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EXCLUSIVE: Juninho Makes Shock Return!

Thursday 21st July 2011
NOTE: This article was submitted on 20/07/2011 and is an internet exclusive.

 

Middlesbrough's very own "Little Fella" will make an astounding return to Teesside on July 29 for Boro's last pre-season fixture.
Arguably one of the Middlesbrough fans most favourite players will grace the pitch for one last time against PSV Eindhoven at the Riverside Stadium.

Juninho who was first brought to the club in 1995 for £4.75m from Sao Paulo, after winning the Copa Libertadores with the Brazilian side.

The 5ft 6in playmaker was part of footballing history, as he helped Middlesbrough reach the league and FA cup finals in the same year. But it was the year they were also relegated from the Premier League.

After being relegated, Middlesbrough had to sell on their biggest players. The likes of Fabrizio Ravanelli and Emerson joined Junino and moved on from the club.

The little Brazilian was sold for £12m to Athletico Madrid but was loaned back to Boro in 1999/00 season and moved back to Vasco da Gama, where he caught the eye of the Brazil manager and forced his way back into the national side, helping Brazil win the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea.

Juninho had a third spell at Middlesbrough when Steve McClaren brought him "back home" for £6m in 2002.

In his final spell at The Riverside, Juninho managed something he hadn't managed to do in any of his other spells. Win silverware for Middlesbrough. Boro's 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers in The Millennium Stadium was their first ever domestic cup win in their 128 year history.

That summer McClaren released Juninho who went on to play for Celtic. Juninho, who was clearly upset with not being able to play in European competition for Middlesbrough said:

"I think that the only situation that could have been avoided was my departure from Middlesbrough in 2004.

"We had the chance to play in the UEFA Cup, but the coach said I wasn't in his plans and I ended up moving to Celtic.

"I have nothing against the Scottish team, but I think most people would prefer to play in England.

"The coach ended up leading the England team. I regret having left."

Juninho, along with all the fans had hoped and prayed that The Little Fella wouldn't move on, but that's football.

Now there is one last chance to see the little Brazilian take to the pitch against Eindhoven, and its a match not to be missed.
Matthew Norman
20-year-old Multimedia Journalism student at Teesside University. Die-hard Middlesbrough supporter and all-round sports fanatic.

Total articles: 8

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