Paulo Bento has stepped down from his role as the national team manager of Portugal after shocking home defeat against Albania in the Euro 2016 qualifying match. Their match against one of the lowest ranked opponents from Europe was seen as a certainty for three points ahead of the encounter. Despite possessing star names like Nani, Fabio Coentrao, and Pepe, Portugal are unable to find a way past the stubborn Albanian defence that managed to take the lead Balaj in the 52nd minute. Cristiano Ronaldo was a major absentee from the match, but it was expected that this Portuguese team had enough quality in the ranks to be able to see off Albania.
It has not proven to be the case and Portugal are left with a mountain ahead of themselves to qualify for the Euro 2016. The national team came into the match on the back of a very poor run of form at the World Cup 2014 in which they failed to get past the group stages. There were calls for Bento to step down after this World Cup, but he stayed on as the manager. However, it has become clear that he could no longer continue after this latest humiliation. Bento, though, seemed unconcerned by the supporter’s anger after the match.
“[The white tissues] are normal situations of football. I think we must respect the choices and decisions of the people and try to continue. We know that the game didn’t go our way, although I think the result was unfair. It was a game that didn’t go well in terms of the result, of course, but in the first half we had opportunities to score. We had the game completely controlled during the first 45 minutes,” said Bento after the defeat. Portugal’s next match is against France in a friendly.