He will direct in the next World Cup

Fernando Santos will go from leading to Cristiano Ronaldo to another world soccer star, Robert Lewandowski.

One month after disassociating himself as a coach from his native Portugal, Saints was presented on Tuesday as the selector of Poland for a cycle that will cover the European Championship in 2024 and the World Cup in 2026.

Saints68, became the third foreign helmsman to command Poland, following in the footsteps of Leo Beenhakker and Paulo Sousa. He arrives with the experience of having managed top players like Cristiano, whom Saints relegated to the substitute bench last month during the knockout phase of the Qatar World Cup.

Now, Saints will direct a team whose captain is Lewandowski. The Barcelona striker is 34 years old, he is closer to the end of his career, and the one who remains the euro 2024 and possibly the World Cup 2026as his last big commitments at international level.

“We want to qualify for the Euro and continue winning,” said Santos, who stressed his conviction that Poland has the potential to compete on an equal footing with anyone.

As of today, I am a Pole. I’m one of you,” he said. Saints in his first statements as a coach, greeting the journalists in Polish.

He will direct Lewandowski

Saints he will have to include Poles among his auxiliaries to gain experience for the future. Cezary Kuleszathe president of the federation, said that this was one of the conditions that were imposed to hire Saints.

Saints will try to get Poland out of mediocrity in the big tournaments.

Since 1986, the national team could only get past the group stage in a World Cup (2022) and a Euro (2016).

Santos, known for being a conservative strategist, boasts excellent records leading national teams. In his eight-year stint with Portugalconsecrated the Portuguese champion in the Euro 2016 — the team’s first major international title — and in the first UEFA Nations League in 2019. He also managed Greece at Euro 2012reaching the quarterfinals, and in the 2014 World Cup.

His last experience was with Portugal

To a question about the future of LewandowskiSantos responded — without mentioning the striker’s name — that every individual talent will have the opportunity to shine on the pitch, but that they must have an attitude that they are part of a collective.

Kulesza He pointed out that the criteria they set for the new coach were to have a track record in command of national teams, good results, charisma and experience working with stars.

“We can afford to have the best coach available,” he said. Kulesza.

Poland decided not to renew the contract of Santos’ predecessor, Czesław Michniewiczafter reaching the knockout phase of a World Cup for the first time in 36 years.

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Peggy McColl

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