— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 25, 2014
It’s the end of an era.
Tiago Manuel Dias Correia, AKA Bebe, has left Manchester United for Benfica, in a 3 million euro deal.
The Portuguese striker arrived in Manchester in 2010 amid much hype, following reports that Sir Alex Ferguson’s staff had spotted him playing at the Homeless World Cup, though he’d really participated in the European Street Football Festival.
It was largedlywith this ‘homeless’ cachet that United signed Bebe, seemingly with designs on moulding him into a world class player at the Theatre of Dreams, thereby creating a real life ‘rags to riches’ fairytale.
Alas, it turned out Bebe’s touch was a lot more ‘street’ than Fergie had accounted for, the striker bringing new meaning to the term ‘raw’.
After that inauspicious first season, Bebe was farmed out on loan to Besiktas, and then again for the next two seasons to the Liga Sagres, where he really impressed with Paços de Ferreira last year, scoring a number of sensational strikes.
The cast was die for Bebe when Louis van Gaal was brought in as manager, the striker’s raw style not chiming with the Iron Tulip’s tactical nous.
Still just 24, it’s surprising United were willing to sell Bebe at a loss, having signed him for around 9 million euros in 2010, but having said that it’s not like he’d become the subject of a bidding war this summer.