Time goes by, players come and go, but Bebe continues to be one of those guys never forgotten by Manchester United fans.
The Portuguese attacker, who had his talents discovered in a tournament for homeless players in 2009, came out as a surprising signing for the club back in 2010, when the Red Devils paid over €8m (other figures are available) to buy him.
With Sir Alex Ferguson admitting he had never watched Bebe playing live, the story became even more curious, with the clear involvement of super agent Jorge Mendes in the transfer.
Even though Bebe’s career at Manchester United didn’t work out as expected, the player has managed to have a few good seasons for the likes of Rayo Vallecano and Paços de Ferreira.
Now as he tries to establish himself in Spanish football, the 27-year-old has given a long interview to Portuguese outlet Sapo, detailing every single part of his career.
Some of the quotes about his transfer to Manchester United continue to be quite interesting, especially for the way he thanks Jorge Mendes for everything that happened at that stage.
“I will not say that I talk to Jorge Mendes every day because he has a lot to worry about, he has a lot of work, but I never had a reason to complain about him. What I eat today, what my family eats, what I wear, what I have, it’s all because of him, otherwise I would not be what I am today. He bet on me, put me where I got. Whenever I needed him, I called or sent an SMS, he answered back. If it’s an important thing, if you call him, he’ll be there to help. He’s one of the most important people in my life, it’s like he’s a father.”
On the Manchester United move, Bebe said: “When the train passes, you have to catch it because it may not pass again. But I do not regret anything, only regret the fact of not taking advantage of the opportunities they gave me.
“If it was now, 27 years old, it would be all different, because if I was in a big club, I would be in the first team. I’m a grown player, more experienced, I’ve been through a lot of clubs, several managers, and now being at a big one, I’d have more chances to play.”
Sapo writes that in 2010, Bebe was making €1100 a month at Estrela Amadora. He moved to Manchester United and started earning €97k a month.
“I came from Second Division B with Estrela Amadora and I knew I played well, but it was for a Marítimo, a Vitória de Guimarães, for these teams it made sense to go. But for Manchester United….For a while I looked at it all with some disbelief, until I was in England and in my first training. ‘Is it true? Am I here to do the tests?’ But when you see that you’re right there with people, training with Giggs, Rooney, Ferdinand…”
Bebe has revealed that he had dreadlocks when he got to know Alex Ferguson, and the meeting with the manager convinced him to have a new haircut.
“At the time I was with my agent. We knocked on the door, got in, we saw Alex Ferguson and I said to myself: ‘It’s him, it’s him, he’s the famous one, that everybody knows’. He was someone who I was only used to seeing on television. I got a little surprised. But I remember that the first words of him were that I had to change, that I would be a completely different player, another Bebe, and I realised it was because of my hair. He didn’t tell me to cut the hair, but that same day, in the afternoon I went to get a haircut.”
The full interview, which is definitely worth a read, is available on Sapo’s website.