The 69-year-old technician referred to our national team in a particularly fervent way, and gave a full interview to the Portuguese newspaper “A Bola”.
He may have sat for 8 years (2014-2022) on the bench of the national team Portugalwith which he won a EURO and one Nations League. The corresponding term with our national team may have lasted only 4 years (2010-2014), however the former coach of the national team Poland he will forever have her in his heart Hellasas he stated in an interview he gave to the Portuguese newspaper “A Bola”.
“I have a huge passion for this country (Greece). Everyone knows it. I never hide anything. Portugal is my country, it is the one I suffer for, but this is my second country. I can’t even say second country, I have a hard time pronouncing second, you know what I’m saying? For me it is also my country. It’s different, but I feel at home there, like in Portugal“, noted, among others, Fernando Santos.
The interview in detail:
With reference to EURO 2004 stated: “Yes, I have a Greek national jersey, double that of Portugal. Katsouranis offered it to me. It was certainly not easy to manage this love for Greece at Euro 2004. But I am Portuguese and I wanted Portugal to win. I was commentating the final for Greek radio and I suffered a lot with Greece’s victory in Portugal.
The hurt was lessened a little because it was Greece, because out of the 23 players in the team at that time, 21 were my players at Panathinaikos and AEK. I wanted Portugal to win, but if they didn’t and it had to go to someone, let it go to Greeceadded the 69-year-old, who, apart from the Greek national team (2010-2014), also sat on the benches of AEK (2001-2002 and 2004-2006), Panathinaikos (2002) and PAOK (2007-2010).
As far as EURO 2016 that he conquered emphasized: “Before I went to Greece, I was not recognized in Portugal. But I know why. I first identified with Benfica. Everyone knew that and then I went to coach Porto. And I had a very strong connection with Porto. I have two cousins who are Benfica and they stopped talking to me. They didn’t accept that I would coach Porto.
In Greece, I went from AEK to Panathinaikos and I didn’t feel anything like that. But it really happened here. After Porto, I went to Sporting and then Benfica, with Greece in between. I think that is the central issue. Maybe if I had followed the same path and then went to the national team, as happened in Greece, it wouldn’t have been like that.
EURO 2016 and winning it is the most memorable moment. The most memorable moments are always the trophies“, underlined the Portuguese technician.
Regarding the reasons that led him to leave Cristiano Ronaldo out of the XI for Qatar’s World Cup matches against Switzerland and Morocco, he noted:We haven’t spoken since we got back from Qatar. We had a very close sporting and personal relationship. What happened has nothing to do with it. It was a technical decision. The second half of 2022 has been six terrible months, mentally and physically.
It started with that misfortune that befell him and his family and that none of us will want to live through (the death of one of his twin sons). That moment affected him a lot and then there is the sports part. He did not play in the pre-season and was without training and without match rhythm.
If it happened to me today, I would do the same. I thought strategically it was the best decision. It wasn’t an easy decision, but team comes first. He could have come on as a substitute against Switzerland, but the game went so well that in the next game there was no point in changing the team.
On the day of the game, in the morning, when I went to explain to him that he won’t play and why he won’t play, he misunderstood me. I understand his reaction. From my side, the relationship is the same and I still feel him like my son or little brother“.//A.M