Posts Tagged ‘Rio Ave’


Fábio Coentrão, Real Madrid

A mainstay in the squad since the last World Cup, Fábio Coentrão has been one of Portugal’s most consistent players over that time. This will be the third consecutive tournament for the silver-haired left-back. He was named to the Team of the Tournament at Euro 2012.

Coentrão began playing football as a winger with hometown club Rio Ave. But while at Benfica, manager Jorge Jesus converted him to left-back. Although he has never really lived up to the expectations that came along with his €30 million transfer to Real Madrid in 2011, he has remained a valuable contributor to the club’s success.

This Season: Coentrão battled injuries for most of the first half of the season. He played in only 10 La Liga matches for the club, which includes eight starts. However, he was excellent in the knockout stages of the Champions League, helping Real Madrid win their historic La Décima.

Fun Fact: Fábio Coentrão comes from a family of fishermen and has said repeatedly that he would have likely spent his life working on boats if his football career did not work out. As a youngster, the rest of his family left for France in search of a better life, leaving young Fábio to live with his aunt.

By that time, Coentrão was already tied to Rio Ave and his parents were confident that their son would succeed. It turned out to be an excellent gamble. At Rio Ave, he would become known as the ‘Figo das Caxinas.’ He will go to Brazil with a heavy heart. His father passed away last November. Coentrão dedicated the recent La Décima win to his memory.

João Pereira, Valencia

A attack-minded right-back that is known for his combative behaviour. João Pereira has been an automatic starter since Paulo Bento became manager in 2010. He recently produced an excellent assist on Cristiano Ronaldo’s 48th international goal, which moved the Real Madrid star into first-place on Portugal’s all-time scoring list.

Pereira is a graduate of Benfica’s football academy. He has also played for Gil Vicente, Braga and Sporting Lisbon. In 2012, he moved to La Liga club Valencia where he currently plays. Pereira battled inconsistency and injuries for most of this past season.

This Season: Pereira played in 25 La Liga matches this season with Valencia, starting 23 of those matches. The club finished a very disappointing eighth in the League table. They were eliminated in the semi-finals of the Europa League by eventual winners Sevilla.

Fun Fact: Pereira is one of the few players to have played for city rivals Benfica and Sporting Lisbon. Pereira was originally an attacker with Benfica but was eventually converted to right-back.

André Almeida, Benfica

One of the surprises of the squad. André Almeida is a very reliable defender, who could play on the left and the right sides, as well as in defensive midfield. The 23-year-old received his first international cap in October 2013 in a World Cup qualifier against Israel. Almeida started the match in place of the injured João Pereira.

Almeida was seldom used throughout most of the season. However, after a number of injuries to key players, Benfica manager Jorge Jesus began utilizing him more especially during the club’s Europa League run. He will primarily be counted on to provide defensive support at the back.

This Season: André Almeida played in 10 Primeira Liga matches for Benfica. He helped the club complete the Portuguese treble, winning the League, League Cup and Portuguese Cup championships.

Fun Fact: A native of Lisbon, Almeida has played for all three of the city’s biggest clubs. Originally a Sporting Lisbon youth player, he would join Belenenses in 2007. Benfica would sign him from the second division in 2011.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

The following is an overview of a three-part feature series by Futebol Factory that profiled some of Portugal’s most promising footballers.

Last year, Josué, Tiago Ilori, Bruma and Amido Baldé established themselves as potential Seleção players. This year’s list of players is just as rich in quantity and quality.

In January 2014, Futebol Factory will release a mid-season review of all 21 players listed in this series. Each player will receive a letter grade based on their performance in the unofficial first half of the season.

Here now is a complete summary of the 21 Portuguese youngsters that could break out this season.


Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyonnais)
José Sá (Maritimo)


Raphaël Guerreiro (FC Lorient)
Roderick Miranda (Rio Ave)
Miguel Vitor (PAOK)
Ricardo Ferreira (Olhanense)
Nuno Reis (Sporting Lisbon)
Flávio Ferreira (Malaga)
Diogo Figueiras (Sevilla)


Danilo Pereira (Marítimo)
Luís Gustavo (Rio Ave)
William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon)
João Mário (Sporting Lisbon)
Filipe Chaby (Sporting Lisbon)
Ricardo Alves (Belenenses)
Tiago Silva (Belenenses)
Sérgio Oliveira (FC Porto, On Loan at Paços de Ferreira)
Rafa (Sporting Braga)


Ricardo Esgaio (Sporting Lisbon)
Aladje (Sassuolo)
Nelson Oliveira (Benfica, On Loan at Rennes)

Related Posts:

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Young Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 1

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Young Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 2

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Young Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 3

TRANSFER WINDOW: Benfica Striker Nélson Oliveira Officially Joins Rennes On One-Year Loan Deal

PORTUGAL: 7 Young Players That Could Help The Seleção Reach World Cup 2014

Marítimo Goalkeeper José Sá Hopes To See Regular Action

Marítimo Goalkeeper José Sá Hopes To See Regular Action

This is the third and final article of a feature series exclusive to Futebol Factory that profiles the most promising Portuguese youngsters. Later this week, this website will be publishing an overview of all 21 players named in our series.

Here now are the last seven Portuguese young players that could have break out seasons this year.

José Sá, Maritimo, Goalkeeper

The 20-year old made a big name for him self this summer at the U20 World Cup. He certainly raised his profile in Maritimo’s opening match this season against Benfica, back stopping the Madeira-based club to a 2-1 win. The former Benfica youth player looks to have a bright future ahead of him.

With Maritimo’s former number one goalkeeper Romain Salin departing to Rio Ave, manager Pedro Martins has no proven goalkeeper. This could be his year to establish himself as a starting goalkeeper and perhaps an option for the Seleção.

Nuno Reis, Sporting Lisbon, Centre Back

A promising player whose future looks uncertain at the moment. Reis formed an excellent partnership at the centre of defence with Rio Ave’s Roderick Miranda at the 2011 U20 World Cup where Portugal finished second. He played with Olhanense last season.

The 22-year old does not appear to be part of Sporting manager Leonardo Jardim’s immediate plans. Currently playing with Sporting B squad in the second division, a loan deal seems likely.

Ricardo Ferreira, Olhanense, Centre Back

Born to Portuguese parents in Canada, Ricardo Ferreira is a former FC Porto youth player. In 2011, he was signed by Serie A giants AC Milan but never played a professional match for them. Last year, he was loaned to Serie B squad Empoli where he found playing time difficult to come by.

Ferreira was released this past summer by the Italian club and signed with Olhanense. He should find more playing time with Abel Xavier club, but unless the former Portuguese international proves to be a better manager than most people expect, the Algarve-club should be battling hard to stay in the top division.

Diogo Figueiras, Sevilla, Right-Back

The 22-year old was signed by La Liga club Sevilla this summer after an impressive season at Paços Ferreira. The club’s sporting director Monchi has praised his speed and technical ability, although it looks like he will have to play second-fiddle to Coke for now.

Figueiras lists former Sevilla right-back Dani Alves as a personal role model. He told journalists at his official unveiling in July, “Daniel Alves (Now with FC Barcelona) is an inspiration to me because he is the best full-back in the world. I am an ambitious player and I hope that I could one day reach his level. I am an offensive-minded full-back.”

Flávio Ferreira, Malaga, Centre Back/Defensive Midfielder

Signed by Malaga in the summer from Académica, where he primarily played at centre back last season. The 21-year old could also pay in defensive midfield. As of late August, Ferreira was battling a back injury that was to be evaluated from week to week.

With Malaga losing several quality players and their manager this summer, Ferreira could be given an opportunity to shine this year at the Estadio La Rosaleda. He should feel very welcome in Andalusia this season with Portuguese players Duda, Eliseu and Vitorino Antunes on the squad.

Ricardo Alves, Belenenses, Midfielder

Newly-promoted clubs are always likely to have exciting young talented. 20-year old Ricardo Alves played himself into Belenenses’ starting XI last season when promotion was all but assured. His performances were enough to earn him a spot of Portugal’s U20 World Cup squad where he played three matches.

This season in the top division, the suburban Lisbon club are still without a proven goal scorer and will likely rely on its creativity in midfield to win matches. Alves will be counted on to produce this season.

Tiago Silva, Belenenses, Midfielder

Another promising midfielder at Belenenses. Silva played regularly last season in the second division, scoring four goals in 31 matches for the club. Silva, along with Ricardo Alves could provide the basis for a strong Belenenses midfield this year.

The 20-year old is more attack-minded than Alves and will need to be good this season if Mitchell van der Gaag’s club is to prevent relegation. They got off to a poor start in match day one with a 3-0 defeat at home to Rio Ave.

Related posts

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Young Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 1

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Young Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 2

PORTUGAL: 7 Young Players That Could Help The Seleção Reach World Cup 2014


Deportivo winger Bruno Gama was touted as the next great player in Portuguese football when he represented his country at the 2007 U20 World Cup in Canada. At that point, a selection to the Seleção seemed inevitable.

At 25 years of old, Gama will realize that dream this week against Holland after being called up by Portugal manager Paulo Bento as an injury replacement for Wolfsburg’s Vieirinha.

“I am very happy, I did not expect this at all. I was enjoying my day of rest (When he received the message), and it happened when I was in Portugal. It is a dream come true,” he said in a news conference on Monday in Óbidos.

“It gave me a lot of hope. I need to continue to work hard and help the squad. There are excellent players at my position. I know that there are stronger options, but I have confidence that I will continue to be selected,” he added.

Like Vieirinha, Gama was a talented young player and an automatic choice for Portugal’s junior squads who took a little longer than expected to reach the heights of the Seleção.

A product of Sporting Braga’s youth academy, Gama was signed by FC Porto in 2004 for €750,000. A large sum for a young player.

For the next few seasons he played with Porto’s B squad, before loan spells at Braga and Vitória Setúbal. Gama would only play one official league match for Porto until he was released in 2009 at the age of 21.

During this time, he continued to be a prominent player on Portugal’s junior squads gaining 78 caps and scoring 25 goals.

Gama would sign with Rio Ave in 2009, playing two seasons and was almost completely written off by pundits everywhere.

In 2011, he would move to Spain, signing a deal with Galician club Deportivo La Coruña. It did not seem like an important step in his career at the time, especially since the club was currently languishing in Spain’s Segunda División.

In his first season, Gama helped the club gain promotion to the top-level of Spanish football. The following year, with fellow Portuguese international Pizzi playing on the opposite wing, Gama had a strong season scoring 6 goals and pitching in another 5 assists in 38 La Liga matches.

His production was not enough to prevent Deportivo from being relegated last season. However, Gama is unlikely to remain with the club for long. Both Sporting Lisbon and Sevilla have been rumoured to be interested in signing him before the end of the transfer period on August 31st.

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

With the new football season about to begin soon, Futebol Factory will be profiling some of the most promising Portuguese youngsters.

Here now is a list of 7 promising Portuguese players who could emerge this season.

Raphaël Guerreiro, FC Lorient, Left-Back

An interesting young player who has flown under the radar. Born in France, Guerreiro has recently been called up for Portugal’s U21 squads after an impressive season in Ligue 2 with Caen. He was named as the best left-back in the French second division last year as well.

This year, the 19-year old will be playing in Ligue 1 with FC Lorient. His progression depends of course on how much playing time he receives, but he has already shown that he could play well at a high level.

Roderick Miranda, Rio Ave, Centre Back/Defensive Midfield

A major figure in Portugal’s second place finish at the 2011 U20 World Cup. Never given a fair chance at Benfica, the 22-year old centre back signed a contract with Rio Ave in August.

Roderick should receive more playing time this season with Nuno Espírito Santo’s club. Rio Ave overachieved last season and are poised to improve again this season. With great awareness and size, Roderick could also play in defensive midfield.

Luís Gustavo, Rio Ave, Midfielder

A recent pick-up by Rio Ave from Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. 20-year old Gustavo could just be one of the best acquisitions this summer in Portugal arriving on a free transfer. He has been a regular on Portugal’s junior sides as well.

Gustavo played in 32 Segunda División matches last year for Barcelona’s B squad in a mostly defensive midfielder role. He will be playing on a squad that surprised everyone by finishing 6th last year. Unlike some of its competitors like Paços de Ferreira and Estoril, the club has not been scraped for parts this summer. This could be a big year for Gustavo and Rio Ave.

Danilo Pereira, Marítimo, Defensive Midfielder/Centre Back

21-year old Danilo Pereira is best known for his star-making performance at the 2011 U20 World Cup. The former Benfica youth player was recently signed by Marítimo after being released by Serie A club Parma. Pereira is primarily a defensive midfielder but also played centre back last season while on loan at Eredivisie club Roda JC.

Pereira was an everyday player last year with Roda and might find the transition to playing everyday in Portugal quite easy. Big, athletic and strong in possession, Pereira is often compared to former Arsenal great Patrick Vieira. Like Gustavo, he could end up being an excellent bargain.

William Carvalho, Sporting Lisbon, Midfielder

21-year old Carvalho has been one of the most frequently used players this summer for new Sporting manager Leonardo Jardim and could win a regular spot in the starting XI. His impressive performances have not gone unnoticed, he was recently signed to a long-term extension.

His old manager at Cercle Brugge Foeke Booy said in July that he could be a ‘powerful box-to-box midfielder.’ Carvalho played most of last season as a defensive midfielder on loan at the Belgian club, but he could also play in a more central role, as well as a central defender.

Rafa, Sporting Braga, Attacking Midfielder

An interesting acquisition by the Minho club from second division side Feirense. The 20-year old reportedly turned down a chance to join Sporting Lisbon for more playing time at Sporting Braga. He comes to Braga at a time where the midfield is going through some big changes after Hugo Viana and Mossoró both left this summer.

For Rafa, he has two things going for him heading into his first season in the top division. First, he is on a competitive team where he could learn while waiting patiently for his chance. Second, he will be working under the tutelage of Professor Jesualdo who has an excellent record of playing and developing young talent.

Nelson Oliveira, Benfica (On Loan at Rennes), Striker

It might be a surprise to some to see a Seleção player on this list. But the fact of the matter is that the 22-year old took a step back last year on loan at Deportivo, scoring only 4 goals in 30 matches. With Éder returning from injury, Oliveira could be on the outside looking in at the 2014 World Cup.

Oliveira will likely be given a chance to play regularly this season after being loaned to Ligue 1 club Rennes. Club manager Philippe Montanier insisted on signing Oliveira after seeing him play last season in La Liga.

Related Posts:

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Young Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 2

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Young Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 3

PORTUGAL: 7 Young Players That Could Help The Seleção Reach World Cup 2014

TRANSFER WINDOW: Benfica Striker Nélson Oliveira Officially Joins Rennes On One-Year Loan Deal

Jesualdo Ferreira’s Sporting Lisbon side defeated Gil Vicente 3-2 in Barcelos with a squad consisting of many young players from its youth academy on Saturday.

After poor results against Maritimo and Rio-Ave in recent weeks, Ferreira featured a starting XI that included young players such as Tiago Ilori, Eric Dier, Zezinho and Bruma. The oldest player to have played on Saturday for Sporting was Miguel Lopes who is only 26.

The injection of youth paid off immediately in the 1st minute of play when 18-year-old Portuguese winger Bruma dribbling the ball into the box, alluding several defenders and scoring an impressive individual goal. A few minutes later, central defender Tiago Ilori scored off a Zakaria Labyad corner to put the Leões up 2-0.

But soon after, the youth would show their inexperience. In the 20th minute, Gil Vicente’s Hugo Vieira capitalized on a mistake by the 19-year-old Ilori and reduced the deficit to one. But the Sporting side showed some offensive prowess seriously lacking in the squad this season, continuously pressing their opponents into half-time.

Hugo Vieira would even the score in the early stages of the second half off another error by Joãozinho. But soon after coming on for Labyad, Diego Capel would score through a cross by Miguel Lopes putting Sporting Lisbon ahead for good and earning manager Ferreira a major victory.

“I want to congratulate all the players for the victory especially the younger players, who played like veterans. That said, we still committed some errors on the two goals. This is a group of great quality, they need space, time and more experience,” Ferreira told Sport TV after the match. “It was a game of great risk.”

“It was a deserving victory for these youths because we were the better team. We need these young players if we are to gain points and move quickly up the league table. The confidence that these young players exhibit is our greatest triumph,” added Ferreira.

Bruma, who opened the scoring for Sporting talked about the importance of the victory. “We played young players but it did not matter. We are all adults, we want to continue to win and work hard in order to find our way.”

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Edgar Jiménez

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Edgar Jiménez

Round 18 of the Portuguese league was certainly one to remember. FC Porto missed an opportunity to go top of the League on Sunday when they drew 1-1 with Olhanense at the Dragão.

Targino opened the scoring for Olhanense in the 7th minute, allowing the Algarve club to assume a more defensive approach. Porto’s Colombian striker Jackson Martinez evened the score in the 55th minute of play.

Manager Vitor Pereira told Sport TV after the match: “Olhanense managed to score early and from there they were never disorganized. We wasted many good opportunities. We never like to lose two points but they deserved the draw. We tried everything to win but in the end it did not go our way. We have to continue working hard,” Pereira said.

Benfica drew 2-2 with Nacional in Madeira earlier in the day in a match full of controversy. Referee Pedro Proença issued three red cards in the match including two straight reds to Benfica’s Oscar Cardozo and Nemanja Matić.

In the 89th minute Cardozo reportedly kicked Brazilian defender Fernando Marçal when he would not give up the ball. Proença also issued Marçal his second yellow of the game for time wasting. Later, Matić was sent off deep in extra time for allegedly striking Olhanense’s forward Candeias in the face.

Cardozo’s agent Pedro Aldave told Radio Renascença that there is always controversy when Proença is assigned to referee matches involving Benfica. The league is expected to look at both incidents and suspensions are likely.

Diego Barcellos and Mateus scored for Nacional, while Benfica’s goals came by way of an own goal by Nacional defender Mexer and Uruguanyan midfielder Jonathan Urretaviscaya.

Porto and Benfica are tied at the top of the league with 46 points in 18 matches this campaign. Os Encarnados play German club Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League on Thursday.

The news was much worse for Sporting Lisbon. Jesualdo Ferreira’s side lost to Marítimo on Sunday. Hyun-Jun Suk scored in the 18th minute to win the match 1-0. Sporting were unable to get much offense going. They have scored the fewest goals of any club in the league so far this year.

Ferreira remarked that he could not remember a time when Sporting had the worst attack in the league this late in the season.

“We have scored 5 goals in the last five games, today was the only match where we failed to score. The team has been producing more scoring chances than before, but our recent form has been marked by poor finishing. This creates a general lack of confidence, especially in critical moments,” Ferreira added.

Highly regarded youngster Bruma played the entire first half for the club and generally played well. We was subbed in favour of Andre Carrillo to start the second half.

Sporting now remain 9 points behind 5th place Rio-Ave for the final Europa League position for next campaign. The Vila do Conde club beat Academica of Coimbra 2-1 on Sunday. Bebé scored the winner early in the second half.

On Monday night, Sporting Braga host Paços de Ferreira at the Estádio AXA. Braga could reclaim third place with a win.

Full Squad

Goalkeepers Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (BB Istanbul), Rui Patrício (Sporting)

Defenders João Pereira (Valencia), Miguel Lopes (Sporting), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), Luís Neto (Zenit), Bruno Alves (Zenit), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Sereno (Valladolid)

Midfielders João Moutinho (FC Porto), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahçe), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Custódio (Braga), André Gomes (Benfica), Ruben Amorim (Braga), Danny (Zenit)

Forwards Nani (Manchester United), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Hélder Postiga (Zaragoza), Éder (Braga), Nélson Oliveira (Deportivo La Corunña), Silvestre Varela (Porto)

A Seleção are hoping to get back on track after some recent disappointing performances against Russia, Northern Ireland and Gabon. Manager Paulo Bento will welcome back Fábio Coentrão and Raul Meireles after both have missed time with injuries.

Real Madrid defender Pepe underwent ankle surgery and will not play. Striker Hugo Almeida and Braga midfielder Ruben Micael were on the original squad announced on Friday, but have pulled out because of injuries as well. Sporting Lisbon defender Miguel Lopes injured his shoulder Saturday in a game against Rio-Ave and could face miss the match.

Benfica midfielder André Gomes and striker Nelson Oliveira replaced Almeida and Micael on the squad. The 19-year-old Gomes receives his first call up for the national team after a number of excellent performances for Benfica. Centre back Henrique Sereno who is playing on loan with Real Valladolid from Porto also received his first call-up. And Zenit midfielder Danny also returns after a long absence due to injury.

Deportivo’s Pizzi who scored in Portugal’s last match against Gabon was not called up. Neither were Braga’s Hugo Viana and Besiktas’ Manuel Fernandes. Portugal face a Ecuador squad that currently rank a surprising 12th in the FIFA ranking, the highest in the country’s history.

They are currently second to Argentina in South America World Cup qualifying despite the fact that they only have 4 players who play in European leagues: Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Christian Noboa (Dynamo Moscow), Renato Ibarra (Vitesse) and Felipe Caicedo (Lokomotiv Moscow)

They should pose a formidable challenge for a Portugal team that has a recent history of underperforming against less talented squads. Paulo Bento has been under increased pressure to mix new players into his starting XI.

Look for Sporting Braga’s Éder to play along side Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo in place of Helder Positiga. This will be the 25-year-old’s fifth cap and he seems destined to break out on the national team after a good performance against Gabon. Seleção fans will also be keen to watch Gomes and Luis Neto who could receive their first caps.


In manager Jesualdo Ferreira’s first game in charge of Sporting Lisbon, the club earned a narrow 1-0 win against Paços de Ferreira in the Taça da Liga competition. Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored in the 89th minute to give his team the victory on Wednesday.

“This club needs psychological support and confidence, to feel that they could come out in front,” Ferreira told journalists after the game. “The players need to believe in themselves,” he added.

Sporting had already been eliminated from the tournament before the match and will not advance to the semi-finals. Rio-Ave forward Bebé scored in his first full match for the Vila do Conde club. The Rio-Ave win, combined with Paços de Ferreira’s loss means Rio-Ave advances to the semi-finals from Group C.

In group D, Benfica advances to the semi-finals after a 3-2 victory against Académica. Lima scored twice for Benfica, Alan Kardec scored the other. Makelele and Carlos Saleiro scored for Académica.

João Moutinho’s penalty in the 44th minute gave Porto the victory against Vitória Setúbal. Porto advances from group A. Braga advanced from Group B with a 3-0 win against Beira-Mar. Carlão, Ruben Amorim and Hugo Viana scored in that match.

The semi-finals of the 2012-12 Taça da Liga have been set. Porto will play Rio-Ave at the Estádio do Dragão in one semi-final, while Braga will host Benfica. Both game will be played on February 27th.

Also in Portugal on Wednesday, the top two teams in the Liga de Honra, Belenenses and Sporting (B Squad) played a make-up game at the Estádio do Restelo in Belém. Belenenses won 2-1 and now lead the Portuguese second division by 12 points after 21 matches.


Bebé, Forward

Portuguese forward Bebé has struggled to live up to expectations since his transfer to Premier League giants Manchester United in 2010. He spent time on loan in Turkey where he was temporarily suspended by the team for breaking curfew. And while on international duty in 2011, he suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury keeping him out of action for 6 months.

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that he signed Bebé without seeing him play, after taking some advice from his scouts. Also, the transfer has been under investigation by the Portuguese authorities for possible corruption. All this has led many people to question whether Bebé really has the talent to live up to expectations. So far, he has only shown glimpses of his skill.

“I am very happy to be at Rio Ave. I hope I can relaunch my career and I will give everything I can to help the team finish well,” Bebe said. “Ferguson advised me to leave, so I could come back strong.”