‘As of today I’m Polish, I’m one of you’: Poland appoint former Portugal boss Fernando Santos as their new coach after deciding not to renew Czeslaw Michniewicz’s contract following disappointing World Cup in Qatar

Poland have announced the appointment of former Portugal boss Fernando Santos – who takes over as national team coach following the departure of Czeslaw Michniewicz.

Michniewicz left at the end of December after the FA decided not to renew his contract after he had guided the team to their first World Cup knockout stage appearance in 36 years at the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

Santos, 68, will now become Poland’s third foreign-born coach – after Leo Beenhakker and Paulo Sousa.

Poland have announced the appointment of former Portugal boss Fernando Santos (pictured)

Poland have announced the appointment of former Portugal boss Fernando Santos (pictured)

Czeslaw Michniewicz left at the end of last year after the FA decided not to renew his contract

Czeslaw Michniewicz left at the end of last year after the FA decided not to renew his contract

Santos himself was sacked by Portugal after their shock quarter-final exit to Morocco at the 2022 World Cup in December.

Santos led Portugal to success at Euro 2016 and the 2018-19 Nations League with Cristiano Ronaldo as captain. 

At club level he has managed Porto, AEK Athens, Panathinaikos, Sporting, Benfica, PAOK and he also had a four-year spell as Greece coach.

The 68-year-old (pictured, centre) will now become Poland's third foreign-born coach

The 68-year-old (pictured, centre) will now become Poland’s third foreign-born coach 

But now he will lead Poland as they bid to secure a place at Euro 2024 first and foremost.

‘Poland is a great country, with a huge history, a huge culture, similar to the level of its national team,’ Santos said at the official ceremony in Warsaw.

‘It is a team with many quality players, it is one of the teams that went to the World Cup. 

Santos also addressed the media at an official ceremony in Warsaw after being appointed

Santos also addressed the media at an official ceremony in Warsaw after being appointed

‘For me it is a gratifying thing to be able to continue this career as a selector in a country with so much influence, with so much quality. 

‘As of today I’m Polish, I’m one of you. We will do everything to bring joy to the Polish people.’

Portugal have already replaced Santos with the appointment of former Belgium manager Roberto Martinez. 



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