Portuguese Fernando Santos is one of the most successful managers in the Greek National Team’s history. He proved to be the ideal replacement of Greece’s former head coach, German Otto Rehhagel, the coach that led Greece to win the European Cup in 2004. Under the leadership of the 60-year old Portuguese manager, Greece qualified in the quarter finals of the Euro 2012 and secured a place in the 2014 World Cup.
Just a few days before Greece’s long journey to Brazil, Fernando Santos gave his last television interview. The Portuguese manager expressed his feelings making “a childhood dream” of participating in a World Cup coming true. Moreover, he stated that this is his last appearance as a coach of the Greek National team, since his contract ends this season and he decided not to renew it.
“When I leave Greece, I will often return for holidays. I’ve loved this place and I always feel nostalgia when I am away. This feeling I felt particularly the second time I was training AEK of Athens and left” he said. Whenever my wife and I were in Portugal, something pulled us back in Greece.”
Fernando Santos appreciates Greece and feels frustrated when people criticize. “I always represent Greece when I am abroad. I defend her. I know that Greeks have gone through many problems lately; I know the Greeks are amazing, so I never let others say something negative about them. I have made many friends and I always keep in touch with them”.
The games of the Greek team in the 2014 World Cup would be his”good-bye gift” to them, a way of saying “thank you” for the four wonderful years he spent next to the Greek footballers and for the love he received from Greeks throughout the course of his 13 year-long career in the country, as manager of AEK and Panathinaikos teams in Athens and PAOK in Thessaloniki. Finally, he said that the place he loved the most was Meteora in Central Greece and that his favorite greek dish was moussaka.
Santos has not decided yet where he will continue his career after his contract with Greek National Team ends. However, it is very likely he will settle back in Portugal. And do not forget, Greece’s opening game against Colombia is on Saturday at 12 pm (Greece – local time). GreekReporter will be live blogging.
Watch the interview below: