Where is infamous Manchester United signing Bebe now?
In August 2010, Manchester United swooped in ‘ahead of Real Madrid’ to seal a deal for an unknown prospect called Bebe.
It quickly became apparent that United had been played by agent Jorge Mendes, stumping up £7.4 million for a player worth a fraction of the fee, who Sir Alex Ferguson infamously admitted he had never seen play.
Some joke Bebe is still at Old Trafford firing in crosses trying to find a teammate. He’s not though, with his career since taking him to seven different clubs.
Bebe scored two goals for United in seven appearances. That’s not a bad record, and as an instinctive player, he had power and shooting ability. He just lacked finesse and an all round game to match, to be of the standard required for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team at the time.
He played a part in United’s 2013 title celebrations, and pictured with the trophy below.
United seemed to figure out pretty quickly that we had been sold a dud. He was sent out on a series of loan deals.
The first loan to Besiktas was ruined by an ACL injury. This was cruel timing. The move was a good opportunity for him to kick on and try and use his United experience as positive momentum, and the injury ruined this.
His return to Portugal with Rio Ave saw him play more regularly, but it can be tough for players coming off a big injury.
It was in his third loan deal at Pacos de Ferreira in 2013/14 that Bebe exploded into life. He scored 14 goals as his side battled relegation, showing signs of why United took a gamble on him in the first place.
There was no return to Old Trafford despite this. Instead he was sold to Benfica for just £2.4 million.
The next steps
A move to Benfica was a great opportunity for Bebe, and his form the previous season showed he had earned it. But just like at United, the transfer proved to be too much for him.
He played only six times for Benfica before he continued his career in Spain, with another series of loan moves.
Bebe played on loan for La Liga strugglers Cordoba, Rayo Vallecano, and Eibar in three separate spells.
In 2018 he finally clinched a permanent move, switching to Rayo Vallecano, but scored only once as they were relegated.
This past season, things began looking up for Bebe, who benefitted from playing in the Spanish second division.
He began well, scoring four goals in 12 games from the left wing, before a crushing blow. Bebe suffered the second ACL injury of his career in October.
The injury means he is still sidelined, although the delayed season may help with his recovery.
Bebe is 29, and has a few more years left in him as a journeyman.
He is doing well for himself to be still be playing. Many who watched his crossing against Wolves wondered if he would be a professional footballer for much longer.
The move showed even the great managers like Sir Alex Ferguson get it wrong sometimes.
Here is a clip of Bebe’s finest moments, his prolific season for Pacos de Ferreira…
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