EURO 2012: Coaches under the spotlight

We examine the curricula of the four coaches before the first round of games at the UEFA EURO 2012, kicking off this Friday in Poland, the first game between Smuda's home side and the Portuguese Fernando Santos' Greece, followed by Russia and the Czech Republic.

Poland v. Greece


The Poland national team coach is Franciszek Smuda, 63 years old, 24 years in soccer management. After a career as a defender in Poland, the USA and Germany, he  moved into coaching and has worked with teams in Poland, Germany, Turkey and Cyprus.


3 Polish Championships 1996, 1997 Widzew Łódź; 1999 Wisła Kraków

Polish Cup Lech Poznań 2008/9

National Team Coach since 2009


Fernando Santos, Portuguese; 57 years old, 25 years as a soccer manager. A right back with Marítimo and Estoril, he turned to management in 1987 and coached Estoril, Estrela da Amadora and FC Porto in Portugal before moving to Greece, where he managed AEK Athens and Panathinaikos, then back to Portugal, to Sporting Cp, back to Greece for a second term with AEK, then the last of the Big Three in Portugal - SL Benfica, then three more years in Greece at PAOK, before taking over the national team in 2010.


1 Portuguese Championship FC Porto

2 Portuguese Cups FC Porto

2 Portuguese Super Cups FC Porto

1 Greek Cup Panathinaikos

Russia v. Czech Republic


Dick Advocaat

The Little General, 64 years old and 27 as a soccer coach, played as a defensive midfield player in the Netherlands and the USA before moving into management with Dutch amateur football team Door Samenwerking Verkregen Pijnacker (DSVP) then went on to amass a stunning collection of appointments at Haarlem, SVV, PSV, Glasgow Rangers (Scotland), Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany), Zenit (Russia) and Alkmaar at club level, and at international level, two stints as assistant coach to the Netherlands, then two as national team coach, also United Arab Emirates, Republic of Korea (South), Belgium and Russia. He retires from Russia after the Euro and will go to PSV for a year.


Dutch Eerste Divisie (Second highest division) SVV

1 Dutch Championship, 1 KNVB Cup and 2 Johan Cruijff-schaal with PSV

2 Scottish Premier League titles, 2 Scottish Cups and 1 Scottish league Cup with Rangers

1 Russian Premier League, 1 Russian Super Cup, 1 UEFA Cup and 1 UEFA Super Cup with Zenit

Czech Republic

Michal Bilek. 47 years old, 12 in management. A right-sided midfield player, his playing career was in Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic and in Spain (Betis). He played 35 times for the national team, between 1987 and 1995. His coaching career took place mainly in the Czech Republic (Teplice, Chmel Blsany, Viktoria Plzen, Sparta Praha, Ruzomberok), also briefly with Cartaginés in Costa Rica and a spell with the Czech Under-19s, before being appointed national team coach in 2009.


Czech Championship with Sparta Praha

1 Runner-up title

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov