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José Mourinho

Mourinho backed to become new Portugal manager as Maniche weighs in on tension between Ronaldo & Santos

6:53 PM GMT+4 13/12/2022
Mourinho-Roma-2022-23
Jose Mourinho has been backed to become Portugal's new head coach by Maniche amid the reported tension between Cristiano Ronaldo and Fernando Santos.
  • Portugal set to sack Santos
  • Mourinho tipped to replace him
  • Tension remains between Santos & Ronaldo

WHAT HAPPENED? Santos is reportedly set to be removed from his managerial post by the Portuguese FA (FPF) after the Seleccao's shock defeat to Morocco in the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup. Mourinho is the favourite to replace Santos, with it reported that the FPF have approached the Roma boss with a unique package that could see him take on the national team job to run alongside his work at Stadio Olimpico. Former Portugal international Maniche, who played under Mourinho during his time in charge of Porto, believes the 59-year-old would be the ideal fit for the role.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Jose Mourinho is the coach who makes perfect sense for the position, for everything he has already achieved and has been achieving,'' Maniche said to Radio Renascenca. ''He is an experienced coach who is very prepared for difficulties because he knows our football and football abroad, he is intelligent and knows how to deal with young people. He has already adapted to this generation and proved it by winning a title at Roma, which didn't happen a few years ago.''

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Maniche went on to weigh in on the friction between Ronaldo and Santos at the World Cup, with the manager having taken the bold decision to drop the Portugal captain to the bench in the knockout stages. Santos also publicly criticised Ronaldo for his reaction to being substituted in a group stage loss to South Korea, and Maniche thinks the situation has become untenable. "There has to be a direct and frank conversation with both (Ronaldo & Santos),'' he added. ''It is not an easy decision for the president of the Federation, because he has the best Portuguese player of all time, and he has a coach with a contract, but we cannot escape the evidence of a malaise that exists between Fernando Santos and Cristiano Ronaldo.''

IN THREE PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? It has been suggested that Ronaldo will announce his retirement from international football on the back of Portugal's latest World Cup failure. However, the 37-year-old could yet be tempted to carry on, given he only needs one more cap to claim the outright record for the most senior international appearances in the history of the men's game - ahead of Kuwait forward Badr Al-Mutawa.

WHAT NEXT FOR MOURINHO? The Portuguese manager has been overseeing mid-season friendlies during the World Cup break. His Roma side will return to competitive action on January 4 against Bologna in Serie A.