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Santos Says Players Wanted Glory

first_imgGreece’s outgoing national soccer team coach Fernando Santos, whose contracted expired on June 30, rained on the team’s parade by leaving early after its last-gasp elimination on penalty kicks to Costa Rica and said that some players were more interested in personal glory than team work.The comments by the Portuguese coach upset many in Greece, including the media, angry that he threw cold water on a performance that saw the team make it to the round of 16 and narrowly miss making it into the final eight, stopped by sensational saves by Costa Rican goalie Keylor Navas when Greece had a man advantage through two overtimes.Santos said that some of the players, who were being hailed in Greece, were more interested in personal success than following instructions, but he didn’t name them, and added that they had pursued glory for themselves.His remarks came in a radio interview in Portugal but set off a firestorm of criticism in Greece for the 59-year-old. Panathinaikos President Yiannis Alafouzos, in a Tweet said that, “”He is blaming the players for the elimination. It’s a shame he did not use the talented young players at his disposal instead of being stuck in his ways.”Prominent Greek sports media site gazzetta.gr weighed into the debate with an article asking: “Santos, why did you have to spoil everything right at the end?” referring to the comments and criticizing the fact Santos left Brazil early to catch a flight to Portugal, missing the team’s farewell dinner, according to Reuters.In quotes attributed to Radio Noticias, Santos said: “We had two or three players more interested in being remembered as the man to score a historic goal for Greece.“It concerned them more to score than the correct circulation of the ball, leading to many mistakes and us losing possession.”Santos, who had spent four years in charge of Greece, was ejected before the penalty shootout after the game ended in a 1-1 tie and had to watch on television as his side crashed out of the tournament.Greece is reportedly close to naming a successor with some media claiming a verbal agreement had already been reached with Claudio Ranieri, with the Italian expected to be named later this month.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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