Manuel Bento

Manuel Galrinho Bento (25 June 1948 – 1 March 2007) was a Portuguese professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper.

Manuel Bento
Personal information
Full name Manuel Galrinho Bento
Date of birth (1948-06-25)25 June 1948
Place of birth Golegã, Portugal
Date of death 1 March 2007(2007-03-01) (aged 58)
Place of death Barreiro, Portugal
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Youth career
Sporting CP
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966–1972 Barreirense 94 (0)
1972–1992 Benfica 330 (0)
1989 Toronto First Portuguese
Total 424 (0)
National team
1976–1986 Portugal 63 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Bento was best known for his 20-year spell at Benfica, having retired well into his 40s after appearing in nearly 650 official games.[1] He represented Portugal at Euro 1984 and the 1986 World Cup, helping the national team reach the semi-finals in the former tournament.

Chosen by Portuguese sports newspaper Record as one of the best 100 Portuguese footballers, Bento won the Goalkeeper of the Year award a best-ever eight times. In January 2015, he was chosen by the UEFA website as one of Europe's favourite goalkeepers.[2]

Club careerEdit

Bento was born in Golegã, Santarém District. After various youth spells, including one with Sporting CP, he started professionally at F.C. Barreirense, being transferred to S.L. Benfica for the 1972–73 season.

Bento started with Benfica as a backup to another Portuguese keeper, José Henrique. After three years in an interesting battle for first-choice status, the former gained the starting position in 1976 at age 28, and proceeded to amass 636 overall appearances for the Lisbon side.

Bento suffered a severe injury in the 1986 summer on international duty, from which he never recovered fully. He spent the next six years mainly as third-string, behind Silvino and Neno, being on the bench at both the 1988 and 1990 European Cup finals, lost to PSV Eindhoven and A.C. Milan respectively; the last game of his career came at the end of the 1989–90 campaign against C.F. Os Belenenses, in which he was chosen Man of the match. In the summer of 1989 he played in the National Soccer League with Toronto First Portuguese.[3]

In June 1992, aged 44, Bento retired from football after exactly 20 years at Benfica – he was the oldest footballer ever to appear in the Portuguese first division. Subsequently, he began working as a goalkeeper coach, always with his main club.

Bento died in the hospital of Barreiro on 1 March 2007, after suffering a heart attack. He was 58 years old.[4]

International careerEdit

Bento earned 63 caps for Portugal, over the course of one decade.[5] He made his debut on 16 October 1976 in the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign's opener, a 0–2 defeat against Poland in Porto.

Bento remained first-choice for the following nine years, being between the posts as the national team reached the semi-finals at UEFA Euro 1984, excelling in the 2–3 loss against the hosts France.[6] He also started in the epic 1–0 win in West Germany for the 1986 World Cup qualifiers, being subsequently picked for the final stages in Mexico at age 38: he appeared in the first game against England (another single-goal success), then broke his fibula in training, being replaced for the remainder of the tournament by Sporting's Vítor Damas; Portugal lost the next two matches and were eliminated from the knockout stages.[7]






  1. ^ Malheiro, João (July 2006). Memorial Benfica 100 Glórias [Benfica Memorial, 100 glories] (in Portuguese) (Third ed.). QuidNovi. pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-972-8998-26-4.
  2. ^ "Saving grace: Europe's favourite goalkeepers". 30 January 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Six soccer stars sign up to join First Portuguese". Toronto Star. 13 April 1989. p. B8.
  4. ^ "Morreu Manuel Bento" [Manuel Bento has died]. Expresso (in Portuguese). 1 March 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  5. ^ Pierrend, José Luis (28 May 2009). "Portugal – Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  6. ^ "Platini faz a diferença em meia-final de sonho" [Platini makes the difference in dream semi-final] (in Portuguese). 4 October 2003. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Bento e o bom bacalhau" [Bento and good codfish]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 18 April 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d "Bento, o eterno "homem de borracha"" [Bento, the eternal "rubber man"]. S.L. Benfica (in Portuguese). 1 March 2020. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Especial 'Tetra'" ['Tetra' special edition]. Mística (in Portuguese). No. 33. Portugal: Impresa Publishing. April–June 2017. p. 72. ISSN 3846-0823.
  10. ^ a b c "Bicampeões para a história" [Back-to-back champions for the ages]. Visão (in Portuguese). Portugal: Impresa Publishing. May 2015. p. 53. ISSN 0872-3540.

Further readingEdit

  • Ribeiro, Raúl (1986). Bento, um "santo" com garras de "águia" [Bento, a "saint" with "eagle" claws]. Mirandela e Companhia.

External linksEdit