Fernando Santos, former Greece coach, has lashed out at the squad.Reuters

Fernando Santos, the outgoing Greek coach, has stated that his players were more interested in personal success than following his instructions.

Greece exited football's mega event on Sunday; they were defeated in a heart-breaking penalty shootout by 10-man Costa Rica, after the match had ended 1-1 after extra-time.

Instead of focusing on teamwork, some players chased personal glory, Santos pointed out. The Portuguese tactician's contract with Greece expired on Monday.

"We had two or three players more interested in being remembered as the man to score a historic goal for Greece. It concerned them more to score than the correct circulation of the ball, leading to many mistakes and us losing possession, "The Guardian quoted Santos.

Sections of the media and soccer figures in Greece have been angered by the 59-year-old's comments. Panathinaikos president Giannis Alafouzos was particularly scathing as he lead the criticism.

"He is blaming the players for the elimination. It's a shame he did not use the talented young players at his disposal instead of being stuck in his ways," Alafouzos stated on Twitter.

Prominent Greek sports media sites also weighed into the debate.

"Santos, why did you have to spoil everything right at the end?" an article on's questioned.

The fact that the coach left Brazil early to catch a flight to Portugal, and missed the team's farewell dinner in the process, did not go down well with the media.

Inspite of playing for more than an hour with a player advantage, Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas proved to be a stumbling block for the Greeks as they were thwarted on several occasions .

Santos, who had spent four years in charge of Greece, was forced to watch his team's second-round World Cup exit on television as he was banished to the stands just before the shootout.

The hunt for Santos' replacement is at an advanced stage, with reports claiming a verbal agreement has already been reached with Claudio Ranieri.  The former Chelsea coach is expected to be unveiled later this month.