New Manchester United striker Bebe has hailed his move to the Premier League as a 'dream come true' following his shock transfer from Portuguese team Vitoria Guimaraes.
The 20-year-old finalised a £7.4 million move to Old Trafford in August, completing a whirlwind story of rags-to-riches that would not look out of place in a Hollywood blockbuster.
“I am very happy. I had the dream of playing, one day, for a major club. That dream has come true,” he told Goal.com. “Football can change lives, very much.”
And he would know. Only two years ago, Bebe was living in Casa Do Gaiato - a shelter for young boys on the outskirts of Lisbon - before being picked up by Estrela Amadora in the Portuguese Third Division on the back of his performances in the Homeless World Cup last year.
He impressed enough earn a five-year deal at Vitoria in June after walking away from his contract with Amadora when they could no longer afford to pay his wages.
But it was his five goals in six pre-season games for Guimaraes earlier this summer that really caught the eye of a host of European heavyweights, including the Red Devils and Real Madrid.
Despite not having seen the forward in the flesh, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to take a punt on the youngster after being alerted to the striker’s talent by former assistant manager and now coach of the Portugal national team Carlos Queiroz.
Unsurprisingly, it was super-agent Jorge Mendes - well-known to Ferguson having previously handled the transfers of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani to Old Trafford and Ronaldo's mega-money move to Real Madrid last year - who engineered Bebe's surprise switch to Manchester United.
"Jorge Mendes advised me to choose Manchester United," he said. "I also wanted to choose this club because it was always my dream to go and play in England."
Guimaraes' president Emilio Macedo revealed that four European clubs had met Bebe’s €9 million buy-out clause but Mendes said "the seven biggest clubs in the world were watching."
Surely if he proves to be a big success for the Red Devils, we can all expect the story to be coming to a cinema near you in the not too distant future.
By James Martinicomments