Fernando Santos has been at the helm of the Portuguese national team since 2014, but after their shocking exit from the World Cup 2022, it’s more likely that he will not be coaching them much longer.
Looming reports claim that Santos could be shown the exit door earlier than imagined.
During his tenure, the 68-year-old won Euro 2016 and UEFA Nations League in 2019, which is certainly an impressive feat. However, their quarter-final exit at this year’s World Cup sets a major setback in his tenure.
Here are possible replacements for his job:
The first in line to replace Fernando Santos as Portugal’s head coach is 68-year-old Jorge Jesus.
He has an impressive track record in management, with a career spanning 32 years. His management stint includes spells at Felgueiras, Vitória Setúbal, Braga, Sporting CP, and Benfica.
He is a respected figure in Portugal and could rebuild the harmony in the squad, which has been affected by recent events, including Ronaldo’s pending retirement from international football.
His management style is based on strong defensive lines, which were key to his success at Benfica, where he won four trophies while managing the club between 2016–2018.
He can manage the young crop of talents coming through, including Rafael Leao, Otavio, Trossard, and Fabio Viera, among many more.
Leonardo Jardim is one of the most promising coaches in Portugal. He is the second in line to take over as Portugal’s head coach.
Jardim has a lustrous career spanning over 26 years, starting with Santacruzense’s youth team. He has had several stints as a manager in the Primeira Liga, including Braga and Sporting CP.
He was also in charge of Chaves before moving on to Monaco. He got his biggest managerial accomplishment to date: helping the squad overcome PSG’s dominance to clinch the title in the 2016-2017 season.
His attacking brand of football will fit with the current set of players available as they look to qualify for Euro 2024.
Jose Mourinho is one of the most respected managers from Portugal. He has won 26 titles in his managerial career across four major European leagues, including three Premier League titles, a UEFA Champions League title and a domestic cup with Chelsea, and two La Liga titles with Real Madrid.
It remains to be seen whether the current AS Roma coach could transition into international football. His portfolio speaks for himself with stints at Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Porto, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
His presence in the locker room will instil a winning mentality for the upcoming crop of talents selected to represent Portugal at the Euros.