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


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.