Three candidates for the Portugal job

After winning the Nations League and Euro 2016, Portugal manager Fernando Santos, who has also managed Greece has been sacked by the A Salecao. The 68-year-old had been the manager of his homeland for eight years.

The World Cup finals in Qatar would be his last tournament in charge and the game against Morocco, his last match in charge. After winning the Euros in 2016 and the inaugural Nations League, we here at The Sports Buff, thought Santos would have had some credit left in the back and be given time.

This wasn’t how the Portuguese FA felt and are now looking for a replacement. Here the team at the-sports-buff.com take a look at three names who could be replacing Fernando Santos.

Louis Van Gaal is not one of those names.

Sergio Conceicao

Current Porto manager Sergio Conceicao was a tricky winger in his playing days and won trophies at almost every club he went to. Since going into management, Conceicao has managed in France and of course his native Portugal, with FC Porto.

For the Lisbon side, he has won three League titles as well as doing the double twice in his five years in charge of the Dragões. What makes the 48-year-old a genuine candidate is his pedigree and the fact that he is a winner.

Sergio has adapted to challenges as a player and as a manager. The challenge of a national team manager is one of the biggest challenges you can get as a football coach. A very robust character, he’s one of the few managers who could handle the challenges. At 48, Sergio Conceicao should be given a look in, surely. 

Ruben Amorim would have been on this list, but Conceicao pips him.

This is a good era for Portuguese managers as it is for the talent on the pitch, Sergio Conceicao in our  

second choice out of the three. The FC Porto is still quite young in manager terms, maybe he wants a bigger challenge with a club team.

Andre-Villas Boas

The next man to make our list admittedly is a bit left-field. AVB burst onto the scene as a manager similar to mentor Jose Mourinho with a treble and Europa League win with Porto.

His teams play fast, free-flowing football, which will appease Portugal fans who have been accustomed to seeing their team be a bit more methodical under Santos.

They won things under the 68-year-old, but they bore teams to death, the Euro2016 final comes to mind. Villas-Boas is a good manager, but his mixed record as a manager counts against him, this is why he’s third in this three-horse race to be the next Portugal boss.

The former Marseille boss hasn’t been bad as a manager, but as mentioned in a golden generation of players and managers, AVB is a name that might have drifted into oblivion, especially in the way he left his job at the Southern French outfit.

Jose Mourinho

The Special one, there’s not much that I can’t say that you don’t know about The Special One. He’s a winner wherever he’s been, won two Champions League titles in two different countries.

Jose Real Madrid also beat Barcelona to the title when many were adamant this was the best side on the planet. Mourinho’s side scored over 100 goals that year (shattering the pragmatic tag) and achieved over 100 points in the same season too, showing his side knew how to score goals and still win.

Although a trait not associated with Jose, the iconic Portuguese manager has helped younger players such as Marcus Rashford and Tammy Abraham and a more established star who lost his way in Jesse Lingard.

In the case of Lingard, he at the time was one of the best number 10s in the league. Jesse Lingard has only just gotten back to somewhere near that level, after some difficult seasons for Manchester United.

This man arguably seems tailor-made for the role of Portugal’s manager as he’s won all that there is to win in the club game. Mourinho himself has said in the past, he would love to be a national coach.

What’s stopping him now is his current employer AS Roma, but having ended their trophy drought by winning last season’s UEFA Conference League, the man has earned enough respect in Rome, surely!

If the Portuguese FA doesn’t get him, Jose Mourinho has been linked with the Brazil job, he might end up with the Canarinho. Surely not!

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