Beto Udinese 2022-23 Serie A HIC 16:9Getty

From KFC to Serie A: Udinese star Beto now dreaming of playing for Portugal alongside Cristiano Ronaldo after remarkable rise

Beto always believed he would become a professional footballer.

Even when he was 18 years of age and playing for amateur outfit Uniao Tires in the fifth tier of Portuguese football, while also working in a KFC outlet, he was so convinced he would make it that he was willing to back himself – literally.

"I had a positive mentality," the Udinese striker tells GOAL. "I thought, 'I'm tall, I'm strong, I'm fast – and you can't train these things.' If you're slow, you'll always be slow.

"So, I thought, 'I have these skills – the techniques and the intelligence of the game, these things I can learn and improve.' So, from there, with this self-confidence, I started to develop.

"I even told my team-mates, 'I will become a footballer', and I am proud of this fact. In my opinion, if you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will.

"So, one day, when my team-mates and I were warming up, they were teasing me about this and they said, 'Okay, let's make a bet, then: in five years you will be a professional?'

"I said, 'Okay, fine.'

"And I did it – and after only four years!'"

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