Bebe, who played for Manchester United between 2010 and 2014, scored a superb free-kick for Rayo Vallecano in their Copa del Rey clash against Real Betis on Thursday evening
Rayo Vallecano winger Bebe scored a sensational free-kick in his team’s Copa del Rey semi-final against Real Betis on Thursday evening.
Many will remember the Portuguese ace from his underwhelming four-year spell at Manchester United, making just two Premier League appearances.
Bebe’s effort against Betis was around 30 yards out, hitting a knuckleball into the top corner before running over to celebrate with the travelling Vallecano fans.
His technique was similar to the one championed by compatriot and United icon Cristiano Ronaldo during his first spell at Old Trafford.
Bebe’s goal levelled the tie 2-2 on aggregate with just 10 minutes left to play, but a last-gasp strike from Borja Iglesias snatched the win for Betis.
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The victors will meet Valencia – who defeated Athletic Bilbao in their semi-final – in April’s showpiece event at the Estadio La Cartuja in Sevilla.
Bebe was signed by legendary United manager Sir Alex Ferguson as a 20-year-old in August 2010, reportedly spending £7.4million on the emerging talent.
Reports at the time suggested he was recommended by Carlos Queiroz – Ferguson’s former assistant at United – as little was known about him.
The Portuguese coach later denied any involvement in the transfer.
“Bebe was not even part of our scouting files for the national team of Portugal,” said Queiroz in 2014. “He didn’t exist, in a system where nothing escaped us.
“So Bebe going to Man United took me by surprise. I called my coaches and asked them was what going on, why he didn’t exist. I knew nothing about him.”
Bebe’s time at United was plagued by injury, suffering a serious knee complaint during a loan spell at Besiktas and later failing impress during a brief stint at Rio Ave.
His career took off in 2013-14, scoring 14 goals in all competitions for Pacos de Ferreira.
Bebe’s form persuaded Portuguese giants Benfica to sign him on a permanent deal from United in the summer of 2014, allowing United to recuperate some of their investment.
He failed to show his best at Benfica but has since become an icon at Vallecano, playing 150 games across two spells and helping them win two promotions to La Liga.
Although Bebe hasn’t scored in the league this term, his team are currently 12th in the table – 10 points clear of the relegation zone.
Speaking in 2018 about his bizarre transfer to United, Bebe said: “When I signed, I didn’t go to England but instead spent four days in Portugal. And I still thought they were kidding.
“I went to Carrington, I met all the players for the first time but I still thought that it was a lie! But the moment I spoke with Ferguson, that was when I thought, ‘Finally I am here.’
“I started believing it in my head on that day, it took a lot to believe it!”
Bebe added: “Every day I called my agent to ask him to get me out. It was a bad time. When you do not play, even if you are at a great club, then you are not happy, so why continue?”