Portugal's Santos heads into 1000th game as coach

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BELGRADE (Reuters) - Portugal boss Fernando Santos will reach the rare milestone of heading into his 1000th game as head coach at club and international level combined when the European champions take on Serbia in their 2022 World Cup Group A qualifier on Saturday.

The 66-year old from Lisbon won Euro 2016 and the 2019 Nations League with his country, having clinched the Portuguese league and cup double with Porto in 1999 and the 2002 Greek cup with AEK Athens.

Having started at unheralded Portuguese club Estoril in 1988, he was also at the helm of Lisbon's city rivals Sporting and Benfica before a 2010-2014 stint in charge of Greece, as listed by the Portuguese FA website (www.fpf.pt).

Portugal began their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 1-0 "home" win over Azerbaijan in a match played in Turin in Italy, while Serbia edged Ireland 3-2 at home in Belgrade's Rajko Mitic stadium, the venue of Saturday evening's clash starting at 1945 GMT.

(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Hugh Lawson)