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Humberto Coelho



Humberto Coelho
To coach Portugal is to live with the unknown. The team are capable of rare brilliance, but at the same time are frustratingly inconsistent.

Then again, Coelho will have become used to dealing with the unexpected. If his time spent as defender for Benfica, Paris St Germain and Portugal is not enough, his experience over 10 years as a television frontman for a sports channel will have taught him everything about dealing with pressure and thinking on his feet.

But that self-imposed exile from the game led many to doubt his suitability as national team coach when, in December 1997, he was announced as the replacement for Artur Jorge, who had failed to lead the side past the France 98 qualifiers.

Prior to his appointment, Coelho's only coaching experience had been limited to two years spent at Salgueiros and Braga after his playing career had ended with Benfica in 1984.

The vultures were out when his first game in charge was a fairly underwhelming 3-0 defeat to England at Wembley. But the critics were proved wrong as Portugal qualified for Euro 2000 - even if they made it as best runners-up - for their second successive European Championship finals.



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