Bebe: I can’t even speak, I can’t even think

  • Portugal beat Kazakhstan on penalties in a thrilling semi-final

  • Goalkeeper Bebe emerged as its star

  • He discusses his emotions and a final against Argentina

Kazakhstan’s assault on Portugal’s goal was unremitting tonight. A security guard nevertheless guarded his net like it was Fort Knox. Bebe made 11 saves in total – a majority coming in the second half – highlighted by an exceptional stop from Douglas with two minutes remaining in the second half. He then saved Kazakhstan’s first penalty in the shootout, from Douglas, to set Portugal en route to a 4-3 victory and a place in the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™ final. “I can’t even speak,” Bebe told FIFA.com afterwards. “I can’t even think. I’m so, so, so emotional right now. “I’m 38 years old. I’ve worked my whole career for a moment like this. I’m in a World Cup final for the first time. Portugal are in a World Cup final for the first time. It’s historic. It’s an amazing sensation.”

Another thing unremitting in Kaunas was Bebe’s Portugal team-mates grabbing, hugging and hailing him as he was chatting to us. The man himself, however, refused to take credit. “I just did my job,” he said. “It was a team effort. Everyone was incredible tonight. We had to beat a great, great side. People are realising how good Kazakhstan are now. We defended well, attacked well and when I was needed, I did what I have to.” Portugal will now face Argentina for the trophy on Sunday. “They are an incredible team,” said Bebe. “They are the world champions. They have incredible players and work so well as a team. They have just eliminated Brazil, who have so many incredible players. We know that we will be up against a top, top team. “But we believe in ourselves. We always believe in ourselves. We know we have a great team. We have incredible heart. You saw that on the court [today]. You saw that against Spain. We will be fully prepared to bring the world title home to Portugal.” That world title would complete the collection of one of the greatest futsal players of all time. Ricardinho has been named Best Player in the World a record six times, won everything at club level and inspired Portugal to UEFA Futsal EURO glory. “It would be bringing the curtain down beautifully, winning the only trophy that I don’t have,” Ricardinho told FIFA.com. “It would be the perfect way to end my international career.”

“I would love it for him to win it,” said Bebe. “Even if I was a neutral fan, I would love it. Because Ricardinho has done extraordinary things for futsal. He deserves it so, so much. “To call him a team-mate is a huge privilege and I would love to see him with the trophy.” If Ricardinho does get that beautiful closing of the curtains, he will be indebted to the performance of his long-time friend and team-mate Bebe in a thrilling semi-final.