IFFHS AWARDS – THE WORLD’S BEST NATIONAL COACH 2016 and 2019 : FERNANDO SANTOS (PORTUGAL)
Fernando Manuel Fernandes da Costa Santos, born 10 October 1954 in Lisbon, is currently the Manager of the Portugal National Team , winning two times (2016 and 2019) the IFFHS Award of THE WORLD’S BEST NATIONAL COACH !
Fernando Santos was a young player at Lisboa (Benfica 1971-73) before beginning his senior career in Estoril. He made all his career there (1973 to 1979 and 1980 to 1987) except one season in Maritimo. Santos made his debut in Primeira Liga on 7 September 1975, he amassed 163 games during his career in Estoril, scoring 3 goals until 1987, when he retired at 33.
He started his manager career immediately after retiring and helped Estoril to return at the top level in 1991. He stayed in Estoril 7 years as manager, before going to Estrela Amadora for 4 years and to FC Porto in 1998. He won there his first titles : the Primera Liga in 1998/99, the Taça de Portugal 1999/2000 and 2000/01, also the Supertaça Candido de Oliveira 1998 and 1999 ! Santos led his team to the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final.
In 2001, he was appointed at AEK Athens and won immediately the Greek Football Cup 2001/02, finishing second in the League because of the goal average ! He joined Panathinaïkos in 2002 without success and returned from Greece to Portugal. He signed in 2003 at Sporting CP, in 2006 at Benfica . Between, he went back to AEK Athens (2004-2006) and finished his manager club career in PAOK (2007 to 2010).
He was appointed in 2010 at the head of the Greek National team and helped Greece to reach the final stage of the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro. In 2014, he took in charge the National team of Portugal as Manager. He won the UEFA Euro 2016 and the UEFA Nations League 2019 with his country ! He was so crowned as THE WORLD’S BEST NATIONAL COACH in 2016 and 2019 by IFFHS. He won also 4 times the Award of The Superleague Greece Manager of the Year and the most important, The Superleague Greece Manager of the Decade (2001-2010).