Former Manchester United player Bébé has revealed that his struggles with persistent injuries and rehabilitation from physical setbacks played a part in his failure to succeed at Old Trafford.
Bébé was signed by legendary United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2010 for a figure of £7.4m. He arrived in the same summer as Javier Hernandez, who went ahead to become a United legend.
He spent just four years at United before his tenure at the club expired. During his time at the Theatre of Dreams, Bébé made seven appearances and scored two goals.
Ferguson revealed in his biography that he had to ward off competition from Real Madrid to sign Bebe.
Fergie wrote, “Bebe is the only player I signed without seeing him in action. This boy had been playing homeless football and became a triallist for a second division team.”
“Then Real Madrid were on his tail. I know that’s true because Jose Mourinho told me Real were ready to sign him and that United jumped in front of them. We took a wee bit of a gamble.”
“He came with limitations but there was talent there. He was not the complete player but we were coaching him to be better. He had fantastic feet. With feet like that, he was capable of scoring 20 goals a season.”
Sadly, Bebe did not live up to the billing.
In an interview with AS via SportWitness, the current Real Zaragoza star opened up on the difficulties surrounding his United stay.
Bebe remarked, “It happened when I arrived in England, at a time when I was very well and I was going to be bought by Besiktas, and also when I was at Rayo with Paco Jémez, when I ruptured my cruciate and both menisci.
“Two years of my life were a bit messed up because they operated on me four times. I went to the operating room about twelve times, I lost 11 kilos, I was depressed, people didn’t know what to do…
“Now I can say that I’m fine, I play, score goals, I’m happy and I enjoy football much more because you come from thinking that you can’t play again.”
The Portuguese added, “Alberto García and I got injured at the same time and he had to retire because he didn’t recover.”
Bebe conceded that he thought on several occasions that he might never get the chance to grace a football pitch ever again.
Nevertheless, he managed to make a massive turnaround and muster a decent football career that looking back on, he will be proud of.
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