Paulo Jorge Gomes Bento was born on June 20th 1969 in Lisbon. As a player, he used to perform as a defensive midfielder and stood out for his dynamism and sharpness during the game.
He launched his coaching career as Sporting’s Academies coach (2004/05 season). Shortly after the 2005/06 season kicked off, Mr Bento took on as head coach of Lisbon’s club first team. His debut at the club’s bench was on 23/10/2005 in the away draw against Gil Vicente (2-2).
The end of his first season saw the club finish 2nd in the league (note: in that season he registered an impressive 10-win streak) following title winners of Porto and thus earning direct entry in next year’s UEFA Champions League edition.
In the 2006/07 season, Paulo Bento celebrated the Portuguese Cup (1-0 win over Belenenses in the final) and finished again 2nd in the Portuguese championship. He also made his UEFA Champions League debut as a manager.
One year later (2007/08), Mr Bento climbed one step higher in Europe, whereas he repeated his domestic achievements plus winning the Portuguese Super Cup (1-0 against Porto). He secured the Cup (2-0 against Porto) and also made it to UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
The following year, he kicked his career up a notch. In the 2008/09 season, he made it through the UEFA Champions League group stage although he had to play against the likes of Barcelona, Basel and Shakhtar Donetsk. At home, he won the Portuguese Super Cup with a 2-0 win over Porto. His managerial spell in Sporting Lisbon came to a completion midway (6/11/2009) through the 2009/10 season.
A few months later μετά (21/9/2010), he took on his country’s National team. In his 4-year period at the helm (until 11/9/2014) he led his country’s team at the EURO 2012 semi-finals (note: his side was knocked out on penalties by Spain, the final tournament’s winner πέναλτι) and at the 2014 World Cup, finishing 6th in the group together with the USA, yet being eliminated on goal difference.
Last, right before taking on Olympiacos, Mr Bento spent a brief period (16/5/2016 - 25/7/2016) in Brazil as Cruzeiro’s head coach.