Europe 1 with AFP 6:03 p.m., January 24, 2023

Former Portugal coach Fernando Santos was named head of Poland's national football team at an official ceremony in Warsaw on Tuesday.

The main mission of the coach will be to qualify Poland for Euro 2024 which will take place in Germany.

After spending eight years at the head of the Portuguese selection, Fernando Santos was appointed coach of Poland on Tuesday.

The 68-year-old technician will be responsible for leading Robert Lewandowski's teammates to the final phase of Euro 2024 which will take place in Germany. 

"As of today, I am Polish, said Mr. Santos, I am one of you, it is an honor to continue my work as a coach here".

"The choice was difficult, but we chose the best," Polish Football Federation (PZPN) president Cezary Kulesza said. "Our first goal is to qualify for the European Cup." .


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Czeslaw Michniewicz fired last month

The new coach will succeed Czeslaw Michniewicz, dismissed last month after leading the Eagles to the round of 16 of the World Cup in Qatar, where they were eliminated (3-1) by France, future finalist.

Poland finished second in their group, behind eventual champions Argentina (2-0 winner), after beating Saudi Arabia (2-0) and drawing with Mexico (0-0).

Much criticized by the press in his country for Poland's ultra-defensive approach during the tournament, Michniewicz was also singled out by the PZPN for a "lack of vision on the functioning and the future of the team".

Fernando Santos led the Portuguese team from 2014 until his resignation last month after the team's shock 1-0 loss in the quarter-finals of the World Cup against Morocco.

He offered Portugal its first major title with the coronation of European champion in 2016 in France then won the 2019 Nations League at home.

However, his tenure was also marred by knockout rounds of the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020.