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Paulo Bento handed Sporting chance

Sporting Clube de Portugal have appointed former Portugal midfielder Paulo Bento as their new coach following the departure of José Peseiro.

Youth success
The club's new president Filipe Soares Franco chose the 36-year-old Paulo Bento after himself replacing António Dias da Cunha on Wednesday, the day after Peseiro resigned. Paulo Bento had been in charge of Sporting's youth team and led them to the Portuguese title last season.

'Major challenge'
"I would like to thank Sporting’s officials," said Paulo Bento, who has signed a contract until the end of the season. "I ended my playing career here and started my coaching career in the youth team. My work with the youth team has been interrupted because I believe this is a major challenge for me.

Confidence required

"I hope we can improve the team's performance and it will be good if all the supporters get behind the players," added the new coach who has named Carlos Pereira and Leonel Pontes as his assistants, Ricardo Peres as his goalkeeping coach and João Aroso as his physio. "We have quality players and I believe we will improve. The players have to get their confidence back."

Brilliant career
The former international midfielder began his career as a footballer at CF Estrela da Amadora, helping them win the Portuguese Cup in 1989/90. He then moved on to Vitória SC before a switch to SL Benfica brought him another cup triumph in 1995/96. He then spent four seasons in Spain with Real Oviedo CF.

Success as a coach
Paulo Bento returned to Portuguese football and Sporting for the 2000/01 campaign, and a season later helped them win the double. He hung up his boots at the end of 2003/04, and quickly accepted a role in the Sporting coaching setup.