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Update on Portugal NT manager's future revealed

Insight into Fernando Santos' future revealed after Portugal drop into World Cup playoffs

November 16, 2021 By Ali M.
Calls for the manager's dismissal hit an all-time high after he oversaw Portugal's disappointing 2-1 loss to Serbia.

Sunday's World Cup qualifier against Serbia, their 10th and final fixture in the race to make it to Qatar, was a game to forget for the European giants. Despite heading into this tie as the group leaders, Cristiano and Co. suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat, a result which saw them relinquish the no.1 spot – and automatic qualification – to the Serbians, with the continental powerhouse instead being relegated to the playoffs.

What made things worse is that the Euro 2016 champions were not merely beaten, but they were outplayed as Mitrovic and Co. came away with a deserved victory. As a result, the focus quickly shifted to Fernando Santos and his future – or lack thereof – as the Portuguese national team boss.

Calls for his dismissal have been around for quite some time. Despite boasting one of the most star-studded squads in international football, A Seleção have failed to hit their stride, disappointing in both the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and the recent Euro 2020 tournament.

As a result, the weekend defeat was not the beginning of the end, but in fact the final straw for large portions of the fan base, with several supporters demanding Santos get sacked before the playoffs for the greater good of the nation. Unfortunately, the Portuguese Football Federation doesn't look ready to heed their warnings.

According to local news outlet A Bola, the 67-year-old tactician is guaranteed to remain in charge until the playoffs, at the very least. The report claims that the FPF still retain confidence in the manager and see him as the right person to secure a spot at Qatar 2022.

Fellow Portuguese paper Record corroborate this story, but add that the players are "tired" and see Santos' methods as being "outdated". Whether captain Cristiano Ronaldo, the biggest name and personality in the dressing room, falls into this category remains unclear.

However, the 36-year-old icon appeared to be fuming at his manager at full-time, reacting angrily towards his boss after he had entered the pitch to console his players. This is one space we will be closely following!

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