Paulo Bento (53), coach of Portugal until September 2014, when he was replaced by Fernando Santos, explained in a press conference today, Thursday, on the eve of finding his former players (Friday, 4 p.m.): “Today Portugal has a very high quality team, both collectively and individually. This is one of the best generations of Portuguese football if not the best. He can play in different ways, in several schemes, he can make three or four changes in his team and stay at the same level. In addition, The context is favorable for him, because he is already qualified and the draw allows him to get first place.”
When asked a little later about Portugal’s ability to become a world champion with these players and this coach (Fernando Santos), he began to communicate, responding to his interlocutor: “Are you going to attend the press conference that follows ours? That is where the question should be asked. I have no say in that.” Paulo Bento was a pillar of Sporting Portugal when Cristiano Ronaldo started his career, while Fernando Santos was the coach of Lisbon FC.
The reunion between the three men, with more or less new relationships since 2014, will not happen, in fact: the Korean coach was suspended from this meeting, after he was sent off at the end of the match against Ghana. He will be separated from his players when he arrives on the field. From the penalty area from which he will follow the match, he will have a full pre-match experience: “Yes, I will also sing the Portuguese anthem. I am Portuguese, and I will die a Portuguese, and I am very proud of that.”