK, Sporting Lissabon, AEK Athens, Porto, Panathinaikos
Head Coach Since:September 2014
Preferred Formation:4-3-3

The most striking difference between the two managers ahead of tomorrow’s final are their achievements. Where Didier Deschamps had a great career for both clubs and national teams, Fernando Santos spent his entire career being an average player in two average Portuguese clubs, Estoril and Maritimo. It was at Estoril he spent the biggest part of his career, with some years at Maritimo between two spells there. He played for Estoril in all the three highest levels of the league system in Portugal, and retired when he was 33 years old. He went straight from being a player to becoming assistant manager before become the manager. He got them promoted to the top division in 1991 and stayed there until taking the job at Porto in 1998.

The striking thing about his managing career is that he’s trained most of the top clubs in Portugal and Greece: Benfica, Porto and Sporting Lissabon in Portugal, and PAOK, AEK Athens and Panathinaikos in Greece. It’s interesting to note that he only won the league on one occasion, with Porto. With AEK Athens it was only goal differences that kept them from winning the title in his first season, but Olympiakos beat them to it. He’s gone back and forth between Portugal and Greece without getting the best of results.

Even if he was far from repeating Otto Renhagel’s success with Greece in the Euro 2004, he did get some decent results with them during his time there. Under his lead, Greece reached the knockout stages both in the Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup. Since September 2014 he’s managed Portugal, and we have to say that he’s already had success here by reaching the final. Maybe Santos is more of national team manager than a club manager.

Manager Profile – Portugal: Fernando Santos
Author: Lenny
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