Paulo Bento is new Portugal coach

Former Portuguese national team player Paulo Bento has been

appointed coach of his country’s national team.

The Portuguese Football Federation said in a statement on its

website Tuesday that Bento has accepted a contract through to the

2012 European Championship. His only previous senior coaching

experience was at Sporting Lisbon from 2005-09.

The 41-year-old replaces Carlos Queiroz, who was fired this

month.

The federation tried unsuccessfully to hire Real Madrid’s Jose

Mourinho as an interim coach for its next qualifiers, against

Denmark on Oct. 8 and Iceland four days later. Portugal is

currently fourth in Group H with one point.

Bento made 35 appearances for Portugal as a defensive midfielder

before retiring in 2003.