Portugal appoint Fernando Santos to replace Bento

The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) have announced that Fernando Santos has been appointed as the new head coach of the national side.

Despite a disastrous World Cup Finals in Brazil which saw the Portuguese crash out at the group stage, Paulo Bento was told he would be given time to turn things around on their path to Euro 2016 qualification. However, when this campaign began with a sensational 1-0 defeat at home to Albania, the 45-year-old was relieved of his duties.

The FPF have now turned to the experienced Santos, who has coached the big three of Benfica, Sporting Lisbon and Porto during a managerial career spanning almost 30 years. His greatest success came at the latter, where he won one league title, two Portuguese Cups and two Portuguese Super Cups in a three-year spell from 1998-2001.

More recently, the 59-year-old has impressed with the Greece national side, leading them to the group stages of Euro 2012 and, this summer to the last 16 of the World Cup Finals where they crashed out to Costa Rica on penalties. Santos was sent to the stands during this match, meaning he must serve an eight-game touchline ban in his new role.

Having started their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with that embarrassing loss to the Albanians, Portugal will look to bounce back when they travel to Denmark in October. They also meet Armenia and Serbia in Group I, from which the top two teams qualify for the Finals and the third-placed team will either join them automatically or, if not, will take their place in a qualifier against one of the other third-placed teams from another group.

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