José Roberto Gama de Oliveira, popularly known as Bebeto is a retired Brazilian footballer who was born on 16 February 1964 in Salvador, Brazil.
Bebeto was mainly a centre-forward but also played as a Striker, Secondary Striker and Attacking Midfielder.
He served Brazilian football between the years of 1985 and 1998 and got 39 international goals in his name which makes him the sixth highest goalscorer for his national side. He has also got a place in the list of top 100 footballers of all time.
Bebeto began his youth career in 1981 with Vitória, a Brazilian football club based in Salvador. After establishing himself as an upcoming star for the club, he got promoted in the senior team in 1983. However, in the same year, he left the club and moved to Flamengo. Before moving to his new club, he had also netted 7 goals for the senior team of Vitória.
Bebeto made his debut for Brazil in 1985. He was not up to the mark instantly as he didn't score a single goal in his six appearances in the year. He broke the hoodoo of not scoring a goal against Peru in a friendly held on 10 May 1989.
Before making the international debut, he had made his Série A debut for Flamengo in 1983 after parting ways from his first club Vitória.
Bebeto was also the member of Brazil’s FIFA U-20 World Cup winning squad.
Rise to glory
The year of 1989 emerged to be the best year in the sense of goalscoring for Bebeto. He scored 10 goals, playing 18 games for Brazil in the year. On 9 July 1989, he netted two goals against Paraguay in a match of Copa América. He remained the only scorer of the match and Brazil won the match by 2-0. He also won the 1989 Copa América for his team, finishing the tournament with 6 goals.
He also performed match winner’s role in several games of 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification, scoring 6 goals and also providing some helpful assists. In the main tournament, he scored 3 goals including a match winning goal against the home team, United States. Brazil had beaten USA by 1-0 in the game and later won the 1994 World Cup.
In 1998, playing his last World Cup, he provided some much needed help using his experience and helped Brazil to finish as a runner-up. He had also scored 3 goals in the tournament.
Bebeto played for various clubs in his career including Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Deportivo La Coruña, Sevilla FC, Botafogo etc. He had also played for Saudi Arabian Club, Al-Ittihad at the end of his career.
He played most number of games for the spanish club, Deportivo La Coruña. Appearing in 131 games for the club, he claimed 86 goals including 28 La-Liga goals in 40 appearances.
Before moving to Deportivo La Coruña, he had also played 80 games for Flamengo and netted 34 goals.
Overall, he got 178 goals in 341 games, playing for the various clubs in various tournaments.
Bebeto is regarded as one of the best players ever born in Brazil. His national side has tasted victory in each game in which he has netted a goal, except one against Norway.
In 1989, he scored most number of goals in Copa América and also became South American Footballer of the Year. In 1992, he was top scorer of Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and received Bola de Prata award. He has also got Pichichi Trophy for 1992-93 season.
Bebeto retired from the international football in 1998 after playing the World Cup. Although he continued playing club football until 2002.
He was appointed the head coach of America, A Brazilian football club from Rio de Janeiro on 16 December 2009 and served till 13 February 2010.
In 2010, he became a politician for Democratic Labour Party and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro.