Bento handed Portugal reins

Paulo Bento has taken over as Portugal coach from Carlos Queiroz on a deal until July 2012 with the task of turning around their qualifying campaign after a slow start.

Paulo Bento made 35 appearances for Portugal as a player
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Paulo Bento has been appointed the new Portugal coach on a contract until July 2012.

The 41-year-old will be officially presented on Wednesday after taking over from Carlos Queiroz, whose contract was cancelled by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) earlier this month. Bento will work with assistant Leonel Pontes, physio João Aroso and goalkeeping coach Ricardo Peres, the team with which he worked at Sporting Clube de Portugal between 2005 and 2009, his first senior managerial role.

Capped 35 times by Portugal, Bento takes over a squad who have managed just one point from their opening two UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers – drawing 4-4 with Cyprus and losing 1-0 in Norway – having not failed to make a continental final tournament since the expansion to 16 teams in 1996. Portugal, who reached the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup, continue their Group H campaign against Denmark in Porto on 8 October and visit Iceland four days later.