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Greece coach Santos to step down after WCup

Friday - 2/28/2014, 9:00am  ET

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 file photo, Fernando Santos, the coach of Greece, celebrates after defeating Romania in their World Cup qualifying playoff second leg match at the National Arena in Bucharest. Greece's Football Association said Thursday Feb. 27, 2014, that national coach Fernando Santos will step down following the World Cup in Brazil, after a successful four-year term on the job that saw the country rise to 12th place in the the FIFA world rankings. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, File)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece national soccer team coach Fernando Santos plans to leave after the World Cup.

The 59-year-old Santos, a Portuguese native, was hired in July 2010 after the retirement of Otto Rehhagel, who coached Greece to the 2004 European Championship title.

Hellenic Football Federation director Giorgos Sarris said Thursday he will "continue to offer full support until his final day in his position."

Santos turned Greece away from a defensive approach and has led the nation to a 24-4-3 record. Greece plays Colombia, Japan and Ivory Coast at the World Cup.

Greece is 12th in the current FIFA rankings and was eighth in October 2011, matching its high set from April to June 2008.

Santos previously coached Estoril (1987-94), Estrela da Amadora (1994-98), Porto (1998-01), AEK Athens (2001-02 and 2004-06), Panathinaikos (2002-03), Sporting Lisbon (2003-04), Benfica (2006-07) and PAOK (2007-10).


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