Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No-one puts Bebé in a corner

Tonight we should get our first look at Bebé, Manchester United's boom Portuguese recruit. Did I say boom? Surely I meant boom-or-bust. Sir Alex Ferguson allegedly spent 7.4 million on the youngster who infamously was homeless while trying to kickstart his professional career and during that time played at the European Festival of Street Football.

This man is a story is because of his story. In today's world of the super rich athlete, coming across homeless footballers occurs only for when they've played up on the missus. Living out of a car is story you hear more about actors like William Shatner and Sam Worthington than of Bobby Charlton or Wesley Sneijder.

There's no question that he's a risk, especially for a club watching its coffers like United, and also for Ferguson. With the money that Man City, Real Madrid, Chelsea and even some Russian clubs are able to throw around, he's gone to ground to seek bargains and to attempt “a Wenger” - buying young, talented kids and moulding them into his already-impressive team. He knows his job is safe for as long as he's interested in coaching, so all he has to risk by spending Glazer money like this is pride. And I'm sure his pride has taken enough knocks for him to live this one down – Juan Sebastian Veron, anybody?

The English footballing world will be very curious to see what the youngster has to show. There's no possible way given his performance for Portugal U21s and the Red Devil Reserves that he's worth the moolah now, but from the mouths of the Man U coaches comes nothing but praise for the Dreadlock Express – for his touch, for his finishing, for his outstanding hair.

Today the football world finds out if S.A.F. and Carlos Queiroz are foolish or foolish like a fox. Fearless prediction time: I'm going to go out on a limb and say he shows enough talent to be worth watching in the future but not enough to suggest he's worth more than what they paid for Chicharito.

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