• World Cup 2022

South Korea manager bids an emotional farewell after World Cup exit

South Korea
© Ace Football

After four years in charge of the East Asian team, Paulo Bento has left his role.

Outgoing South Korea manager Paulo Bento has thanked his players for ‘one of the most beautiful experiences’ of his life.

The 53-year-old Portuguese won’t be renewing his contract after leading South Korea to the last 16 of the World Cup. He bid farewell to the team and the fans on Tuesday before jetting back to his homeland.

“I am thankful to all the players, due to their professionalism, work ethic, and their behavior,” Bento said.

“They gave me the opportunity to have one of the most beautiful experiences of my life, which I will never forget. Personally, I have no words to thank you all for the respect, affection, and support you showed during this amazing experience.”

Bento took charge of South Korea in August 2018 by replacing Shin Tae-Yong. In 57 matches, he oversaw 35 wins (D13 L9), EAFF E-1 Football Championship success in 2019, and World Cup qualification.

In this year’s World Cup, South Korea reached the knockout stages for only the third time in history. The Taegeuk Warriors finished second in Group H after a famous 2-1 win over Portugal. Their time in Qatar ended in the last 16, however, when Brazil beat Bento’s side 4-1.