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PersonalFullname: Jorge Cadete
aka: The Lisbon Lion
Born: 27 Aug 1968
Signed: 30 Mar 1996
Left: 31 May 1997
Position: Forward, Central Striker
International Caps: 33
International Goals: 5
BiogOne of the colourful triumverate of forwards scouted by Davie Hay and signed under the stewardship of Tommy Burns in the mid 1990s (along with Pierre Van Hooijdonk and Paolo Di Canio), Jorge Cadete's period at Celtic was brief but steeped in controversy from the moment he arrived.
An established Portuguese international striker of some repute, Cadete had already previously sampled the atmosphere of Celtic Park, albeit in the colours of Sporting Lisbon, in a UEFA Cup match in 1993, where the Glasgow hoops triumphed 1-0 through a Gerry Creaney strike though the tie itself was lost in Lisbon. A goal in each half from classy skipper Cadete saw Bobby Robson's Sporting progress. Cadete later fell into dispute with his club, and was loaned to Italians Brescia for season 1994-95. When Brescia were relegated after two wins all season, the permanent transfer collapsed and Cadete spent a period in limbo.
In April 1993 he scored twice as Portugal sworded Scotland's USA '94 hopes in a 5-0 rout. Hapless centre-backs Richard Gough and Dave McPherson never played for Scotland again. Cadete also bagged a goal in November 1995 as Portugal hit the Republic of Ireland's Euro '96 hopes with a 3-0 win at the Estadio da Luz.
Cadete arrived in Glasgow in the spring of 1996 for an undisclosed or nominal transfer fee, and was introduced to the Parkhead crowd with much fanfare at a home game against Partick Thistle; little were the 35,000 crammed into the still-two-sided Parkhead to suspect that 'irregularities' over Cadete's registration were to delay his signature for almost six weeks, a controversy that quite rightly was to ultimately cost SFA Chief Executive Jim Farry his job, but perhaps more pertinently saw Tommy Burns' Celtic drop crucial points in drawn matches with Motherwell, Falkirk (both 0-0) and Kilmarnock while their highly prized new striker sat in the stands, paralysed by red tape.
Upon his eventual introduction to the first team, Cadete's impact was immediate, and memorable. In pouring rain on a rare Monday night televised match, Cadete was introduced from the bench as a hapless Aberdeen side were being put to the sword, already 4 goals adrift. Nonetheless, with virtually his first touch, Cadete displayed what was to become his trademark lightning pace and predatory awareness, sprinting on to a Peter Grant through ball and deftly lifting the ball over the advancing Dons keeper for the fifth goal in a memorable rout; such was the uproar from the half completed stadium, that the volume blew Radio 5 Live's microphones and the live commentary was lost.
Cadete went on to grab a further 5 goals in the remaining weeks of the season, though it was too late to salvage the title, and many supporters still speculate with some justified bitterness over what might have been had his transfer been concluded more efficiently.
The following season was of course the ill-fated attempt to stop 'the nine'. Cadete, who had formed a highly promising partnership with Pierre Van Hooijdonk continued his prolific form, and for his awareness, skill and variety of lethal finishes, Cadete on footballing ability can be described in the same context as one of the sharpest finishers seen at Celtic Park in recent times.
Less reliable than his ability to beat goalkeepers however, was his mental state, and throughout the turbulent 1996-97 season, became increasingly vocal through the media about his dissatisfaction with his contractual terms, as did fellow forwards Van Hooijdonk and Di Canio, with the Dutchman first to be offloaded to Nottingham Forest mid-season. Cadete had bought out his own contract at Sporting, and was under the impression that Celtic would reimburse him. Needless to say Fergus McCann had other ideas!
Despite his contractual dispute, Cadete continued to be a prolific contributor to the attack, now partnering the talented but erratic Di Canio. One of the defining moments of the controversial NIAR season came in the New Year's Day Old Firm match at Ibrox, with Cadete again at the centre of attention, when with Celtic trailing 2-1, he superbly controlled a lofted pass on his chest and volleyed home a spectacular 'equaliser' only for the linesman Gordon McBride to flag for a non-existent offside. Despite a Celtic rally inspired by Di Canio's earlier equaliser, Rangers won the match 3-1 with a breakaway third goal, and thereafter remained in pole position for the flag.
Cadete had scored in the previous two games, then the next six, so the laughable 'offside' call denied him a record nine goals in successive games.
In the traumatic fall out of the season with Burns sacked, Van Hooijdonk gone and Di Canio beginning his own one-man insurgency, Cadete agitated for and eventually won the transfer he craved, to Celta Vigo, though he was to later return to the UK first with Bradford City and briefly with Partick Thistle, a shadow of his former glorious self.
Something of a minor celebrity in his native Portugal where he competed in and won their equivalent of Celebrity Big Brother, Cadete was a colourful, unforgettable character whose time at Celtic was truncated by his own avarice and attitude. With a goalscoring record to rival the very best, it remains a daydream as to what might have been achieved had he been retained for a further season and paired in tandem with the young Henrik Larsson.
Had that been the case, the career of such a devastating talent may have more to show for it than winning a reality TV contest.
Jorge Cadete although ultimately a flawed character was along with Henrik Larsson and Frank McAvennie one of the top three strikers Celtic have had on their books since the 1970's. He was that good a finisher!
Jorge Cadete returned to Celtic Park to play in the Tommy Burns Tribute game on the 31st May 2009 and was very well received by the Celtic Support who had never forgot how good he was. Jorge scored a trademark goal and in turn gave the fans his trademark celebration which left us again wondering what could and should have been.
|Club||From||To||Fee||League||Scottish/FA Cup||League cup||Other|
|Partick||20/02/2004||01/06/2004||Free||1 (4)||0||0 (1)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Bradford||23/02/2000||10/05/2000||Loan||2 (5)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Benfica||01/08/1999||01/01/2004||Signed||No appearance data available|
|Celta Vigo||01/08/1997||01/08/1999||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (2)||0|
|Celtic||30/03/1996||31/05/1997||£ 400,000||33 (5)||32||5 (0)||2||3 (0)||5||0 (0)||0|
|Sporting Lisbon||01/08/1994||30/03/1996||0 (3)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Brescia||01/08/1993||No appearance data available|
|Totals||£400,000||36 (17)||32||5 (1)||2||3 (0)||5||0 (2)||0|
|goals / game||0.6||0.33||1.66||0|
Honours with Celticnone
Quotes"Jorge Cadete was an immature depressive character, totally under the influence of a domineering lady."
Jock Brown, September 1997
"If we win the league then maybe we will go out and eat and drink bad things."
Jorge Cadete, April 1997
Jorge Cadete’s Celtic career: Goals galore, terrace chants and the canaryRemembering the striker’s extraordinary year in Glasgow
The highly encouraging start made by Pedro Mendes to his career at Rangers has sparked memories of another Portuguese footballer who left his indelible mark on Scottish football just over a decade earlier.
When Jorge Cadete was paraded as a Celtic player before a 4-0 defeat of Partick Thistle at the end of February 1995, it was one of those signings football fans love. Exotic, flamboyant, proven on a European stage and a guaranteed player that people would pay money to go and watch.
Signed towards the tail end of the 1995/96 season, Cadete actually was only at Celtic Park for a little over a year. The period could never have been called boring.
Freed after a lengthy contract wrangle with Sporting Lisbon, Tommy Burns convinced him that career rejuvenation was possible in the East End of Glasgow.
Uefa Cup calling card
Celtic fans knew all about Cadete after his two goals for Sporting Lisbon knocked the Glasgow side out of the 2nd round of the 1993/94 UEFA Cup. They were sufficiently impressed by the memory of that performance to be confidently pleased at the new Portuguese acquisition.
However, there was one major obstacle to overcome before Cadete was to pull on a Celtic jersey. He wasn’t allowed to play for the club.
Problems with the medical? A previous suspension hanging over his head? Nope. The Chief Executive of the Scottish Football Association deliberately delayed the registration of Jorge Cadete so that he would miss the registration deadline for a Scottish Cup Semi Final defeat v Glasgow rivals Rangers. Absolutely true.
Whether it was ‘institutional bias’ against Celtic, as the then Celtic Chairman Fergus McCann claimed, or simply a personal vendetta between Farry and McCann, is open to interpretation (following a subsequent enquiry, Farry was found guilty of the misdemeanour and sacked for gross misconduct by the SFA).
Five weeks after being paraded, Cadete finally made his debut. And what a debut. Celtic were already 4-0 up at home to Aberdeen when Cadete came on as a late substitute to a tumultuous reception. With his first touch, he ran on to a through pass and deftly lobbed the advancing goalkeeper. The subsequent reaction of the Celtic support was so loud that it knocked the national BBC Radio 5 Live commentary reception of the match off the airwaves for a full 15 seconds. The fans had a new hero.
Cadete played a bit part role in the matches between then and the end of the season, but was still able to score 5 goals in 6 matches.
The 1996/97 season was of absolute importance to Celtic and their fans. During the European Cup winning days of the 1960s and 70s, the club had recorded an unparalleled achievement of 9 league championships in a row. However, at the start of the 1996/97 campaign, Rangers were looking to level that feat. Nine in a row had to be stopped.
Cadete went a great way to helping that cause. A glut of early season goals stamped his place in Celtic hearts, along with a little tune that is possibly one of the best football chants ever.
“There’s only one Jorge Cadete,
he puts the ball in the netty,
He’s Portuguese and he scores with ease,
walking in Cadete wonderland.”
Genius, huh? To be fair though, the Rangers riposte was equally as good.
“There’s only one Jorge Cadete,
he’s got hair like spaghetti,
He’s Portuguese and one of these (here the fans would make the universal signal of putting the thumb and forefinger together and making an up and down motion),
walking in a Gers wonderland.”
While the goals kept flowing for Cadete, the next controversial incident was to come in the traditional New Year Old Firm derby fixture. With 5 minutes left and Rangers leading 2-1, Cadete took a ball down on his chest in the box and swivelled to crash a shot high into the Rangers net.
Delirium at the Celtic end was cut short by the linesman’s flag. But for what reason? TV showed Cadete was clearly onside and the ball had not touched his arm.
No official reason for the decision was ever given, just that the goal was disallowed and moments later Rangers ran up the field to add a third. There is a very substantial argument that this call cost Celtic the league that season. Certainly, the linesman in question was the subsequent subject of a very severe public scrutiny in the press and amongst Celtic supporters.
In reality, the reason Celtic succumbed to Rangers’ 9 in a row bid was the over reliance on the ‘Three Amigos’ - Cadete, Pierre Van Hooijdonk and Paolo Di Canio. Dubbed that name by Chairman McCann because all would leave the club in acrimonious circumstances, when those three didn’t play well the script would 99% of the time read Celtic didn’t play well.
For Cadete himself, the 1996/97 season was a personal triumph. He augmented his status as a top quality penalty box finisher and was the Scottish Premier League’s top goalscorer with 33 goals.
At the end of the season, Van Hooijdonk had already left, everyone knew Di Canio would be on his way but it was expected that Cadete would remain at the club despite the departure of Tommy Burns. However, at the start of pre-season for the 1997/98 campaign there was no sign of Cadete.
McCann given the bird
Citing psychological problems and stress, Cadete claimed he could not face the prospect of going back to Glasgow. He blamed Fergus McCann for causing him ‘hell’ and after a protracted to-and-fro of whether Cadete would return to Parkhead, Celtic sold him to Celta Vigo for £3 million.
As a bizarre footnote, Cadete proceeded to call his new pet canary ‘McCann’.
So that was that. A brief and bizarre cameo back in Glasgow with Partick Thistle in season 2003/04 meant it was not the last time the Celtic supporters saw Cadete, but the main images will probably be of him wheeling away in his matador-like celebration at the Celtic End.
Despite the disappointing conclusion, most would remember him fondly. It was never dull with Jorge Paulo Cadete Santos Reis around anyway.
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