After Real Madrid dashed any hopes of Portugal landing Jose Mourinho as their temporary manager, long-term favourite Paulo Bento has been handed the task of getting their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign back on track.
Bento’s name was immediately linked with the coaching role when Carlos Queiroz was recently sacked, but any announcement was placed on the backburner while discussions took place between the Portuguese Football Federation and Real Madrid.
However, after the Spanish giants refused to temporarily release Mourinho for a short stint, the move was made to hand Bento a deal until 2012.
The former Sporting Lisbon boss will now need to quickly galvanise the national team in order to ensure that they successfully qualify for Euro 2012.
Portugal have slipped to 1/1 to top Group H after collecting just one point from their opening two games and are currently in fourth spot, five points adrift of leaders Norway.
Bento’s first game will be at home to Denmark and this is quickly followed by a trip to Iceland and taking four points is a minimum if they want to remain in contention in the group.
The boss brings with him a decent record from his time at Lisbon as they finished runners up in the Portuguese league in all four seasons, won two Portuguese cups and reached the last 16 stage of the Champions League.
Portugal are 16/1 to win Euro 2012 despite the poor start they have made to their qualifying campaign. See the whole Euro 2012 winners market.