Nat’l football coach to return to S. Korea next week after checking players in Europe

February 27, 2019

South Korea football coach Paulo Bento will return to the country next week after watching national team players in Europe, officials here said Wednesday.

Officials at the Korea Football Association (KFA) said Bento will return from his short vacation in Europe next Wednesday. Bento and his Portuguese coaching staff left for their homeland earlier this month after South Korea suffered a quarterfinal exit at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.

During his European trip, Bento and his coaching staff reportedly checked in on South Korean players across the continent, including prospects Lee Kang-in of Valencia CF, Paik Seung-ho of Girona FC and Jeong Woo-yeong of Bayern Munich.

Bento will work on his roster selection for friendly matches in March once he arrives in South Korea. The Taeguk Warriors are scheduled to take on Bolivia in the southern city of Ulsan on March 22 and face Colombia in Seoul four days later.

During his stay in South Korea, Bento is also expected to meet with coaches of under-20 and under-23 national teams and discuss a potential call-up for Lee, who has yet to make his senior international debut. South Korea fans have been calling on Bento to test Lee in March friendlies after the 18-year-old midfielder made his La Liga debut earlier this year.

Bento will also attend several K League matches to check local players before announcing his roster for March friendlies. He is expected to unveil his squad on March 11.

In this file photo, taken on Jan. 28, 2019, South Korea national football team head coach Paulo Bento arrives at Incheon International Airport in Incheon. (Yonhap)

In this file photo, taken on Jan. 28, 2019, South Korea national football team head coach Paulo Bento arrives at Incheon International Airport in Incheon. (Yonhap)

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