Carlos Manuel Correia dos Santos ([ˈkaɾluʃ mɐnuˈɛɫ]; born 15 January 1958), known as Carlos Manuel, is a retired Portuguese professional footballer who played as a central midfielder, and a current manager.
Best known for his spell at Benfica, for which he appeared in 318 official games over the course of eight-and-a-half seasons, scoring 58 goals. He was also a leading figure for the national team during the better part of the 1980s and, after retiring, he embarked on a lengthy spell as coach.
Having won more than 40 caps for Portugal in six years, Carlos Manuel represented the nation in one World Cup and one European Championship.
Born in Moita, Setúbal District, Carlos Manuel made his football debuts with G.D. CUF, moving in 1978 to F.C. Barreirense. He reached the Primeira Liga as he signed with S.L. Benfica, still in Lisbon, going on to be an influential member of a side that won four leagues and six cups in the 80's, as well as finishing runner-up to R.S.C. Anderlecht in the 1982–83 UEFA Cup.
After falling out of favour with the club's management, Carlos Manuel moved in January 1988 to Switzerland with FC Sion. Only five months later, he returned to the Portuguese capital after signing with Sporting Clube de Portugal. After a solid first season his career began winding down, and he finally retired midway through the 1993–94 campaign, whilst at G.D. Estoril Praia – he had previously represented Boavista F.C. for two years; he was chosen by Portuguese sports newspaper Record as one of the best 100 Portuguese football players ever.
After retiring at 36, Carlos Manuel took on coaching, having managed with little success a host of clubs, mainly in the Lisbon area. Midway through 1997–98, he bought out his contract at S.C. Salgueiros and joined Sporting, but the latter could only finish fourth and he was sacked, a fate he met mere months after at S.C. Braga.
For the Portugal national team, Carlos Manuel was capped on 42 occasions, scoring eight goals. His debut came on 26 March 1980 in a 1–4 away loss against Scotland for the UEFA Euro 1980 qualifiers.
Three of those goals were memorable: the win over Poland in Wrocław on 28 October 1983, which helped Portugal qualify for Euro 1984; the historic victory in West Germany on 16 October 1985, which secured qualification for the 1986 FIFA World Cup, and in the latter competition's final stages, the win over England in the group opener (all three matches finished 1–0 for Portugal).
After the 1986 World Cup loss to Morocco, with the national side being ousted in the group stages – the competition was also stained by the Portuguese players' involvement in the Saltillo Affair – Carlos Manuel retired from the international scene, at only 28.Benfica
Primeira Liga: 1980–81, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1986–87
Taça de Portugal: 1979–80, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87
Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 1979, 1984
Taça de Honra (2)
UEFA Cup: Runner-up 1982–83
Taça de Portugal: 1991–92
Portuguese Footballer of the Year: 1985