Juninho to play for Middlesbrough in PSV friendly

Juninho
Juninho first signed for Middlesbrough in 1995

Middlesbrough have announced that former favourite and Brazilian World Cup winner Juninho will make one last appearance for the club.

He will return to the Riverside to play in the pre-season friendly clash with PSV Eindhoven on July 29.

The 38-year-old had three spells on Teesside after signing for former Boro manager Bryan Robson in 1995 and now manages Brazilian side Ituano.

He helped Boro to their first major trophy, the Carling Cup in 2004.

The playmaker was a favourite with Boro fans, playing alongside other memorable stars such as Italian Fabrizio Ravanelli and fellow Brazilian Emerson.

He was part of the side that reached the FA Cup and Coca-Cola Cup finals in 1997 before signing for Atletico Madrid following Boro's relegation from the Premier League.

He returned on a short-term contract in 1999-2000 season before making a permanent return under Steve McClaren in 2003.

After leaving the club following their Carling Cup win in 2004, he had a short spell with Celtic before returning to Brazil where he currently manages the Ituano team.

The Brazilian was voted Boro's best ever player in a fans' poll and had previously told BBC Tees that he wanted to play one last game for the club.

Boro manager Tony Mowbray said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for our fans to pay tribute to one of the most famous players in our history.

"They never had the chance to give Juninho a proper send-off when he left last time and I know how much they will welcome the chance to show their appreciation for everything he did for the club.

"The PSV game is an important friendly for us and one we are taking very seriously but Juninho will play at some stage."

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