[Writer's Choice] Paulo Bento From Portugal Named New South Korea Coach
Jay Yim, Aug. 17, 2018, 4:58 p.m.
South Korea has named a new coach for their national soccer team and his name is Paulo Bento.
The Taegeuk Warriors have been looking for a replacement for Shin Tae Yong, who unfortunately was not given a new contract after his team exited the group stages at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Bento, 49, took Portugal to the semifinal of Euro 2012, but was soon on his way out after a disappointing group stage exit at the 2014 World Cup. He also had some short-lived careers in Greece, Brazil and China. He was fired by Chinese Super League club Chongqing Lifan in July after seeing a run of poor results.
Kim Pan-gon, the head of the Korea Football Association's Technical Committee, told a press conference in Seoul on Friday, "After reviewing his plans, we believe Bento is a coach who can develop South Korean football if we can support and wait for him for four years,"
Kim did confess that Bento was not on his original list of three candidates which were reported to have included former Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic and a former coach for Spain, Quique Sanchez Flores.
Kim told reporters, "While we were in negotiations with the others, we heard that Bento had become available. We were excited with his results at Euro 2012 and while there were problems at the 2014 World Cup, he had already proven his leadership qualities."
Although Bento showed poor results in China, Kim dismissed those worries and said, "Even there, he improved and developed the team's training. I have no worries at all about his ability."
Kim added, "Bento likes a high-pressing game that doesn't allow the opponents to build any attacking momentum, and tries to prevent their counterattacks. He also has a good record in knockout stage competitions. He is professional, charismatic and has passion and confidence."
Bento's main goal for the national Korean team is to take them to the 2022 World Cup in Quatar.
His first test of coaching abilties will come in the 2019 Asian Cup in January and South Korea will start their preparations with a home friendly against Costa Rica on Sept 7 and then Chile four days after.