Bebeto’s name is still being mentioned among SA football fans. Image: FIFA World Cup/Facebook

Bebeto magic: The streets will never forget

Bebeto’s spectacular winner against Bafana is still talked about; every time a player scores a bicycle kick, fans say he did a ‘Bebeto’.


Bebeto’s name is still being mentioned among SA football fans. Image: FIFA World Cup/Facebook

Ask any football fan in South Africa over the age of 40 if they still remember the name Bebeto.

The former Brazlian forward scored one of the best goals of the 90s to break the hearts of South Africans as Brazil claimed a famous 3-2 win in front of a packed FNB Stadium.

Bafana Bafana, who were just crowned 1996 African Cup of Nations champions in 1996, faced then world champions Brazil at the FNB Stadium. The home side opened the scoring through Phil Masinga and looked on set for victory after Doctor Khumalo increased the lead before the break.

Unfortunately Bafana couldn’t contain Brazil in the second half as they kept coming until they pulled one back through Flavio. Another goal will follow shortly after Rivaldo curled home a through ball from Bebeto.

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The best was yet to come from Brazil and it came through their star man Bebeto, who scored a bicycle kick to silence the FNB crowd. Bebeto stole the show with a spectacular winner in the dying minutes and his goal is still taled about in the streets of Mzansi.

To this day, South Africans still call a bicycle kick ‘Bebeto’.

Clive Barker, who passed away last weekend, was the head coach of the South African soccer team that game and in 2020, he spoke on about the game.

Bebeto’s goal on one of the most talked about goals in SA streets

Speaking on Marawa TV, Barker explained why infamously took off Khumalo, who was troubling the Brazilians in the first half.

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“I go to do a talk at any company‚ there is one question I know will come and that is about the Brazil game. Whether it’s 20 or 100 people‚ the one question I will get is why you took Doctor off‚” he said.

“They [Brazil] were gone. John Moeti was dictating terms‚ there was Helman Mkhalele and Doctor played above himself initially. At half time he wanted to come off because he had flown from the US and I know he doesn’t agree with what I am going to say here but I put my arm around him and said‚ ‘People will murder me if I take you off’.

Barker didn’t know that a Bebeto storm was coming in the second half.

“Of course we went back for the second half and it wasn’t turning out the right way and we ended up getting beaten in the end. I took Doctor off but I tried to keep him on for as long as I could – but he did look flat in the second half. But what a player‚ what a person‚ what a personality and my baby for various reasons,” Barker said.