Fernando Santos has left his post as the coach of Portugal following his side’s exit from the Qatar World Cup.

The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) confirmed the news on its social media channels.

His departure from the role was expected after Portugal crashed out of the competition with a loss to Morocco in the quarterfinals while his decision to keep Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench for the game was criticized in many circles.

In an emotional video message, Santos shared that being Portugal’s coach was a “dream come true” and a “life goal” he fulfilled.

“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.”

In a separate statement, the FPF said both parties agreed to terminate the contract as it was the “right moment to start a new cycle”.

Santos took charge of Portugal in 2014 and led the country in 109 matches.

The European nation won the European Championship in 2016 and UEFA’s inaugural Nations League in 2018-19 under his guidance.

He joins other high-profile names such as Luis Enrique and Roberto Martinez who have left after underwhelming world cup campaigns.

Who will replace Fernando Santos as the next Portugal boss:

The million-dollar question will be answered in due time with FPF already on the hunt for a new manager.

According to media reports, Jose Mourinho is the favourite to take over the role while the national under-21 coach Rui Jorge and Lille boss Paulo Fonseca are also in the running.

Mourinho, the most well-known name in the lot, is currently the manager of AS Roma in the Italian Serie A.