Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Controversial Fernando Santos quit as coach of Portugal on Thursday following the team’s shocking loss to Morocco in FIFA World Cup quarter-final.

The Portuguese football federation (FPF) said in a statement that an agreement was reached with the 68-year-old Santos to end the journey of great success that began in September 2014.

“We will now launch the process to choose the next national coach,” the FPF added.

Following Portugal’s shocking loss to Morocco leading to the team’s elimination from the FIFA World Cup, Santos faced severe criticism.

Santos had led Portugal to win the UEFA Euro Cup in 2016. However, some of his decisions have been widely criticized by fans and experts. The biggest of those decisions is dropping the legendary footballer Cristiano Ronaldo off the starting XI in the all-important last eight games against Morocco.

Following the development, Jose Mourinho has been named as a leading candidate to take over.

FDF would even reportedly entertain a deal that would see Mourinho take charge of the national team on an interim basis to allow him to see out the season with club side Roma in Italy.

Mourinho, 59, is yet to coach at the international level but has an impressive record at some of Europe’s heavyweight clubs. He has managed Porto, Chelsea twice, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United.

As per local media reports, Portuguese coaches Rui Jorge (U-21), Abel Ferreira (Palmeiras), Paulo Fonseca (Lille), Rui Vitoria (Egypt) and Jorge Jesus (Fenerbahce) are also among the potential candidates as the head coach candidate for Portugal.