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Player Profile: Beto

Full name: António Alberto Bastos Pimparel
Position: Goalkeeper
Date of Birth: 1 May 1982
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal

The career of goalkeeper Beto proves that against the odds, persistence, when allied to talent, will ultimately be rewarded. Beto came through the ranks at Sporting, but did not play a single first-team match for the Lisbon giants. He was loaned out to minnows Casa Pia, before eventually trying his luck in the lower leagues, where he was still playing his football in his mid-twenties.  
At 1.80m (5 ft 11 in), Beto has constantly had to fight against the belief of many that he is not tall enough to be a top-class goalkeeper. A combination of remarkable agility, bravery and unwavering concentration have largely put such notions to bed, and nobody was talking about his stature when Beto shot into the limelight in the 2008/09 season.
Beto played a major role in a hugely successful season for Leixões, a modest outfit from the industrial suburbs of Porto. Leixões flirted with the top places for several weeks early in the season, and even had the temerity to beat FC Porto and Sporting in their own back yards. The spectacular goalkeeping of Beto certainly helped the club punch well above its weight in a memorable league campaign.
Yet it was in the Portuguese Cup that Beto really got himself noticed. A goalless draw against Benfica in mid-December saw the 4th-round tie go to penalties, and Beto cemented his place in Leixões folklore by saving three spot kicks to send the Lisbon giants crashing out of the competition.

Perfect month

With FC Porto known to be after a new goalkeeper, many expected the Dragons to plump for the Portugal number one at the time, Eduardo, but it was Beto who got the nod, signing a four-year contract in June 2009 for a transfer fee not far shy of one million euros. To complete a memorable month, Beto made his debut for the full Portugal side, keeping a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw against Estonia.
As the 2009/10 season progressed, Beto shared goalkeeping duties the experienced Helton at Porto, and a strong end to the campaign was rewarded with his inclusion in Carlos Queiroz’s World Cup squad. The 2010/11 season would prove a high point for Beto, as André Villas-Boas led a memorable FC Porto side to the treble of Portuguese League, Portuguese Cup and Europa League. Beto played all the Portuguese Cup games.

However, the superb form of Helton kept Beto's chances of regular football to a minimum, and he made the decision to spend a season on loan at Romanian club CFR Cluj in 2011/12. It proved a good option, as Beto himself succintly summed up at the end of another championship winning season: “I left FC Porto for one season and fulfilled what I had planned. I played regularly, I got back into the Selecção and I won the championship.”

by Tom Kundert (updated 22/05/2012)

Club Appearances* Goals
Casa Pia (loan) 38 0
Chaves 0 0
Leixoes 84 0
CFR Cluj 27 0
FC Porto** 12 0

* League appearances only
** Up to May 2012


Comments (2)
Better than Eduardo?
2 Thursday, 01 July 2010 10:27
he is a good player but if they placed him for the world cup with hardly any caps he will be pressured alot to do good when you're not sure if he can really take down those big teams like brazil/argentina etc..
*PS - I do know Portugals out but I ment this before hand!*
Better than Eduardo
1 Friday, 11 June 2010 06:45
I hope something happens to make him b the starter for portugal n da wc cuz he's way better than Eduardo and eduardo is pretty good.

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