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Fernando Santos: How to Leave Greece in a High Note

Fernando Santos: How to Leave Greece in a High Note

This would perhaps be Fernando Santos’ last stint as Greece’s manager for he already plans to leave the squad after the World Cup in Brazil―but promised to make his exit highly memorable.

The 59-year old Santos took over the Greek national team in 2010 after Otto Rehhegel left his post. At the time of the former manager’s stay with the squad, Greece bagged the UEFA EURO 2004 victory. Feeling no pressure at all, Santos responded to the challenge by sending Ethniki to two major tournaments that saw them achieve unprecedented levels of success: an unbeaten streak in the UEFA EURO 2012 and a berth in the FIFA World Cup 2014 where they were seeded against Colombia, Japan, and Ivory Coast in Group C.

“I believe my decision to leave in the summer will not affect my players,” he declared. “They will give their all in the World Cup so that our parting will be the best possible. That’s my intention as well. My only aim is to see Greece qualify for the World Cup knockout phase and I will do everything in my power to achieve that and make Greek fans happy.”

With two dozens of wins and just four defeats in 41 matches, Santos has the highest winning percentage of any coach for the Greek team. Under his tutelage, the troupe recorded their longest unconquered record which posted at 17 fixtures. This streak began right ahead of his debut with the Hellenic players―1-0 friendly win in Serbia on 11 August 2010―through the 3-1 thumping of Romania in November 2011.

In 2013, Santos provided Greece six straight clean sheets which saw such teams as Lithuania, Austria, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Slovakia, and Romania head home empty-handed. This further solidified the team’s reputation as dark horses and “the one to beat.” Overall, Santos has fielded 60 players and given 25 of them first caps.

 

Image source:  Zimbio

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