Saturday November 29, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
16o 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)  
One more emphatic win sees Panathinaikos make top 16
PAOK is one win from Europa Leagues last 32
First defeat for Olympiakos in Euroleague
Atletico drubs Olympiakos 4-0, leaving Reds with slim chances of CL qualification
Venizelos extends invite to Turkey at start of visit
Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos arrived in Ankara Friday night for two days of talks. Ahead of his visit he sought to make it clear that Greece is prepared to discuss maritime issues wi...
Vatopedi trial for 14 suspects
The Supreme Court decided Friday that 14 people should stand trial for the notorious property swap between the Vatopedi Monastery and the state six years ago. Those who will face charges of ...
Inside News
Q3 growth was bigger than thought
The provisional seasonally adjusted statistics for the Greek economy in the third quarter put annual growth at 1.6 percent, against an original estimate for 1.4 percent, according to a state...
Who will pay for the states ADMIE stake?
The state is currently unable to pay the amount required for the acquisition of a 34 percent stake in the countrys Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE), as provided for in a plan...
Inside Business
COMMENTARY
Change of US president wont mean change of foreign policy
Americans have again voted for change in Washington as opposition Republicans take control of both houses of the US Congress. As attention now turns to the 2016 presidential race, it's time ...
COMMENTARY
The presidential election paradox
A few days ago, speaking with a visiting colleague who neither works in Europe nor covers events here, I suddenly felt how much we Greeks take for granted some things that should have worrie...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. One more emphatic win sees Panathinaikos make top 16
2. Venizelos extends invite to Turkey at start of visit
3. Vatopedi trial for 14 suspects
4. New proposals on way to troika
5. Cabbie who carried shooter claims he was threatened
6. Govt urged to allow Syrian refugees to move on
more news
Today
This Week
1. Change of US president won't mean change of foreign policy
2. Child molester suspect photo released by police
3. Greek economy expands 0.7 pct q/q in Q3
4. Lebanese FM: Cyprus may be jihadi transit point
5. Athens water supply 9-month profit falls 45 pct on lower charges
6. Armed man arrested on Thessaloniki campus
Today
This Week
1. Give Greece a chance
2. Extremism from a bygone era
3. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
4. Greece paralyzed by major strike, flights cancelled
5. Piraeus nightclub shooting leaves 3 seriously injured
6. Coscos Greek unit adds multinational rail-freight client
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.