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Bento quits Portugal after Albania shame

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BENTO-OUTLISBON, September 12- Paulo Bento and the Portuguese Football Federation parted ways by mutual consent after a disappointing 2014 World Cup campaign and a shocking defeat to Albania to begin their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

Bento’s departure was by mutual agreement, with the Portuguese Football Federation confirming the news in a statement on Thursday and claiming his replacement would be announced soon,

Bento first took charge four years ago and steered Portugal to the 2012 European Championship semifinals.

But at this year’s World Cup in Brazil, the Portuguese disappointed. They exited at the group stage, and last Sunday lost to visiting Albania in their first qualifier for Euro 2016.

Portuguese fans jeered and waved white handkerchiefs after the Albania upset, and Bento was under fierce pressure to quit.

Star striker Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t fully fit at the World Cup and sat out the Albania match. His absence left the Portuguese wanting in front of goal and looking average.

Portugal’s next match in Euro 2016 qualifying is against Denmark on Oct. 14.

Bento, aged 45 and a former Portugal midfielder, was one of Europe’s most inexperienced national coaches when he replaced Carlos Queiroz in September 2010, having coached only Sporting Lisbon in a top flight.

-ESPN FC

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