Fernando Santos sacked as Portugal manager after Cristiano Ronaldo ‘row’

Fernando Santos has been sacked as Portugal boss after his side crashed out of the World Cup at the hands of Morocco in Saturday’s quarter-final.

Santos, who was appointed to the role in 2014, led the nation to their first ever major international successes, winning the European Championship in 2016 and the inaugural Nations League three years later. He also secured the most victories by a coach in charge of Portugal.

The veteran boss had a contract through to the summer of 2024 – the conclusion of that year’s Euros – after renewing his deal two years ago but will not stay on in the post following the last-eight exit in Qatar. Portugal’s official Twitter account posted a lengthy video thanking Santos for his service.

Santos had a reported falling out with Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo after his decision to surprisingly drop him for the last-16 clash against Switzerland.

That move was justified as Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos netted a sensational hat-trick in his side’s 6-1 demolition of the Swiss.

This led to claims that Ronaldo threatened to storm out of the nation’s World Cup training camp, which were criticised by the superstar, who alleged that “external forces” were trying to “break” the nation’s attempts of winning their first-ever World Cup.

Santos has enjoyed a remarkable managerial career which has spanned 34 years and is notable for the fact that he has coached each of Portugal’s ‘Big Three’ clubs – Porto, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon. He also had multiple roles in Greek football, including leading their national side between 2010 and 2014.

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