Bebeto in 2010
|Full name||José Roberto Gama de Oliveira|
|Date of birth||16 February 1964|
|Place of birth||Salvador, Brazil|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|1989-1992||Vasco da Gama||53||(28)|
|1992-1996||Deportivo de La Coruña||131||(86)|
|2001||Vasco da Gama||8||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
José Roberto Gama de Oliveira (born 16 February 1964), known as Bebeto, is a Brazilian former professional football player who played as a forward. He entered politics in the 2010 Brazilian General Elections and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro representing the Democratic Labour Party.
With 39 goals in 75 appearances for Brazil, Bebeto is the sixth highest goalscorer for his national team. He was the top scorer for Brazil at the 1989 Copa América when they won the tournament. At the 1994 FIFA World Cup, he formed a formidable strike partnership with Romário to lead Brazil to a record fourth World Cup title. He also generated headlines at the tournament for his goal celebration where he began rocking an imaginary baby after scoring against the Netherlands; his wife had given birth to their third child just days before. He was also a member of the Brazilian team that won the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup, while he won Olympic silver and bronze medals with Brazil at the 1988 and 1996 Summer Olympic Games respectively. In 1989, Bebeto was named South American Footballer of the Year.
In January 2013 and August 2014, Bebeto was named as one of the six Ambassadors of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Rio 2016 in Brazil, others being Ronaldo, Amarildo, Marta, Carlos Alberto Torres, Mário Zagallo.
He played for Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Cruzeiro and Botafogo in Brazil, Deportivo La Coruña and Sevilla in Spain, Toros Neza in Mexico, Kashima Antlers in Japan, and Al Ittihad in Saudi Arabia, finally retiring in 2002.
Bebeto spent four years in Spain at Deportivo La Coruña, scoring an impressive 86 goals in 131 games. Bebeto became the top scorer in La Liga in his first season at Deportivo, scoring 29 goals in the 1992-93 season. In the next season, 1993-94 season, Deportivo had the chance to win their first ever La Liga title by beating Valencia in the last match of the season. In a very evenly matched contest Deportivo had a golden opportunity to seal the victory and thus the league title. They were given a penalty kick just minutes from the end. The official penalty taker all season had been Bebeto (after Donato, who wasn't in the field), who this time, refused to take the penalty. Eventually, Miroslav ?uki? took the penalty and failed to score; hence, the match ended with a 0-0 draw, effectively handing Barcelona the title.
In 1996 Bebeto returned to play for native club Flamengo, but after just 15 games, Bebeto returned to Spain to play for Sevilla, for whom he never scored. In 1997, Bebeto joined Cruzeiro for just one match, the 1997 Intercontinental Cup final against Borussia Dortmund. Despite his presence, the Belo Horizonte side lost the match 2-0. Bebeto returned to goalscoring form at native clubs Vitória in late 1997 and Botafogo in early 1998, which saw him being picked for Brazil's World Cup defence in 1998.
In 2001, he was rejected by Scottish side St Mirren, who were willing to pay his wages but had reservations about his fitness. On 5 September 2002, he joined his final club at the age of 38, Al-Ittihad of Saudi Arabia, after pledging to join Vasco da Gama on 28 August.
For Brazil, Bebeto scored 39 goals in 75 caps after making his debut in 1985. He played in three World Cups: 1990, 1994, and 1998. In 1994, he was one of the best players of the tournament, scoring three goals and providing two assists for the eventual champions, and then repeated the feat four years later as Brazil finished second to hosts France.
During the 1994 World Cup, Bebeto formed a formidable partnership with Romário, after they succeeded in putting their personal differences aside. Bebeto and Romário were fierce rivals in the Spanish League. Bebeto led the Spanish first division with 29 goals in 1992-93 and Romário led it with 30 goals in 1993-94. It was Romário who gave Bebeto the nickname Chorao, or Crybaby, for his habit of pouting to referees. It was also Romário who called a news conference before the World Cup to announce that he would not sit next to Bebeto on the team's flight to the United States. Today, however, Bebeto and Romario are friends, with Bebeto claiming that they talk often. In an interview in 2018, Bebeto praised his partnership with Romario: "I played with Romario only in the national team. We played only one game together at Flamengo before he left for Europe. Do you know that Brazil have never lost a game when Bebeto and Romario played together? Not a single game! Besides, every time we played together at least one of us scored."
Bebeto became a household name for his goal celebration in the 1994 World Cup in the United States. His wife had delivered their third child just days before a quarter-final match against the Netherlands in the scorching heat of Dallas. After scoring, Bebeto ran to the sideline, brought his arms together and began rocking an imaginary baby. Teammates Romário and Mazinho quickly joined in. That child, a boy who was named Mattheus, started his football career with the youth side of Brazilian club Flamengo.
One of Brazil's greatest strikers, Bebeto was a prolific goalscorer and an excellent finisher, who was known for his consistency and determination throughout his career, although he was also injury-prone and was criticised for his character. Despite not being imposing physically due to his lack of height and slender physique, he was a fast and opportunistic player, who used his agility, offensive movement, and intelligence to lose his markers in tight spaces. Due to his vision, outstanding technical skills, close control on the ball, and his ability to play off other strikers and provide them with assists, he was often employed as a playmaking attacking midfielder or as a supporting striker early on in his career, drawing influence from Zico's playing style. He was later deployed as a striker or as a centre-forward, however, where he excelled, due to his eye for goal, and remained in this position for the rest of his career.
Bebeto was hired on 16 December 2009 as the América Football Club's head coach. After an average performance at the Taça Guanabara, he was sacked on 13 February 2010. He had a record of three wins, one draw and four losses.
Bebeto is married to Denise Oliveira, who played volleyball for Flamengo in 1988, with whom he has two sons and one daughter, Stéphannie who is married to Carlos Eduardo. His son, Mattheus, is a professional footballer. Bebeto's brother-in-law, Luiz Fernando Petra, was murdered in 2002, during a federal deputy election in Rio de Janeiro.
|1989||Vasco da Gama||Série A||12||6|
|1992-93||Deportivo La Coruña||La Liga||37||29|
|1998-99||Toros Neza||Primera División||8||2|
|2000||Kashima Antlers||J1 League||8||1|
|2001||Vasco da Gama||Série A||8||2|
|Brazil national team|
|1.||10 May 1989||Fortaleza, Brazil||Peru||4-1||Win||Friendly|
|2.||8 June 1989||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Portugal||4-0||Win||Friendly|
|3.||1 July 1989||Salvador, Brazil||Venezuela||3-1||Win||1989 Copa América|
|4.||9 July 1989||Recife, Brazil||Paraguay||2-0||Win||1989 Copa América|
|5.||9 July 1989||Recife, Brazil||Paraguay||2-0||Win||1989 Copa América|
|6.||12 July 1989||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Argentina||2-0||Win||1989 Copa América|
|7.||14 July 1989||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Paraguay||3-0||Win||1989 Copa América|
|8.||14 July 1989||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Paraguay||3-0||Win||1989 Copa América|
|9.||30 July 1989||Caracas, Venezuela||Venezuela||4-0||Win||1990 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|10.||30 July 1989||Caracas, Venezuela||Venezuela||4-0||Win||1990 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|11.||15 April 1992||Cuiabá, Brazil||Finland||3-1||Win||Friendly|
|12.||15 April 1992||Cuiabá, Brazil||Finland||3-1||Win||Friendly|
|13.||17 May 1992||London, England||England||1-1||Draw||Friendly|
|14.||31 July 1992||Los Angeles, United States||Mexico||5-0||Win||1992 Friendly Cup|
|15.||31 July 1992||Los Angeles, United States||Mexico||5-0||Win||1992 Friendly Cup|
|16.||2 August 1992||Los Angeles, United States||United States||1-0||Win||1992 Friendly Cup|
|17.||16 December 1992||Porto Alegre, Brazil||Germany||3-1||Win||Friendly|
|18.||14 July 1993||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Paraguay||2-0||Win||Friendly|
|19.||1 August 1993||Pueblo Nuevo, Brazil||Venezuela||5-1||Win||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|20.||1 August 1993||Pueblo Nuevo, Brazil||Venezuela||5-1||Win||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|21.||15 August 1993||Montevideo, Uruguay||Uruguay||1-1||Draw||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|22.||22 August 1993||São Paulo, Brazil||Ecuador||2-0||Win||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|23.||29 August 1993||Recife, Brazil||Bolivia||6-0||Win||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|24.||29 August 1993||Recife, Brazil||Bolivia||6-0||Win||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|25.||23 March 1994||Recife, Brazil||Argentina||2-0||Win||Friendly|
|26.||23 March 1994||Recife, Brazil||Argentina||2-0||Win||Friendly|
|27.||8 June 1994||San Diego, United States||Honduras||8-2||Win||Friendly|
|28.||8 June 1994||San Diego, United States||Honduras||8-2||Win||Friendly|
|29.||12 June 1994||Fresno, United States||El Salvador||4-0||Win||Friendly|
|30.||24 June 1994||Palo Alto, United States||Cameroon||3-0||Win||1994 FIFA World Cup|
|31.||4 July 1994||Palo Alto, United States||United States||1-0||Win||1994 FIFA World Cup|
|32.||9 July 1994||Dallas, United States||Netherlands||3-2||Win||1994 FIFA World Cup|
|33.||22 February 1995||Fortaleza, Brazil||Slovakia||5-0||Win||Friendly|
|34.||22 February 1995||Fortaleza, Brazil||Slovakia||5-0||Win||Friendly|
|35.||24 April 1996||Johannesburg, South Africa||South Africa||3-2||Win||Friendly|
|36.||6 December 1997||Johannesburg, South Africa||South Africa||2-1||Win||Friendly|
|37.||16 June 1998||Nantes, France||Morocco||3-0||Win||1998 FIFA World Cup|
|38.||23 June 1998||Marseille, France||Norway||1-2||Loss||1998 FIFA World Cup|
|39.||3 July 1998||Nantes, France||Denmark||3-2||Win||1998 FIFA World Cup|