World of Sport

Touching twist to Bebeto’s iconic celebration

Bebeto's happy, smiling face cradling an imaginary baby is one of the iconic images of the 1994 World Cup in America.

The Brazilian striker unleashed the carefully choreographed celebration with his team-mates after scoring against the Netherlands in the quarter-final of USA 94'.

The celebration was in honour of his newborn son Mattheus who had been born just two days previously.

Well guess what? That son is now all grown up and has just been called up to the Brazil U20 squad for the first time.

The 18-year-old was promoted to the Flamengo senior team in Brazil's top league recently and has impressed the national selectors in an attacking midfield role.

As for Bebeto himself, well he is now a 48-year-old politician and has spoken of his pride at watching his son play.

"When I saw Mattheus step out on to the pitch (when he made his Flamengo debut), the memories from all those years ago came flooding back," he said.

"It was like a movie being played out in my head. One minute, I'm thinking back to how Mattheus was two days old when I scored against Holland; the next, I'm looking down at him playing professionally for the club I started with.

"It had an almost surreal element to it, and it was a very emotional experience for me. It's always the same in these father-son situations. I was the one feeling nervous. He looked calm and in control."

Like father, like son - Bebeto with Mattheus

Photo by Gilvan de Souza/