Queiroz: I knew nothing about Bebe, he didn't exist

The then 20-year-old striker was a surprising £7.4 million acquisition from Portuguese club Vitoria de Guimaraes in August 2010.

With Real Madrid and Benfica reportedly poised to pounce on the player, United acted on impulse, freeing him from a five-year contract he had signed just five weeks earlier having left third-tier outfit Estrela da Amadora.

Bebe struggled to adjust to the significant step up in class. He featured just twice as a substitute in the Premier League before being sent out on loan to Besiktas in Turkey and Portuguese pair Rio Ave and Pacos de Ferreira back in his homeland.

And Queiroz, twice Sir Alex Ferguson’s number two and credited with recommending Bebe to United while he was in charge of the Portugal national team, says he knew nothing about the striker and that 'he didn't exist'.

He didn’t exist, in a system where nothing escaped us

Speaking exclusively in the December 2014 issue of FourFourTwo (opens in new tab), available in shops and on iPad now, the former Portugal coach says: “Bebe was not even part of our scouting files for the national team of Portugal. 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 what was going on, why he didn’t exist. I knew nothing about him.”

Now 24, Bebe became a Benfica player last summer and briefly appeared in the Eagles’ Champions League victory over Monaco on Tuesday.

Read the full interview with Carlos Queiroz in the December 2014 issue of FourFourTwo magazine (opens in new tab). The issue also features an exclusive chats with Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson and Leicester striker Leonardo Ulloa, reveals how bullying and rejection drove Chelsea’s goal-machine Diego Costa to the top and rates the world’s greatest derbies, from the Old Firm to Brazil, Egypt and beyond. Available in print (opens in new tab) and in a specially-designed-for-iPad version (opens in new tab).

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Gregg Davies

Gregg Davies is the Chief Sub Editor of FourFourTwo magazine, joining the team in January 2008 and spending seven years working on the website. He supports non-league behemoths Hereford and commentates on Bulls matches for Radio Hereford FC. His passions include chocolate hobnobs and attempting to shoehorn Ronnie Radford into any office conversation.