Here’s a perfect example, if one is needed, which shows that we must never, EVER automatically believe what we read in the media. Much was made of Bebe having been a homeless Portugese kid when Sir Alex Ferguson brought him to Manchester United. Yet here’s his straight and unequivocal answer when asked by the club magazine Inside United if he had ever lived on the streets “No, this is not true, I have never lived on the street” It cannot be much simpler than that can it? Bebe talks about that myth and gives an insight into his past when answering questions put to him by the magazine.
How would you describe yourself?
I am a humble person. When United signed me, it was because they believed in me; give me some time and I will provide goals for the club and show the fans it was worthwhile signing me.
Can you tell us a little bit about your early life?
The streets that I come from on the outskirts of Lisbon are very poor – I had nothing. But I am a good person in general and I want to show people that I can fight all the adversities I have had in my life. That’s why I am here.
Did you ever live on the street or is this a myth?
No, this is not true, I have never lived on the street. I had a lot of difficulties in my childhood and I had to go into a home when I was nine years old. This was the Caso Do Gaiato institution, which provides a home for children whose parents or guardians are unable to look after them. Before that I was living with my grandmother, but there were four of us brothers living with her and she had no means to care for us all. That is why I had to go into the home. I lived there until I was 20 when I left, it was to come here to Manchester.
Where did you learn to play football?
When I was young, at first I preferred playing basketball, but my older brother played football. I watched his matches and became interested in football. I started playing for my first proper team when I was 12 or 13. I started playing for the Estrela da Amadora a Portuguese Third Division side junior team, and I was the best goalscorer and player so the manager put me in the first team.
From Amadora you joined Vitoria de Guimaraes, and soon after that United came knocking
Yes, I was playing for Guimaraes in pre-season, and in all the matches I was playing well and scoring goals. Suddenly Jorge Mendes, my agent told me about the deal. I was very happy at the time, I didn’t expect it. It was like a dream to me. Everybody dreams to come to United.
So there you have it straight from the horse’s mouth. An interesting enough story did not need to be embellished with a complete and blatant lie but that’s the type of media we are forced to endure. Shame on it.
Have you been impressed by what you’ve seen from Bebe so far?