Monday November 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
10o 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 ends PAOK´s unbeaten run in Basket League
Tokyo hopes to change the world
Big win for Greens, tight one for Reds
Super League in disarray, lockout continues
Greek air traffic controllers say they will join Thursday´s general strike
Greek air traffic controllers said on Monday that they will take part in Thursday’s general strike, which is likely to lead to disruption at the country’s airports. The strike has been calle...
Livestock breeders to protest in central Athens on Tuesday
Greek livestock breeders are due to protest in central Athens on Tuesday in the hope they will be able to secure a meeting with officials from the Agriculture Ministry. The farmers are due t...
Inside News
ILO calls for urgent action in Greece to create jobs, tackle social problems
The International Labor Organization (ILO) called on Monday for a change in policy in Greece to boost employment and prevent a social crisis. In its “Productive Jobs for Greece” study, which...
Draghi urgency for ECB action gets final reality check
Mario Draghi is about to find out just how urgent his call for action has become. One week after the European Central Bank president vowed to revive inflation “as fast as possible,” policy m...
Inside Business
COMMENTARY
Extremism from a bygone era
There are times when we seem to be overcome by self-destructive madness. I hear various commentators and politicians speaking in extreme terms of a junta, of defections, gallows, collaborato...
EDITORIAL
No call for more games
Psychological warfare has been a part of the negotiations between the troika and Athens from the very start of the crisis. But the situation is much different now and troika decision-makers ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek air traffic controllers say they will join Thursday´s general strike
2. ILO calls for urgent action in Greece to create jobs, tackle social problems
3. Livestock breeders to protest in central Athens on Tuesday
4. Draghi urgency for ECB action gets final reality check
5. Greece to scrap need for permits in some 900 professions
6. Greek government sees Paris meeting as ´last phase´ in troika talks
more news
Today
This Week
1. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
2. Greek officials to meek troika chiefs in Paris to break review stalemate
3. EU said to plan 21 billion-euro risk-sharing fund for investment
4. Biden informs Anastasiades about content of talks with Erdogan
5. Countdown to missed opportunity for EU economy
6. Police seek to name man who opened fire with AK47 at Piraeus bar
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
3. Anti-junta uprising anniversary to be marked amid tight security
4. Every age has its collaborators
5. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
6. Give Greece a chance
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.