The Polish Football Association (PZPN) has appointed former Portugal coach Fernando Santos as its new head coach. Negotiations with former Korean coach Paulo Bento, who initially seemed likely to be appointed, finally broke down.
The Polish Football Association officially announced on the 24th (Korean time) that Santos was appointed as the new head coach of the Polish national football team.
The contract period is until June 2026, and Poland is scheduled to host the European Football Federation (UEFA) Euro 2024 and the 2026 International Football Federation (FIFA) World Cup in North and Central America (Canada, USA, Mexico) under Santos coach system.
Poland achieved the achievement of advancing to the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but since then, it has parted ways with coach Czesław Mihniewicz and has been looking for a new coach.
Initially, Poland put Bento, who had ended his accompaniment with the Korean national soccer team, as a leading candidate and even proceeded with negotiations, so there was a high possibility that Bento would go to Poland. However, he could not reach a final agreement with coach Bento, and after the World Cup in Qatar, he held the hand of coach Santos, who put down the Portuguese baton.
Santos led the Portugal national football team from 2014 to 2022, winning Euro 2016 and the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League. In the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which was in a group with Korea, it advanced to the quarterfinals, but was eliminated due to a Moroccan storm.
He also coached the Greek national team from 2010 to 2014, making it to the quarterfinals of Euro 2012 and the round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
At the inaugural press conference held in Warsaw, Poland, head coach Santos said, “From today I am Polish and I am one of you. The Polish national team has many players with outstanding skills. It is an honor to continue my career in such a good team. It’s amazing,” he said.
At the same time, coach Santos said, “I prefer the expression ‘we’ rather than ‘I’. Without a coach, there are no players, and without players, there are no coaches. I look forward to the support of the Polish people and the media.” It’s not about falling, it’s about winning. I will work hard to give you a lot of joy (during my tenure).”
Regarding the process of appointing the new head coach, Sézary Kulesha, head of the Polish Football Association, said: “It has been a turbulent few weeks. We had to make a very difficult choice, but we made the best decision.”
“We wanted a coach with strong charisma who has left behind outstanding achievements and has experience in coaching the national team,” he said. “Coach Santos met all our requirements. We will also be involved in the development of the program.” 토토사이트