Outgoing South Korea coach

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 on 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.”

The Taegeuk Warriors’ march to the knockout rounds started with a 0-0 draw against Uruguay in their opening Group H match.

The South Koreans, then, shook off a 3-2 loss to Ghana in their second game to score a 2-1 win over Portugual in their third and final game of group play and advance.

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

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