Outgoing South Korea coach Bento bids emotional farewell

Seoul (AFP) – Paulo Bento has bid an emotional farewell to South Korea, calling his four years as coach of the national football team a “beautiful experience which I will never forget”.

The Portuguese former international midfielder took the Koreans to the last 16 of the World Cup in Qatar, where they were beaten 4-1 by Brazil last week.

The 53-year-old said in the immediate aftermath that he would not be staying on as coach.

“I am especially thankful to all the players, due to their professionalism, work ethic and their behaviour,” Bento said in a statement late Tuesday, bringing the curtain down on his reign.

“They gave me the opportunity to have one of the most beautiful experiences of my life, which I will never forget.”

Bento added: “Personally I have no words to thank you all for the respect, affection and support you showed during this amazing experience.”

South Korea will name Bento’s replacement by February, Yonhap news agency said.

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