There is a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the long-term future of Portugal manager Fernando Santos since their disappointing exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Various reports suggest that the 68-year-old could be sacked from his role as the manager of the Portugal national team.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos on his future: “Tomorrow I will fly to Lisbon and we will discuss with the president about my future, as always”. #Qatar2022
Expectation is for Santos to be fired in the next days.
Santos has been in charge of the Portuguese team since 2014 and has guided them to two major international trophies in the space of eight years: the Euro 2016 and UEFA Nations League in 2019.
However, their quarter-final exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup came as a major setback for Portugal, as they were earmarked as one of the favorites to win the competition.
Should the Portuguese Football Federation decide to part ways with Santos, then they will need to find a replacement as soon as possible. As such, this article will take a look at three suitable options.
#3 Leonardo Jardim
Leonardo Jardim is arguably one of the finest football tacticians to have come out of Portugal in recent years.
Jardim’s managerial career began back in 1996 with Santacruzense’s youth team. He has experience managing sides like Braga, Sporting CP, and Chaves in the Primeira Liga.
The highlight of his managerial career, however, came with French club AS Monaco, where he was appointed in 2014. Jardim was able to break PSG’s monopoly, as he won the Ligue 1 title with Monaco in the 2016-17 season, the club’s first in 17 years.
Under Leonardo Jardim, Monaco reached the Champions League semifinals, temporarily ended Paris Saint-Germain’s domestic dynasty, and produced the likes of Kylian Mbappé, Fabinho and Bernardo Silva.
@TheMidfieldRole analyzes Jardim’s Monaco
The 48-year-old tactician is known for his attacking brand of football and will be a good replacement for Santos.
Jardim could be the ideal long-term manager to work with the current crop of young Portuguese talents in the national team. Notable examples being the likes of Joao Felix, Rafael Leao, and Goncalo Ramos.
#2 Jorge Jesus
Another manager who could take over from Santos as Portugal’s next manager is the experienced Jorge Jesus.
The 68-year-old has a proven track record in management, with a career spanning over 32 years. He is also well-respected within Portugal and would easily be able to build a rapport with the national squad.
Jesus has managed a bunch of Portuguese teams such as Felgueiras, Vitória Setúbal, Braga, Sporting CP, and Benfica.
The 68-year-old tactician is a serial winner and has won more than 15 trophies in club management across three different leagues.
Jorge Jesus comandando o Fenerbahçe na temporada 22/23:
⚔️ 25 jogos
60 gols marcados (!)
25 gols sofridos
5.4 chutes p/ marcar gol (!)
6.9 chutes p/ sofrer gol
57% posse de bola
He is currently in charge of the Turkish side Fenerbahce, and his team sit top of the Süper Lig with 29 points after 13 games.
#1 Jose Mourinho
The AS Roma manager is one of the most-respected managers in the history of Portuguese football and is reportedly under consideration for the national team position.
While it remains to be seen if Jose Mourinho will want to transition to national team management, his resume speaks for itself.
“The Chosen One” has managed some of the biggest clubs in world football, such as Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Porto, and Manchester United.
In terms of silverware, very few managers can match Mourinho’s trophy cabinet. He has won a total of 26 titles in his managerial career, across four major European leagues.
Portugal have approached Jose Mourinho with the prospect of managing club and country SIMULTANEOUSLY!
Via La Gazzetta dello Sport
His presence in the Portuguese national team would instill a winning mentality in the young set of players. Having the legendary manager at the helm would give Portugal a good chance of success going into Euro 2024 and World Cup 2026.
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