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S. Korea appoints Paulo Bento nat'l football team head coach

South Korea on Friday appointed former Portugal boss Paulo Bento as the new head coach for the men's national football team.

Kim Pan-gon, who heads the national team coach appointment committee at the Korea Football Association, said that Bento will lead South Korea through the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The 49-year-old Portuguese will succeed Shin Tae-yong for the top South Korean football coaching job.

This undated file photo taken by the EPA shows Portuguese football coach Paulo Bento, who was named the South Korean national football head coach on Aug. 17, 2018. (Yonhap)
This undated file photo taken by the EPA shows Portuguese football coach Paulo Bento, who was named the South Korean national football head coach on Aug. 17, 2018. (Yonhap)

"After reviewing data on his plans, we believe Bento is a coach who can certainly develop South Korean football if we can support and wait for him for four years," Kim said at a press conference at the KFA House in Seoul.

Kim added that Bento meets the philosophy of South Korean football.

"Bento pursues high-pressing game that doesn't allow the opponents to build up their attacking process, and tries to prevent their counterattacks," he said. "He was also strong in knockout stage competitions. He is professional, charismatic and has passion and confidence."

Kim claimed that Bento also satisfies the criteria for the coaching job that was previously mentioned by him. In July, Kim said he wants a coach who has experience of World Cup qualification, winning a continental tournament and holding a trophy in top-class leagues.

"As Portugal coach, Bento posted 24 wins, 11 draws and nine losses and led that team to third place at EURO 2012," he said.

"Before leading the Portugal national team, he had 139 wins, 51 draws and 39 losses with Sporting and collected four trophies."

Kim said Bento will bring four of his staffs to the national

team: Sergio Costa, Felipe Coelho, Vitor Silvestre and Pedro Pereira.

"Sergio will be Bento's chief assistant and will analyze the opponents," he said. "Felipe is a coach who will be in charge of the team's defense training, while Vitor will serve as a goalkeeper coach. Perdo is a fitness coach, who also worked with Benfica."

The KFA said Bento and his staff are scheduled to arrive in South Korea on Monday.

Bento started his coaching career with Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon in 2004. After winning domestic cup competitions with Sporting, he moved on to coach the Portuguese national team in 2010.

Under Bento's guidance, Portugal reached the semifinals at Euro 2012 and qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. However, Bento was sacked in September 2014 after Portugal failed to reach the round of 16 at the World Cup and displayed poor performance in the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

Bento later had stints with Brazilian club Cruzeiro and Greek side Olympiakos. He last managed Chinese outfit Chongqing Lifan from December 2017 to July 2018.

Bento will be the second Portuguese to coach South Korea after Humberto Coelho, who was at the helm from 2003 to 2004.

A star defensive midfielder in the 1990s, Bento had 35 caps for Portugal. His last match in a Portugal jersey came in June 2002 against South Korea at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Bento will make his South Korea debut next month when they host Costa Rica and Chile in friendly matches. (Yonhap)
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