The Manchester United winger hailed the belief and support of the former Sporting Lisbon youth team coach, claiming he turned the uncommitted youngster into the player he is today
The Manchester United winger has been in good form for Seleccao so far in Euro 2012, starting all three of their games in the group stages and looks set to line-up against the Czech Republic in the upcoming quarter-final clash.
And Nani firmly believes if it wasn’t for Bento’s mentoring and presence during his days in Sporting Lisbon’s academy, the 25-year-old would not be where he is today.
Speaking to reporters, Nani said: “He is one of the main reasons I am where I am because he opened doors and my eyes and made me see what I was doing was wrong many times.
“He made me realise if I wanted to be here, as I am today, I needed to change certain things. He believed in me.”
Bento was given the Portugal job in the middle of qualifying after the team managed just one point from their opening two matches, and Nani is certain it was his arrival that inspired the national team to life.
He continued: “He came in with a good mentality, a good attitude and that was it. He changed our mindset.”