Bento coaching Portugal at Euro 2012
|Full name||Paulo Jorge Gomes Bento|
|Date of birth||20 June 1969|
|Place of birth||Lisbon, Portugal|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|Current club||Portugal (coach)|
|2004–2005||Sporting CP (juniors)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
A defensive midfielder with tackling ability and workrate as his main assets, he played for two of the major three teams in his country, amassing top division totals of 284 games and 16 goals over the course of 11 seasons, and also spent four years in Spain. He represented the Portuguese national team in one World Cup and one European Championship.
Bento took up a coaching career, managing Sporting during four years and four months, with relative success, and also being in charge of the national team.
Born in Lisbon, Bento played professionally in his homeland for C.F. Estrela da Amadora, Vitória de Guimarães and S.L. Benfica, and had a four-year abroad spell with La Liga side Real Oviedo (helping the Asturias outfit to always maintain its top flight status) before moving to Sporting Clube de Portugal, where he finished his career as a player. With Sporting, he was part of the star-studded team that achieved the double in 2002 – contributing with 31 games and one goal in the league – under the direction of Laszlo Bölöni, playing alongside João Vieira Pinto and Mário Jardel, among others.
Bento gained 35 caps for the Portuguese national team, his first game coming on 15 January 1992 in a 0–0 draw with Spain; his last was the 0–1 loss to South Korea on 14 June 2002, in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He also played at UEFA Euro 2000 where, along with teammates Abel Xavier – who played with him at Oviedo for two seasons – and Nuno Gomes, he was suspended (in Bento's case for five months) due to bad behavior, during the semi-final loss with France.
After an emotional 2004 retirement, aged 35, Bento got the job of Sporting's youth team coach. He won the junior championship in 2005, and developed a base to the future. After the sacking of José Peseiro, midway through 2005–06 season, he was promoted to first-team duties. This was somewhat surprising decision given his relatively little experience in management. To most observers, he was seen as an interim at the post, handling the team until a more prestigious manager was found.
Despite a slow start, Bento managed an impressive turnaround of Sporting's fortunes in the second half of the season, as a series of 10 consecutive wins placed Sporting within touching distance of then-leaders and eventual league champions F.C. Porto, as Sporting came second in that and the following season, achieving direct UEFA Champions League qualification. He was now firmly established as a top flight manager.
In June 2007, Bento signed a two-year contract-extension. Using the former experience in the youth team, he began building a strong squad using players from Sporting's famed youth academy. Under his supervision, highly rated young players such as Nani, João Moutinho and Miguel Veloso, all of them raised in Sporting's youth roster, bursted into the spotlight. During the 2006–07 campaign, Bento's team challenged for the Portuguese League title until the final day of the season, finishing runners-up to Porto, by a single point. He would lead Sporting on a successful Portuguese Cup campaign, culminating in a 1–0 victory in the final against C.F. Os Belenenses. Bento would later on lead Sporting to capture the Portuguese Supercup in 2007, beating champions Porto in the final (1–0).
Sporting had a turbulent pre-season in preparation for the 2007–08 campaign. Defense mainstays Rodrigo Tello and Marco Caneira left the club, while Portuguese international keeper Ricardo was sold to Real Betis. With little resources to invest, Sporting brought Eastern promises: Simon Vukčević, Marat Izmailov and Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojković aboard.
After a very irregular season, Bento managed to lead Sporting to an unprecedented third consecutive qualification for the Champions League, with another second-place finish. Despite spending most of the season below third place, Sporting managed to pip Guimarães and Benfica in the final match day of the league season to secure Champions League football once again. In the same season, Bento also retained the domestic cup, beating Porto in the final (2–0 after extra time), after knocking-out eternal rivals Benfica in the last four, with a 5–3 triumph.
Bento's team broke a number of long-standing club records, including the first season without home defeats since 1987, the first capture of back-to-back Portuguese cups since 1974 and the first time since 1962 that Sporting finished three consecutive seasons in the top two league positions. At the age of 38, Bento also became only the fifth manager in the history of Portuguese football to win back-to-back Portuguese cups (alongside the likes of Janos Biri, John Mortimore or José Maria Pedroto).
On 15 July 2008, The Sun and the Daily Telegraph reported that Manchester United were planning to hire Bento (reportedly Cristiano Ronaldo's friend and former teammate) as manager Alex Ferguson's new assistant after the departure of previous number two Carlos Queiroz to manage the Portuguese national team. Bento quickly denied any speculation and reaffirmed his intention to stay at Sporting.
In preparation for the 2008–09 season, Bento was given leeway to add a number of experienced players to his squad. In this manner, Fábio Rochemback and Caneira completed their return to Sporting, while Hélder Postiga swapped Porto for the Lisbon club. Furthermore, Sporting acquired the footballing rights for Izmailov and Leandro Grimi, while successfully fending off widespread interest in their high-rated youngsters Moutinho and Veloso.
On 16 August 2008 Bento managed Sporting to a clear 2–0 victory in the Supercup over champions Porto, at the opening of the new campaign. One of the players that Bento has kept in the team despite heavy criticism, Rui Patrício, was a key element and saved a crucial penalty from Lucho González during the second half. This win raised Bento's tally in cup finals against counterpart Jesualdo Ferreira to 3–0 (2007 and 2008 Supercups, and the 2008 Portuguese Cup). Additionally, it marked the first ever capture of back-to-back Portuguese Supercups in Sporting's history, thus adding to the list of club records broken during Bento's tenure.
Already the second most successful manager in the history of the club in terms of trophies won (only surpassed by the legendary Josef Szabo), Bento gained the nickname "Papa-Taças" (roughly translated as "cup-eater") as a consequence of the four pieces of silverware added to Sporting's cabinet under his command.
On 4 November 2008 Bento led Sporting to a 1–0 home win over FC Shakhtar Donetsk, therefore mathematically securing automatic qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in the club's history. In the process, his team also broke the club's record number of points in UEFA's main competition (nine) and remarkably did so with two matches to spare, becoming the first team to qualify from the group stages in 2008–09 (alongside FC Barcelona, from the same group). Later he would also lead Sporting to break the (unremarkable) record for most goals suffered by a team in a Champions League knockout round, after a 1–12 aggregate ousting at the hands of FC Bayern Munich, at the round-of-16. In the league, another second place to FC Porto, with the season also featuring the controversial League Cup final loss against Benfica, on penalties.
That heavy Champions League ousting marked the beginning of fan discontent towards Bento, especially regarding the team's playing style (which was perceived as becoming dull and unattractive) continued until the end of the season, where presidential elections were held. Supported by the winning candidate José Eduardo Bettencourt, Bento signed a two-year contract extension; in spite of maintaining the same base squad and adding the talent of Matías Fernández or Felipe Caicedo, Sporting was unable to start the season brightly. Knocked out in the Champions League playoff round by ACF Fiorentina on away goals, the club's form slumped quickly and after nine matches the Lions found themselves mired in 7th place, 12 points adrift from leaders S.C. Braga.
After a 1–1 home draw in the UEFA Europa League group stage against Latvian side FK Ventspils on 5 November 2009, and facing considerable pressure to step down, Bento resigned as manager of Sporting. His tenure at the helm of Sporting's football team was the second longest ever in the history of the club and was marked by a strong style but also by a cult of more defensive approaches to the game.
On 20 September 2010, following Queiroz's dismissal after a poor start to the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, Bento was named his successor, initially until the last match of that stage. His first game in charge came on 8 October, a 3–1 win against Denmark in Porto.
- As of 19 November 2013.
|Sporting CP||21 October 2005||5 November 2009||229||139||51||39||258||181||+77||60.70|
|Portugal||20 September 2010||Present||39||22||10||7||76||39||+37||56.41|
- Estrela Amadora
- Portuguese Cup: 1989–90
- Portuguese Cup: 1995–96
- Portuguese Cup: 2006–07, 2007–08
- Portuguese Supercup: 2007, 2008
- Portuguese League Cup: Runner-up 2007–08, 2008–09
- Euro 2000 profile; BBC Sport
- Bento to join Sporting Lisbon; BBC Sport, 30 May 2000
- UEFA suspends Portuguese trio; BBC Sport, 2 July 2000
- "Paulo Bento handed Sporting chance". UEFA.com. 21 October 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- Bento refreshes Sporting ties; UEFA.com, 12 June 2007
- Lawless, Matt (15 July 2008). "Manchester United turn to Cristiano Ronaldo friend in search for new assistant". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 August 2008-08.
- "Bento rejects Red Devils talk". Sky Sports. 15 July 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
- "Djalo fires Sporting to Supercup win". PortuGOAL. 18 August 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2008.[dead link]
- "Sporting beat Porto in Portuguese Super Cup". ESPN Soccernet. 17 August 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2008.
- "Paulo Bento imparável" [Paulo Bento unstoppable] (in Portuguese). Record. 17 August 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2008.
- "Paulo Bento aceita a alcunha "papa-taças": "É bom sinal"" [Bento accepts "Papa-taças" nickname: "It's a good sign"] (in Portuguese). Diário IOL. 16 August 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2008.
- "Bento basks in Sporting success". UEFA.com. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
- "Derlei sparks Sporting celebrations". UEFA.com. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
- "Quim the hero of Benfica triumph". UEFA.com. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
- "Crise no Sporting: todos admitem, poucos assumem e ninguem reage" [Sporting crisis: all admit, few acknowledge, none react] (in Portuguese). Sporting Apoio. Retrieved 4 November 2009.[dead link]
- "Viola find edge to go through". UEFA.com. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
- "Paulo Bento demitiu-se" [Paulo Bento resigned] (in Portuguese). Record. 6 November 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
- "Bento calls time on Sporting tenure". UEFA.com. 6 November 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
- "Portugal confirm appointment of Paulo Bento". ESPN Soccernet. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- "Denmark defeated on Bento's Portugal debut". UEFA.com. 9 October 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
- "Portugal 4–0 Spain". ESPN Star. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
- "Spain survive test of nerve to reach final". UEFA.com. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- Paulo Bento at footballzz.co.uk
- Stats at ForaDeJogo
- Stats at Liga de Fútbol Profesional (Spanish)
- BDFutbol profile
- Paulo Bento at National-Football-Teams.com
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paulo Bento.|