Bebe’s arrival at Old Trafford was one of the most astonishing transfers of the summer and caught fans and press men on the hop. Who is this kid? Where's he from? Did he live on the street? Did he play in the homeless World Cup? The short answers: Tiago Manuel Dias Correia, Lisbon in Portugal, no, and no. But in this interview, Bebe expands on those responses, discussing his humble origins and an amazing journey to his new club.
Can you tell us a little bit about your early life?
I come from a low background. The streets that I come from on the outskirts of Lisbon are very poor – I had nothing. But I am a good person in general and I want to show people that I can fight all the adversities I have had in my life. That’s why I am here.
Have you ever spent any time living on the street or is this a myth?
No, this is not true, I have never lived on the street. I had a lot of difficulties in my childhood and I had to go into a home when I was nine years old [this was the Caso Do Gaiato institution, which provides a home for children whose parents or guardians are unable to look after them]. Before that I was living with my grandmother, but there were four of us brothers living with her and she had no means to care for us all. That is why I had to go into the home. I lived there until I was 20 – when I left, it was to come here to Manchester.
Where did you learn to play football?
When I was young, at first I preferred playing basketball, but my older brother played football. I watched his matches and became interested in football. I started playing for my first proper team when I was 12 or 13. I started playing for the Estrela da Amadora