Saturday, February 16, 2013

16 February 1964 - The Celebration Would Have Been Appropriate Here, Too

On 16 February 1964, Bebeto, star of the 1994 World Cup and creator of a famous goal celebration, was born in the Brazilian city of Salvador.

A forward, whose real name is José Roberto Gama de Oliveira, he spent the majority of his career alternating between the Brazilian and Spanish top flights, including lengthy spells with Flamengo (1983-88, 1996), Vasco da Gama (1989-92, 2001-02), and Deportiva la Coruña (1992-96). Along the way, he won league titles in 1983 and 1989, as well as the 1995 Copa del Rey.

He earned his first cap for Brazil in 1985 and made 75 appearances through 1998, scoring a total of 39 goals. During Brazil's winning campaign in the 1994 World Cup, he played every minute and scored three goals. After his third, which put his team up 2-1 against the Netherlands in the quarterfinals (Brazil went on to win 3-2), he honored his newborn son by making a rocking motion with his arms. It eventually became a staple goal celebration.

After his retirement in 2002, he briefly managed America FC in Rio de Janeiro from 2009 to 2010, then switched to politics with his 2010 election to Brazil's legislative assembly.

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