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Chongqing Lifan appoint former Portugal boss Paulo Bento

Paulo Bento returns to work after having left Olympiakos in March.

Former Portugal coach Paulo Bento has been appointed head coach of Chongqing Lifan, the Chinese Super League club announced on Monday.

Bento takes over from South Korea's Chang Woe-Ryong, who stepped down from the role on Sunday, and has been tasked with maintaining the club's top-flight status while helping develop young talent for the future.

"Hiring Mr Bento is not only about the club's short-term vision but is part of a long term strategy," club chairman Zhang Lizhang said at the 48-year-old's unveiling.

"Having a new coach in position is part of having a healthy vision. It is about building the youth system, the first team and grassroots through schools. We want depth and width."

Bento took his native Portugal to the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and coached Greek side Olympiakos in his last job.

"Mr Jiang has shared his vision with me and it is a very long-term one," the former midfielder said.

"It is very rare in professional football for a coach to be given a long-term role and I'm very lucky to have this one. I will try my best not to let the chairman and the corporation down.

"Besides coaching the first team, we will also work heavily on the youth system and we will try to bring more young players through to the first team."

Chongqing finished 10th in the Chinese Super League season under Chang, having taken eighth place in the previous campaign.

Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch

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