Fernando Santos (Portuguese footballer)

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Fernando Santos
Personal information
Full name Fernando Manuel
Fernandes da Costa Santos
Date of birth (1954-10-10) 10 October 1954 (age 59)
Place of birth Lisbon, Portugal
Playing position Right-back
Club information
Current club Greece (Manager)
Youth career
1966–1971 Benfica
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1971–1973 Marítimo
1973–1975 Estoril
Teams managed
1987–1994 Estoril
1994–1998 Estrela da Amadora
1998–2001 Porto
2001–2002 AEK Athens
2002–2003 Panathinaikos
2003–2004 Sporting CP
2004–2006 AEK Athens
2006–2007 Benfica
2007–2010 PAOK
2010– Greece
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Fernando Manuel Fernandes da Costa Santos (born 10 October 1954) is a Portuguese football manager and former player. He is the current manager of the Greek national team.

On 4 February 2010, Santos was elected by the Greek Football League as the best coach of the decade, at a ceremony to celebrate the last 50 years of football in the country.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Lisbon, Santos started his career as a footballer in 1966, initially playing for Sport Lisboa e Benfica at the youth level, then Marítimo and Estoril Praia, where he ended his professional career in 1975 at just 21.[1]

Coaching career[edit]

Santos earned a bacharelato[2] degree as an electrical and telecommunications engineer, awarded in 1977 by the Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa. After a career change as a technician, he returned to football in 1987, taking over at former club Estoril-Praia. Stayed for seven years, guiding them to two promotions and the Portuguese top flight. In Estoril, where he remained until 1994, the club climbed up two categories and reached Portugal's top football division.

In 1994, he took over Estrela da Amadora, and in 1998, he moved to FC Porto, winning the national championship and the Portuguese SuperCup in his first season. He was the last of the coaches to win in Porto's run of five consecutive championships, the longest ever in Portuguese club history. For that, he is known as "the engineer of the penta." Next season, Porto missed the sixth title in the last round to Sporting Clube de Portugal, but won the Portuguese Cup and Super Cup, also reaching the UEFA Champions League quarter–finals. According FIFA in 2000, he was ranked ninth best manager in the world.

In 2001, Santos took over AEK Athens, leading the club to the conquest of Greek football Cup, and losing the championship to Olympiacos due to goal average. His next step was Panathinaikos, then taking over the reins of hometown Sporting Clube de Portugal for 2003–04. The next season, he returned to AEK Athens and the team, based on young players, reached the Greek Cup semi-finals and finished third (only three points behind the first) in the league.

On 20 May 2006, it was announced that Santos would coach Benfica for the 2006–07 season. That season, Benfica finished third, missing the opportunity to be in the Champions League directly, giving just one point to the second place and two to the eventual winners Porto. In the following season, he spent the whole pre-season with Benfica, in which he would lose the services of team captain and top goalscorer Simão, who was transferred to Spanish team Atlético Madrid. Shortly after, Santos was sacked by Benfica's board on 20 August 2007, after a draw against Leixões[3] in the first match of 2007–08. He was replaced by Spanish coach and former Benfica manager José Antonio Camacho.

In September 2007, Santos returned to Greece, signing a three-year contract for PAOK in the city of Thessaloniki. There, joining forces with team chairman and captain of the Golden Euro 2004 Team, Thodoris Zagorakis, he contributed in the so-called "Three Year Plan" for the resurgence of PAOK. Santos is known for his allegoric parabola during his first season in Toumba which illustrated the team and supporters' mentality in 2007, summarized as: "Should we keep fooling ourselves, mistaking sardines for lobsters? I think it's time to change the plate". Effectively fulfilling his promise, he led PAOK to the 2nd position of the Greek Super-League in 2009–2010 after giving hell to all other competitors for the title. During a press conference on 19 May 2010 the PAOK F.C. coach announced his intention to leave the historical Greek club, despite his chance to lead the team in the 2010–2011 Champions' League Tournament.[4]

On 1 July 2010, Santos was named the new coach of Greece[5] by the Hellenic Football Federation for the next two years. After long negotiations with the Greek Football Federation, it was decided that Santos was the ideal replacement of Greece's former head coach Otto Rehhagel.[6] Santos managed to lead the Greek team in the quarter finals of Euro 2012.

Personal life[edit]

Fernando Santos is a Lisboner, an electrical and telecommunications engineer by training, and a lifelong supporter of hometown's Benfica, Estoril and committed Catholic.

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 5 March 2014
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Estoril Portugal 1987 1994 140 41 42 57 0 0 +0 29.29
Estrela da Amadora Portugal 1994 1998 136 39 47 50 0 0 +0 28.68
Porto Portugal 1998 2001 156 98 31 27 310 126 +184 62.82
AEK Athens Greece 2001 2002 51 38 5 8 134 51 +83 74.51
Panathinaikos Greece 2002 2003 4 1 0 3 0 0 +0 25.00
Sporting CP Portugal 2003 2004 36 22 5 9 66 38 +28 61.11
AEK Athens Greece 2004 2006 60 38 15 7 0 0 +0 63.33
Benfica Portugal 20 May 2006 20 August 2007 48 28 11 9 84 40 +44 58.33
PAOK Greece 4 September 2007 18 May 2010 95 48 21 26 0 0 +0 50.53
Greece Greece 1 July 2010 5 Marth 2014 42 24 13 5 51 30 +21 57.14
Career totals 768 377 200 191 0 0 +0 49.09



AEK Athens



  1. ^ Fernando Santos, uefa.com
  2. ^ The Portuguese bacharelato degree awarded by polytechnical institutions or its predecessors, was not a bachelor's degree – it was one step below. Only the licenciatura degree was equal to the bachelor's degree. (See Higher education in Portugal for details)
  3. ^ Leixões-Benfica : 1–1, at Scorespro.com
  4. ^ Η Συνέντευξη Τύπου του Fernando Santos
  5. ^ "Fernando Santos named as new Greece coach". July 2010. 
  6. ^ World Cup 2012: Fernando Santos named new Greece coach, at bbc.co.uk

External links[edit]

Preceded by
António Sousa
Cup of Portugal Winning Coach
1999-00, 2000–01
Succeeded by
Laszlo Bölöni