- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 21, 2010

LISBON, PORTUGAL (AP) - 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 month.

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.

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