ABOUT BENTO

 Jose Bento Vieira

Bento was born on August 15, 1960.  He had been living in Sau Paulo, Brazil with his wife, Eliane, and his daughter, Natalie.  Realizing this man’s experience, ability, and talent, one would be forgiven for imagining this man as arrogant or overbearing.  This description couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Bento is unbelievably humble and down to earth.  With a typical Brazilian outlook on life, he is always looking to enjoy himself.  He loves his family, and is loyal to his friends.  In short, Bento is a man of the highest quality.

As with most Brazilians, Bento was immersed in soccer at a young age.  His talent was noticeable early, and at the tender age of 12, Bento was signed by Portuguesa.  Portuguesa has a long, proud history, and at that time was one of the top clubs in Bento’s home city of Sau Paulo. 

He, still an amateur at the time, was then purchased by Corinthians at 17.  Corinthians is arguably Brazil’s greatest club.  Also located in Sau Paulo, the club has a worldwide following, especially in light of the four Brazilian league titles, as well as the first edition of the FIFA Club Championship in their trophy cabinet.  During his stay at Corinthians, Bento participated in the all-Brazil u-19 championships.  He starred in the tournament racking up enough goals to be presented with the “golden boot.”

In 1979 at the age of 19, the inevitable happened, and Bento turned professional.  Soon after, his exploits caught the eye of the greatest player to grace the fields of the “beautiful game”, Pele.  When Bento was 22, the legend tried to bring him to the New York Cosmos.  However, Bento’s mother would not allow it.  She did not trust the agent that was handling the transaction, and vetoed the process.  And so Bento, reluctantly yet obediently, remained in Brazil.  (Years later, Bento met up with Marinho Chagas (as pictured) who would have been his teammate at Cosmos)

   Marinho

In 1984, Belgium’s most successful team, Anderlecht, showed the same interest in Bento.  They were coming off their European success in 1982, where they beat Benfica in the final of the UEFA Cup to lift their fifth European trophy in seven years.  And so when they came knocking at Bento’s door, it was an opportunity the young Brazilian could not turn down.  And so, at the age of 24, Bento signed for Europe’s top club.  At a time when international transfers were few and far between, the world sat up to see how this young, talented Paulista would fair in the era of professionalism in Europe.

However, tragedy struck just a week later.  A car accident broke both of Bento’s legs.  Due to Anderlecht’s voracity for his signing, they were prepared to wait for Bento’s recovery.  Two years came and went, and Bento could not regain the same capabilities that had won over the then-European dynasty.  Little could be rescued from the circumstances and he was released from his contract.  In evidence of his character, Bento did not give up.  He joined Guaratingueta, a team from Sau Paulo in the third tier of the Brazilian league.  From there, Bento joined and moved on from various clubs such as Jose Bonifacio Esporte Clube, America Esporte Clube, Alfenas Esporte Clube, Araguari Esporte Clube, Tres Coracoes Atletico Clube, Barretos Esporte Clube, and Sao Jose Esporte Clube. 

After 12 operations on his knees and ankles, he was never able to reach the heights he had once achieved.  Some people never recover from such a tragedy.  Bento’s reaction emphasized his humility and maturity that so many professional athletes lack.  He analyzed the situation deeply and realistically.  In 1993 Bento turned his efforts towards coaching.

It had been nine years since the tragedy when Bento attained the final level of the “International Training Course for Football Coaches.”  This program is the Brazilian equivalent of the FIFA “A” license, the highest coaching license in the world.  It was done through Sau Paulo FC, which is another of the top clubs in the world having won the FIFA Club Championship no less than three times.  The course was taught by Bento’s mentor, Tele Santana.  Santana had been head coach of the Brazilian side in the World Cups of 1982 and 1986.

In 1996, Bento was asked to run a multi-million dollar soccer school.  The school was started by a director of the Brazilian club Palmeiras, who pulled together a number of famous Brazilian soccer players to help run the project.  Among the superstars were Junior (pictured with Bento below left), who played for Brazil in the 1982 World Cup; Rosemiro, who played for World Cup team in 1974; and Zico (pictured with Bento below right), known as the “White Pele” and considered even by Pele to be almost as good as the legend himself.  

 juniorzico

 

 

 

 

 

A year later, FIFA ran its first ever elite youth coaches training program in Brazil.  Bento was asked to head the program.  He developed the tactical and course curriculum that was designed for players aged 7 to 17, focusing on character and professionalism.  The session instructors included Tele Santana, Bento’s mentor who ironically now worked under him; Vanderlei Luxemburgo, ex-manager of Real Madrid and head coach of the Brazilan World Cup team of 1998 as well as many other honours in the Brazilian league; Nelson Batista, ex-manager of Corinthians; and Andy Rob Burgh, the FIFA Technical Director.

At the end of the year, Bento joined up with Rolley Ball Soccer School.  The school was associated with Portuguesa de Desportos, a second-division club in Sau Paulo.  He stayed with the school for a couple of years before realizing a need to go global with his passion.

 rolley ball

Bento’s connection with Canada started in 2000.  He moved out to Vancouver and worked solely with Athletics Football Club’s u-20 team.  The squad consisted of 18 players, who worked directly with Bento.  From that group, a third of them turned professional.  While two of them went on to play for the Vancouver Whitecaps, the rest went to the Portuguese Superliga and Polish second division.  The rest of the original squad contained a majority of players who went on to get scholarships at various universities.

After his Canadian experience, Bento moved back to Brazil in 2001.  After a stint as head coach of the under-23 squad in Esporte Clube Comercial, as well as the supervisor of the under-13 and -15 teams, Bento joined America Futebol Clube.  The club was located in Rio de Janeiro, and he accepted the position of head coach of the under-20’s.

For two years, from 2002, Bento left the coaching world, and was welcomed by the media world.  He joined the magazine “Segundona,” where he performed as Director of Sports.  In 2004, he returned to his passion when he joined Sao Caetano Soccer School as head coach.  Sao Caetano is a club that only started in 1989, but rose to prominence in 2000 with a number of impressive performances in the league, as well as a runner-up finish in the most important cup competition in South America,  the Copa Libertadores.  Besides their senior men’s success, Sao Caetano is renowned for their  development program, Bento’s speciality.  Many top clubs not only in Brazil but around the world have snapped up the talent coming out of Sao Caetano. 

 sao caetano

Just recently Bento received word that three of his players from Sao Caetano, two  seventeen year olds and one nineteen year old, had just been signed by clubs in the Bundesliga. 

Bento spent two years at Sao Caetano, before leaving Brazil again.  In 2006,  he was brought to Korea by wealthy Korean investors who realized his abilities.  After spending several months at the Pung Saeng High School, Bento’s character intervened.  He couldn’t accept the treatment of his players by their supervisors, and turned in his papers.  It was not the first time Bento had left a job because of the treatment experienced by a colleague or associate. 

He returned to Brazil, and coached at the training centre of Barcelona Futebol Clube.  Last year, Bento became head coach at the Eleven Boys Football School.  However, Bento’s lingering feeling that he needed to leave the corrupt, dangerous country came to fruition at the beginning of 2009. 

He arrived in south-eastern Ontario in February 2009.  He lives two hours south-west of Toronto, in between Aylmer and Tillsonburg.




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