Ronaldo and Bebeto – their Partnership Compared
Brazil are the most successful football side that the world has ever seen and much of that success in recent years has been down to a potent front line. In the past, all the creative work and many of the goals were supplied from midfield, but along came strikers such as Bebeto and Ronaldo to change all that.
People often ask who the better player of the two is, and while Ronaldo may be better known across the globe, their individual stats actually compare quite favourably.
Head to Head
Bebeto’s international career began in 1985 and he eventually finished a distinguished period at the top level, 13 years later. In total, the forward won 75 full Brazilian caps and found the net on 39 different occasions.
Ronaldo’s and Bebeto’s paths crossed very briefly and for a time, they provided a lethal partnership. Ronaldo made his debut as a 17 year old against Argentina in 1994 and for a time he was known as Ronaldinho – little Ronaldo – as there was another player in the squad with the same name.
Bebeto and Ronaldo partnered up at France 1998 and when the older man retired, his protégée was more than ready to take over. Ronaldo completed his international career with a friendly in Romania in 2011 – a game specifically arranged to acknowledge his service for his country. He failed to score but left the international stage with a hugely impressive record of 62 goals in 98.
For pure goal scoring, Ronaldo therefore has the edge but it must be remembered that Bebeto largely played as a second striker, initially to Romario.
While at international level the two men compare very favourably, there is no doubt that Ronaldo enjoyed the greater success with his various club sides. Having started out with home team Cruzeiro, he was quickly snapped up by Dutch giants PSV with whom he won the national cup in 1996.
By this point, Ronaldo had caught the eye of the great Barcelona and after switching to Spain, he helped the team win three titles in his one season at the Nou Camp. From there, the striker enjoyed great personal success with Real Madrid and both Milan clubs before finishing back at home with Corinthians in 2011.
In contrast, Bebeto played most of his domestic football in Brazil with the exception of very brief spells in Spain, Portugal and Saudi Arabia. He won the Brazilian league on three occasions with two separate clubs while in Spain, and he earned a Copa Del Rey medal with Deportivo La Coruna in 1995.
Two Exceptional Players
It’s a little unfair to compare the two men as they did play slightly different roles, but there’s no doubt that when they were briefly united for the Brazilian national team, the country played achieved some great success.
Recently, Ronaldo and Bebeto were back together again in this promotional PokerStars video from Team SportStars. Clearly the two men enjoy each other’s company and they remain great friends, but it would have been great to have seen them play together on the football pitch on a more regular basis.