Louis van Gaal’s decision to leave Bebe – the Portuguese winger Sir Alex Ferguson bought for nearly eight million pounds in 2010 – out of Manchester United’s 25-man pre-season squad marks the beginning of the end of one of the strangest Old Trafford careers in recent history. For those of you who haven’t kept up with developments on the Bebe front, here’s a quick summary of his first two years at United.
- August 2010: United signs him for only slightly less than what Real Madrid will pay for Mesut Ozil a few days later. Early reports indicate Sir Alex has never seen him play. Early reports also indicate he once participated in the Homeless World Cup. Early reports turn out to be right about Sir Alex but wrong about the Homeless World Cup.
- November 2010: He produces what one YouTube user later terms the “Bebe Crossing Show” during a Premier League match against Wolves.
- June 2011: He signs a season-long loan deal with Besiktas, then breaks his leg and misses most of the season.
- March 2012: He returns from injury in time to appear in a league game against Istanbul Belediyespor.
- April 2012: He breaches a strict 2:30 a.m. curfew, and the Besiktas coach kicks him off the team.
- December 2012: He scrapes past Alexander Buttner in the 2012 Manchester United Christmas Challenge. This hard-fought victory remains the highlight of his United career.
To be fair, since then Bebe has scored a reasonable number of goals during loan spells in the Portuguese league, probably because the Christmas Challenge boosted his confidence. He is expected to sign for Benfica any day now. I hope, for the sake of the Benfica fans who sit behind each goal, that someone in Portugal teaches him how to cross.