Coaches resigned, relieved after World Cup exit

The World Cup 2022 ended with only one team emerged as champion. The rest of team will need to wait for another four years to bag the trophy or reclaim their glory. This edition of the World Cup, like any other major international tournament, is ruthless, and the pressure goes to the head coach. Now that the tournament is finished, here are the managers that confirmed out of the national team after failing to make an impact in the World Cup: 

Fernando Santos (Portugal)

Following the shock defeat to Morocco 1-0 in the quarterfinals, Portugal coach Fernando Santos stepped down as the national team coach. The 68-year-old spent eight years in charge of the team, leading the team to victory at Euro 2016, as well as the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019. However, he failed to make an impact in their recent campaigns, failing to defend their Euro title and to advance in the final-four of the World Cup.

Santos said in an emotional video message that being at helm with Portugal’s was a “dream come true” and a “life goal” he achieved. “When you lead groups, you have to make some difficult decisions,” he added. “It’s normal that not everyone was happy with the choices I made but the decisions I took were always thinking about what would be best for our team.” Get free soccer predictions for today

Tite (Brazil)

Brazil head coach Tite confirmed his departure in the team after their shock World Cup quarter-final exit. The Selecao lost 4-2 to Croatia in a penalty shoot-out following 1-1 draw after 120 minutes at the Education City Stadium. Tite replaced Dunga in 2016 and won 61 of his 81 games in charge of Brazil. “Painful defeat, but I’m at peace with myself. End of a cycle,” the 61-year-old coach said.

Tite took over as Brazil coach in 2016, leading the team to Copa America win in 2019 and two consecutive World Cup quarterfinal exit. The five-time champions failed to pass the semifinals since winning in the 2022 edition and were eliminated twice in quarterfinals under Tite, whose contract was set to expire in February next year. 

Luis Enrique (Spain)

Luis Enrique was sacked by Spain after Morocco knocked them out of the World Cup in their last-16 matchup. Spain finished second in the group stage and nearly crashed out early as they reached the knockouts on goal difference. It was an underwhelming run for the 2010 World Cup winners, starting strong with 7-0 win in the opening before drawing with Germany and suffering a shock defeat to Japan.

Enrique took over in 2018 after La Roja’s disappointing Russia World Cup. He led the team to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, where they were also beaten on penalties by eventual winners Italy. The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) also confirmed the appointment of Luis De la Fuente as Enrique’s replacement. He will make his debut in March for Euro 2024 qualifiers.

Roberto Martinez (Belgium)

Roberto Martinez resigned as Belgium coach following their humiliating World Cup campaign, crashing out as early as the group stage after finishing third in Group F standings. FIFA’s second-ranked side ended their berth in the tournament with a goalless draw against Croatia, who finished behind group winners Morocco. “That was my last game. It was emotional as you can imagine,” Martinez said.

The 49-year-old Martinez was appointed in 2016, succeeding Marc Wilmots, who led Belgium to the top of the world rankings for the first time from November 2015 to April 2016. Martinez guided Belgium’s “Golden Generation” to their best World Cup place, finishing third four years ago. They also topped the world rankings from September 2018 to March 2022 under Martinez.

Louis van Gaal (Netherlands)

Following a dramatic quarter-final defeat against  Argentina 2-2 (3-4) on penalties, Louis van Gaal has confirmed that he will be stepping down as the manager of the Netherlands for the third time. Van Gaal was reappointed by the Oranje after Ronald Koeman quit to take over at Barcelona in 2021. “This was my very last match of my third term as head coach,” the 53-year-old said. 

The 71-year-old van Gaal, who is the third-oldest manager at a World Cup, entered the tournament unbeaten in the last 15 international matches. Their last defeat came in the last-16 of the Euro 2020 last year before the defeat against Argentina. The Dutch side confirms that Koeman will retake his role as the Netherlands boss for their 2024 European Championship qualifying campaign

Paulo Bento (South Korea)

After guiding South Korea up until the last-16 of the 2022 World Cup, Paulo Bento steps down as their head coach following the 4-1 defeat against Brazil that knocked them out of the tournament. The former Portugal boss left the side after four years at the helm.“Now I need to think about the future, but I will not be with the Korea team,” the 53-year-old said. 

Gerardo Martino (Mexico)

Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino was the first coaching casualty of the World Cup after his Mexico side crashed out early in the competition. The Mexican Football Federation has announced his departure after El Tri were eliminated from the World Cup’s group stage for the first time since 1978, finishing third in Group C. “My contract ended as soon as the referee blew the final whistle,” Martino said. 

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