'Quality Bebe needs no introduction' - Mourinho's once key man excited for Manchester United flop's debut

The Manchester United loanee is braced for his debut at Pacos de Ferreira, to be handed to him by a man who knocked the Red Devils out of European competition in 2004.

It's funny how things work out sometimes. Portuguese defensive midfielder Costinha certainly is a man who landed a cruel blow on Manchester United in the past.

He was the player who scored a crucial late goal at Old Trafford to knock Manchester United out of the Champions League in 2004 for Porto, triggering Jose Mourinho's infamous touchline run.

Without it Mourinho would surely have not gone onto win the Champions League that season, earning a move to Chelsea, and touting himself as the 'Special One.' 

When Costinha pounced ruthlessly on Tim Howard's injury time parry to net, it was proof that history can be turned on such instances.

So he certainly has a lot to answer for. Costinha now is 38-years-old, and this summer began his first football management job.

Having dealt Manchester United a knockout blow nine years ago, he has now done them a favour, admittedly on a far smaller scale, but in terms of payback - hey, at least it's a start.

He is charge of Pacos de Ferreira, third placed finishers in Portugal's Primeira Liga last season, and on transfer deadline day signed off on a deal to sign Bebe on loan from Manchester United.

Bebe, 23, is a player whose face has never fitted at Old Trafford since day one of a £7 million transfer which looks (a) inexplicable and (b) achieves the master feat of making new chief executive Ed Woodward look like a master-negotiator by comparison.

This is his third loan spell, following an injury-ravaged season at Besiktas, and a spell at Portuguese side Rio Ave which started promisingly but went downhill faster than Mourinho running down that touchline back in 2004.

Costinha meanwhile is excited about having the attacker on board, and plans to hand him his full debut this weekend as Pacos de Ferreira take on last season's runners-up Benfica.

At a press conference ahead of Saturday's game, the manager said: "Bebe will make his debut. He is a player with quality, he came from a European superpower, and needs no introduction."

The fixture brings an interesting side-context for Manchester United fans. Tasked with stopping Bebe will be central defender Ezequiel Garay who was strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford from Benfica.

If Bebe gets one over on him, fans may feel the club were right to pass on the Argentine. Back to Costinha, if he can help re-invigorate Bebe, even into a player who fetches a decent price next summer, his long-standing debt will have been increasingly repaid.


image: © Andrea Sartorati

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