Tribuna Expresso



Bento finds settled formula for Portugal

Paulo Bento tells about the secret of his early success as Portugal coach, and why evolution not revolution is the watchword as UEFA EURO 2012 fast approaches.


Paulo Bento tells about his transition to international management and why, after such a successful start, he is not about to make any major changes before this summer's finals in Poland and Ukraine.

When Bento took the reins in October 2010, Portugal's UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign was listing uneasily after a point from two outings. He quickly got them back on an even keel, and from then on it was relatively plain sailing. Five wins in six games earned a place in the play-offs, where they overwhelmed Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The 42-year-old says that adapting quickly is part and parcel of football coaching, though he admits having "great players" makes things easier. Centre-back Pepe believes that Bento's own playing experience has helped, and it will continue to do so this summer. "He knows perfectly what a player thinks in a competition," said the Real Madrid CF defender. Bento thinks so too, and having established a team identity he is not about to alter it now. It is hard to disagree with his judgement thus far.