Manuel Bento

Manuel Bento
Manuel Bento
Personal information
Full name Manuel Galrinho Bento
Date of birth June 25, 1948(1948-06-25)
Place of birth Golegã, Portugal
Date of death March 1, 2007(2007-03-01) (aged 58)
Place of death Barreiro, Portugal
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 8 12 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1964–1966 Riachense
1966–1968 Goleganense
1968–1969 Sporting CP
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1969–1972 Barreirense 94 (0)
1972–1992 Benfica 330 (0)
National team
1976–1986 Portugal 63 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Manuel Galrinho Bento (born 25 June 1948 in Golegã - died 1 March 2007 in Barreiro) was a Portuguese footballer who played as a goalkeeper.

He is best known for his 20-year spell at S.L. Benfica, having retired well into his 40's. Chosen by Portuguese sports newspaper 'Record' as one of the best 100 Portuguese footballers, Bento is widely regarded as the best ever in the country in his position, having won the Goalkeeper of the Year award a best-ever eight times.

Bento represented Portugal at Euro 1984 and the 1986 World Cup, helping the national team reach the semifinals in the former tournament.


Club career

After various youth spells, including one year at Sporting Clube de Portugal, Bento started professionally at F.C. Barreirense, being transferred to S.L. Benfica for 1972–73. He started there as a backup to another legendary Portuguese keeper, José Henrique.

After three years in an interesting battle with Henrique, Bento gained starting status in 1976, at 28, and proceeded to amass more than 700 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; he was on the bench at both the 1988 and 1990 European Champions Cup finals, lost to PSV Eindhoven and A.C. Milan. The last game of his career came at the end of 1989–90, against C.F. Os Belenenses, in which he was chosen Man of the Match.

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, Bento began working as a goalkeeper coach, always with his main side.

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

On the 4th of January of 1970, Bento scored his only career goal, in a match against Associação Académica de Coimbra. Taking full advantage of the windy conditions the game was being played on, Bento hit a goal-to-goal kick which jumped over the Academica goalkeeper, scoring the second of 5 goals, in a 5-0 win.

International career

Bento had 63 caps for Portugal, from 1976 to 1986.[1] He made his national team debut in the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign's opener, a 0–2 defeat against Poland in Porto.

Bento went on to become the regular for the following decade, being between the posts as the nation reached the semifinals at UEFA Euro 1984, excelling in the 2–3 loss against the hosts France.

He also started in the epic 1–0 win in West Germany for the 1986 World Cup qualifiers, then was picked for the final stages in Mexico, aged 38; he appeared in the opener, another single-goal success, against England, then broke his fibula in training, being replaced for the remainder of the tournament by Sporting's Vítor Damas. Portugal lost the next two games and were eliminated from the knockout stages.



  • Portuguese League: 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1990–91
  • Portuguese Cup: 1979–80, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87
  • Portuguese Supercup: 1979, 1984



  1. ^ Pierrend, José Luis (28 May 2009). "Portugal - Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 September 2009. 

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Humberto Coelho
Portugal national football team captain
Succeeded by
Manuel Fernandes

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