Sunday May 3, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Santos, the 'Engineer,' finds blueprint for Greek success

By Derek Gatopoulos

Known as the "Engineer" in his native Portugal for his university education and careful planning, Fernando Santos has lived up to that reputation in Greece since taking over as coach of the national soccer team.

Santos has transformed the team from one that struggled to live up to its astonishing victory at the 2004 European Championship to habitual qualifiers at major tournaments.

Since taking over in 2010, the 59-year-old Santos has earned an impressive 24-13-5 record, with two of those losses in friendlies using youngsters in the lineup.

Santos spent his first 15 months on the job unbeaten, easily qualifying for Euro 2012 and then advancing to the quarterfinals in the country's first big achievement since 2004.

Following a short playing career, Santos returned to soccer as a coach 27 years ago, roughly splitting his time between Portugal and Greece with stints at FC Porto, Benfica, AEK Athens, Panathinaikos and PAOK.

Despite winning little silverware, he became regarded in Greece as a coach who could rescue troubled clubs — a skill in urgent demand at the national team four years ago when team squabbles and a rather disappointing World Cup campaign in South Africa threatened the country with a swift return to the soccer wilderness.

He kept the controlled style of play mastered by his predecessor, the idiosyncratic Otto Rehhagel, but threw out the rest of his rule book — fielding talented youngsters who struggled to get match time at their own clubs, and playing more aggressively, often with three strikers.

Fans loved it, and he loved them right back.

"I've never felt anything like it. The Greek people have embraced me," the typically low-key Santos said after play-off matches against Romania sealed World Cup qualification.

Players threw him in the air, he cried, and spoke Greek publicly for the first time.

Santos has said he will step down after the World Cup, revealing that coaching had tired him and that he wanted to think about the remainder of his career.

"I have a few years left in coaching and I need to think about myself ... After all these years, you get attached to the people around you," he said. "So, professionally it wasn't a difficult decision, but emotionally it was."

[AP]

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday April 9, 2014 (19:28)  
Olympiakos defeats Panathinaikos, Ivanovic goes
Olympiakos´s Pereira, Kasami fined for stormy Greek Cup tie
Olympiakos and Xanthi to contest Cup final
PAOK completes double in men´s volleyball
Two killed, around 20 wounded in clash between inmates
Two men were killed and at least 20 wounded in a violent clash between inmates at the Greek capital's Korydallos Prison on Sunday. According to initial reports, a group of inmates believed t...
Fugitive Xeros nabbed thanks to tip-off, paper trail suggests
Police recaptured November 17 terrorist Christodoulos Xeros in January after being tipped off by an informant, documents seen by Kathimerini suggest. According to the paper trail, a few days...
Inside News
ANALYSIS
Government too conscious of its image
Negotiations with Greece’s lenders may have picked up pace recently but an interim agreement does not seem feasible at this time. Therefore, the SYRIZA-led government will have to make some ...
Tenders add term for ‘other currency’
As uncertainty about Greece’s future in the eurozone grows, the first official documents making reference to “payments in euros or any national Greek currency at the time” have made an appea...
Inside Business
COMMENTARY
Wrong from the start
If the prime minister had handled negotiations with Greece’s international creditors differently from the onset I would bet that he would have achieved an excellent deal both for himself and...
EDITORIAL
Mixed signals
A decision from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is long overdue. Caught up in the internal contradictions and disagreements of his leftist SYRIZA party, Tsipras has been unable to make a...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Olympiakos defeats Panathinaikos, Ivanovic goes
2. Two killed, around 20 wounded in clash between inmates
3. Government too conscious of its image
4. Tenders add term for ‘other currency’
5. Bankers call for a quick deal to get economy back on track
6. Capital flight from banks, stocks, bonds
more news
Today
This Week
1. Athens hopes for breakthrough
2. If SYRIZA misses targets it must go, says Lafazanis
3. Wrong from the start
4. Fugitive Xeros nabbed thanks to tip-off, paper trail suggests
5. Mixed signals
6. Tenders add term for ‘other currency’
Today
This Week
1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
2. Greece’s day of reckoning inches closer as debt payments loom
3. Greek decision to exit euro would be disastrous for Greece
4. Greece’s decade-long relationship with Merkel
5. No need to widen the rift
6. Varoufakis attacked by anarchists while dining in Athens
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.