I thought Manchester United were joking when they signed me: Bebe
Former Manchester United player, Bebe, has admitted that he thought United ‘were joking’ when they signed him for £7.4 million, back in 2010. The English side bought Bebe from Portuguese club Vitoria de Guimaraes under former manager Alex Ferguson.
Bebe’s transfer is surrounded by controversies concerning financial irregularities as Vitoria SC had signed him in the same window they sold the winger to the English club. Bebe did not make a single appearance for Vitoria SC, but having impressed in the pre-season, his release clause was increased from €3 million to €9 million after scoring five goals in six friendly matches.
United matched Vitoria de Guimaraes' valuation for the winger to buy the Portuguese player, but he failed to impress manager Sir Alex Ferguson, featuring just seven times for the Red Devils. He was then loaned out to Besiktas, Rio Ave and Pacos de Ferreira. Sir Alex, who had never seen the player till a day before he signed, bought Bebe on the insistence of former assistant Carlos Queiroz.
In 2012, it was reported that Portuguese police were investigating the transfer as part of anti-corruption procedures. Police questioned Bebé's former agent Reis and his current agent Mendes.
“I was alone at Manchester”
Bebe revealed that he was surprised with Manchester United’s insistence on paying his release clause.
He said, “I had a contract with a termination clause of €9 million and within two days there was a team that wanted to pay it. And I went to Manchester. I thought they were joking.
“I learned a lot with Ferguson. What went wrong? Well, I was alone. I needed more experience to deal with that. In Manchester, I was a child and was alone. I've grown and I am a better person, very different.”
Bebe left Old Trafford permanently in 2014 after signing a deal with Benfica, although the 24-year-old has recently been loaned out to Cordoba.