'Strength, speed and talent' - £7.2m Manchester United flop stars in cup triumph

Bebe may have struggled recently, but his performance in the Portuguese Cup today gives cause for optimism.

While Manchester United were toiling in their Premier League match against Southampton at Old Trafford, a game that would hardly register on your radar usually was taking place in Portugal.

In a Portuguese Cup match Oliveirense were taking on Pacos de Ferreira at home, in a game the away side was expected to win comfortably - and they did.

But why would United fans care what Pacos were up to this afternoon?

Well what if I told you the star player was a certain flop winger named Bebe.

The Portuguese youngster was infamously signed by Sir Alex Ferguson for £7.2 million in 2010 in a truly sensational transfer - not least because Sir Alex Ferguson had to admit he had never seen him play and his transfer was at the recommendation of Carlos Quieroz. However Bebe never looked like making the grade with the club and a loan-spell with Besiktas ended in injury and discipline nightmare.

Bebe went out on loan with Rio Ave last season, and had a mixed spell with the club - shining on occasion before disappointing on others.

But Pacos took a risk on him this summer and overall it has been a struggle for the player.

But recently he has started to show glimpses of talent, glimpses that were all on show in the cup game today.

Portuguese press purred over his performance as Pacos won 3-1 against their lower league opposition.

In the tagline for the game one website simply had ‘Bebe, who else?’ as their link into the story - demonstrating the sheer dominance he had on his opponents.

They continued:

‘’Bebe: Strength, speed and talent. It seems that Bebe can play with 10 or 9. Tireless player, involved in all goals...’’

Bebe? The same Bebe that couldn’t hit a cow’s backside with a banjo? That Bebe.

Well apparently yes. He set up the first goal for Mamadou before his strike at goal was handled, allowing Manuel Jose to score from the spot. He then played a role in the final goal from Pacos to tie up the win - and was the resounding man-of-the-match.

Could he finally be turning things around and living up to his price-tag - David Moyes wishes, but it certainly seems as a successful career elsewhere is not beyond the infamous forward.

image: © Andrea Sartorati

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