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Tom Jones' Two Cents

Sports analysis, perspective and more.

Glazers spend $11 million on unknown (Uh, he plays soccer)



kid.Imagine what the Glazers could do with $11 million. They could sign an elite running back, maybe two. They could sign a top-notch proven wide receiver. They could snatch up all unsold tickets to guarantee no blackouts this season. Or they could do what they did, which was spend $11 million to bring in a relatively obscure soccer player to play for Manchester United.

It truly is a rags-to-riches story for a 20-year-old Portuguese soccer player whose real name is Tiago Manuel Dias Correia but goes by the name Bebe. (See, you can't be a really good soccer player unless you have a one-word nickname.) Just a few weeks ago, Bebe was essentially a pick-up-game player living in a shelter. Then the striker was signed for practically nothing by a Portugal first-division club. But before playing a game, Man U started to show interest and then jumped on him when it heard that other big teams, such as Real Madrid, also were checking out the young (but unproven at a top level) star. Much of that $11-million was used to buy Bebe out of his contract in Portugal. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admits he hadn't even seen video of Bebe before signing him.

Here's a New York Times story about the signing, which figures to go over real well around here with Tampa Bay Bucs fans. (Be sure the add the sarcastic emphasis on "real well'' when you read that last sentence.)

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 12:42pm]


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