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By ESPN Staff

Spaniard Camacho quits as Benfica coach

LISBON, March 10 (Reuters) - Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho has resigned as Benfica coach, the Lisbon club's president Luis Filipe Vieira said on Sunday.

Camacho's assistant Fernando Chalana will take charge of the team for the UEFA Cup last-16 second leg game against Getafe on Wednesday, Benfica said on their website. Benfica lost the first leg at home 2-1.

They were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom-of-the-table Uniao Leiria on Sunday, a result which left them 14 points behind Portuguese Premier League leaders Porto with eight games remaining this season.

'I think it is best (my resignation) for the team,' the former Spanish national coach told a news conference. 'I hope that the players improve with another coach.'

Camacho, who led Benfica to second place in the standings in a previous spell in Lisbon in 2004, was appointed coach in August after Fernando Santos was sacked.

The Spaniard made his name as a hard-tackling defender for Real Madrid and Spain in the 1970s and 80s.

He was assistant to Real first-team coaches John Toshack and Alfredo Di Stefano in the early 1990s before steering both Rayo Vallecano and Espanyol to promotion to the top flight.

Camacho had two brief spells in charge of Real Madrid, resigning after just 23 days in 1998 following a row over back- room staff and quitting after three league games in 2004 claiming that he could not carry a dressing room packed with high-profile players.

He coached Spain between 1998 and 2002, guiding the national side to the quarter-finals of both Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup.

Resigning after Spain's World Cup exit at the hands of co-hosts South Korea, he then had his first spell in charge of Benfica, steering the Portuguese side to second place in the league behind Porto before leaving to take over at Real.