UNOFFICIAL: Ex-Portugal coach to be appointed as Selekcjoner

(Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

After earlier confirmation that the name of the new Poland coach will be announced imminently, unofficial reports in Poland are now emerging with confirmation of the new Selekcjoner’s identity. Numerous outlets have now begun to report that former European Championship winner Fernando Santos will be unveiled at the Stadion Narodowy on Tuesday.

After a lengthy process, PZPN president Cezary Kulesza confirmed last week that final negotiations with his chosen coach were concluding and that an announcement was expected in the coming weeks. Several renowned coaches, including Paulo Bento, Herve Renard and Vladimir Petković had been in the running, while the candidacy 68-year-old Santos was only reported by SportoweFakty late last week.

The search for a new Selekcjoner began after previous coach Czesław Michniewicz was dismissed at the end of his contract, three-and-a-half weeks ago. Michniewicz’s dismissal came despite Poland’s progression to the second round of the World Cup for the first time in 36 years; the poor group stage performances and a bonuses scandal engulfing his final weeks in charge.

Santos himself also lost his job following a poor showing in Qatar. His eight-year tenure in change of the Portugal national team was brought to an end after their quarter-final defeat to Morocco.

The Poland job will be Santos’ third international role, as prior to his spell in charge of his home nation, Santos also led the Greek national team for four years. Prior to that, the former defender gained a wealth of experience in both Portugal and Greece, coaching almost all of the two nations’ biggest clubs: Porto, Benfica, Sporting CP, AEK Athens, Panathinaikos and PAOK Salonika.

Although still to be confirmed, early reports suggest that Santos’ contract will be valid for three-and-a-half years (until June 2026). he will then lead the Poland national team for the first time in March’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Czech Republic.

Further reports have also suggested that a Polish coach will be appointed as Santos’ assistant, with all signs pointing towards current U21 coach Michał Probierz taking up the role. Probierz has a long relationship with president Kulesza, having twice led Kulesza’s former club Jagiellonia Białystok.


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