Fernando Santos, new coach of a Poland in search of stability

The 68-year-old coach spoke during the presentation and spoke in favor of ‘hard work’ and communication with the team, saying that ‘without players there is no coach and vice versa”.

It was precisely his ability to make the most of great individuals that was one of the most appreciated factors by the Poles who entrusted him with the national team, a fact that Santos himself acknowledged.

“Fortunately, I have always produced great players,” explained Santos. “Everyone has their own mentality and personality and the coach must know how to combine them”. But, he clarified, “During training I demand discipline and the players have to respect that and they always have. »

The focus on defence, one of the Portuguese’s hallmarks, will continue to be his strategy with Poland. “If we don’t lay a good foundation and build a solid house, the house will collapse. And defense is the foundation,” he explained.

Although he promised to settle in Warsaw and “to be another Pole”, Santos will only return to Poland in February with his technical team, and on March 24 he will make his official debut against the Republic. Czech Republic in the first qualifying match for Euro 2024.

Thus, all efforts will be focused on qualifying for next year’s Eurocup to be held in Germany, according to Polish Federation President Cezary Kulesza.

“The contract with Santos has two cycles: the first until Euro 2024 and the second until the 2026 World Cup. This is the best for both parties,” explained the president.

Contrary to what happened with his predecessor, Czeslaw Michniewicz, good communication with the team, the press and the fans does not seem to be a problem with the arrival of Santos, who is used to accepting criticism and turn them into strength on the pitch.

In a clear hint at Robert Lewandowski’s dissatisfaction under Michniewicz, Santos stressed that he would try to prevent this problem from happening again and promised to “bring passion, joy back to the family”.

Santos was in charge of the Portuguese side for eight years and his biggest successes were the Eurocup title in 2016 and the Nations League in 2019, but the loss in Qatar against Morocco and the decision to put Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench ended up putting an end to his adventure with Portugal.

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