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"I believe he can become the greatest player in the world. I knew we just had to have him at Middlesbrough."

Bryan Robson

"He is real class isn't he. A great gift to soccer."

Alan Hansen

"We tried to man mark him on his debut but there is no doubt that he is a majestic signing for Boro. A great player."

Gary McAllister

Latest News

July 5 2002
OH MY GOD, just as I was saying how unlikly this was.... Middlesbrough has launched a shock bid to re-sign World Cup winner Juninho. Chief executive Keith Lamb brokered the Juninho deal after flying to Spain yesterday to meet officials from Atletico Madrid, and now the club will enter into negotiations with the 29-year-old and his representatives in a bid to push home their interest. Brazil midfielder Juninho is optimistic that a deal will be reached to secure his return to Middlesbrough. "I want to join Boro and I know the deal will be made, we agree on everything and it's just a matter of putting pen to paper, I will always be happy to return to the Premiership." "Ever since we came here, I've known about how much he's adored by the Boro fans,' McClaren told the 'We've followed his progress with Brazil throughout the year. He's back to full fitness and we decided he would be a tremendous asset to this football club. 'I know what kind of player he is and we've watched him very closely. He's a player who can do a similar job to (Benito) Carbone for us last year. I'm excited and hopefully it will come off." McClaren did not reveal how much the agreed price was for the player but it is understood that the fee involved is in the region of £6million, half the figure Atletico paid Boro for the player's services back in 1997. The signing of Juninho would go some way to filling the gap left by Ince and Mustoe. In his first stint at the boro he scored 15 goals. He was the Supporters' Player Of The Year, the Premier League Player Of The Year, he scored the club's Goal Of The Year and he was runner-up to Gianfranco Zola in the Football Writers' player of the year voting.

June 23 2002
Well it's been more than two years since we heard anything concrete linking Juninho with a move to Middlesbrough. Bryan Robson, the man who twice brought Juninho to the Riverside, has now left the club, Steve McClaren is in charge of the club. It looks pretty bad for those of us who want him back but on a brighter note he has accomplished the goal he left Boro to accomplish in the first place, he is now part of the Brazilian national team and has put in some splendid performances during World Cup 2002.

May 12 2000
According to today's Mirror, Robbo is planning a move for Faustino Asprilla to, get this, soften the blow of Juninho's departure. Although Juno hasn't been anywhere near his best, it's hard to believe that Robbo really thinks Asprilla would be an acceptable replacement for the little fella. Anyway, the Mirror reckons Robbo has already decided to let Juno go in the summer and is preparing for a backlash from the fans over such an unpopular decision.

Asprilla would supposedly be one of the five "top quality" players Robbo has promised to buy during the summer. If Robbo does go for the 30-year-old Colombian, the Mirror suggest he will cost about £3 million, plus alleged wages of £25,000 a week. The basis for the Mirror's story seems to be comments made Colombia's international coach Luis Garcia who said Asprilla is on the verge of a return to England. Garcia reportedly said of Asprilla: "He is very close to being transferred to an English club again.

"I know that the team are very interested in signing him, but it is not for me to reveal who they are. Faustino is still in very good shape and he enjoyed his time in England very much. I know that he wants another chance to play in the Premiership." The Mirror also claims that Robbo used Hamilton Ricard to persuade Asprilla to have another go in the Premiership. Asprilla supposedly fancies the idea of linking up with Ricard at Boro.

As for Juno, if Boro do decide to let him go, then one club that reportedly won't be going after him are Aston Villa. Juno was linked with Villa last year and the Midlands club were prepared to pay Atletico £10 million for him at that time. However, their interest has since cooled and Villa boss John Gregory was quoted as saying: "We were interested in Juninho then, but that is no longer the case."

May 8 2000
A crowd just short of 3500 warmly applauded both sides off the pitch after Middlesbrough had beaten Lincoln City 4 - 3 at Sincil Bank last night. The game was part of Grant Brown's Testimonial year and he was delighted with the strength of the side Bryan Robson sent out to play. Testimonial games are all about rewarding the fans and although beaten, the Lincoln City supporters fully appreciated the skill on view, not an insignificant amount of which came from Juninho. The 25 year old Brazilian scored a first - half hat - trick, with the winning goal also courtesy of South America, Carlos Marinelli scoring direct from a free - kick in the second half. Gary Pallister played his first game since the end of March. The 33 year old central defender has been struggling with back problems, however provided there is no reaction to last night's game he is expected to return to face Everton in the final game of the season at Goodison Park on Saturday.

May 8 2000
According to the media, Juninho wants the guarantee of regular first team football next season if Boro want to keep him at the Riverside next season. Juno will sit down and hold talks with Robbo when the season's over but he has made his position known by saying: "If the team plays like before when I was on the bench, then there's no place for me."

May 5 2000
Middlesbrough's mercurial midfielder Juninho says he wants to secure his future with the club - provided he can sort out the right deal. The little Brazilian, a cult figure on Teesside, has failed to impress in his latest spell at the club with several poor performances. But he said: "Of course I want to stay, if everything is worked out. I will sit down at the end of the season and decide what is best for the club and for Juninho."

April 5 2000
Juninho's future at Boro will probably be decided by Atletico Madrid coach Raddy Antic who returned as coach at the Spanish club following the departure of Claudio Ranieri. Antic is a big admirer of Juno, but It's not yet guaranteed that he will remain at the club beyond the end of the season. If Atletico avoid relegation from Spain's Primera Liga, Antic will stay on and he is expected to insist that Juno returns to Spain rather than re-sign permanently for Boro.

There have been suggestions in the media that Boro will attempt to take advantage of Atletico's cash crisis by landing Juninho for a cut price fee, but reports yesterday quoted unnamed Spanish sources as saying that Atletico hope to solve their immediate financial difficulties by selling striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to Valencia. So it seems likely that the only way Juno will stay at Boro is if Antic gets the boot for failing to save Atletico from relegation.

March 24 2000
The media suggest that Robbo may be fast losing faith in Juninho after the little Brazilian missed a great scoring opportunity late on in the game against Sunderland. to seal a Wear-Tees derby win. Juninho looked certain to score when Andy Campbell split the Sunderland defence in the final moments of the game, leaving Juno in a one-on-one situation against Sunderland keeper Thomas Sorensen. But the keeper smothered the effort with ease and Robbo said after the game: "I was hoping Juninho could put it in the net."

September 13 1999
Juninho, as expected, has initially been refused a work permit after agreeing a short-term contract which would see him return to Boro, and now club officials will travel to London on Friday for an appeal hearing at the Department for Education and Employment. Boro have so far remained silent on the matter apart from confirming that the initial application has been refused. The media also report that Boro officials have been preparing their case for the appeal since agreeing the deal with Juninho.

September 08 1999
I know its been said before but this is official, in fact I was waiting till I had conformation and just got it!! Juninho's coming back on loan till the end of the season. He's waiting for a work permit which he may qualify for but its likly to take two weeks. The deal states that if boro like what they see they have option to sign him for 6-8 million pounds.

August 28 1999
According to reports in the press today, Boro have made a move to bring Juninho back to the Riverside in a deal allegedly worth 6.5 million pounds. Keith Lamb is supposed to have held talks with Atletico Madrid and a deal has been worked out that will see Juno return to Boro. The club were reportedly offered Juninho two weeks ago for an alleged cut-price fee of 7 million pounds. The price was apparently considered to be too high by Boro, who instead tried to arrange a loan deal. However, with Atletico now having dropped the asking price yet again, it seems that Boro are on the verge of concluding a permanent move. The deal will not be finalised until Robbo has had a chance to check out Juninho's fitness, as the little fella suffered a broken leg during his first season in Spain. The press speculate that the return of Juninho could force Paul Gascoigne out of the first-team reckoning. The press also suggest that Robbo’s interest in Juno has been prompted partly by concerns that Gazza is likely to miss games during the season because of injury

Juninho was quoted as saying: "Things haven't worked out for me in Spain, and it looks like I don't have much of a future in Spain. That's a shame because I enjoy it out here and I am keen to prove that I could be a success. Spanish football is very popular in Brazil, and it was a good platform for me to come here and try to press my claims for the international side. But I had a fantastic time in England with Boro and if I had the chance to go back then I would be pleased to do so. I enjoyed England very much and I like the Premiership. When I left, I said I wouldlike to go back one day and that hasn't changed. Middlesbrough was very special to me and I enjoyed my life there." Atletico are desperate to sell Juno in order to recoup some of the 12 million pounds they paid for Leeds United striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Atletico were also facing the prospect of having to pay wages of 40,000 pounds-a-week to a player they do not want anymore.

August 16 1999
Middlesbrough are attempting to bring Juninho back to the Riverside Stadium - which would enable Atletico Madrid to solve their cash wrangle with Leeds United.
It is understood that hard-up Atletico, who have been ordered to pay Leeds half of the agreed £12m fee for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink before the end of the week or face losing the player, see their Brazilian star Juninho as the solution to the embarrassment.

August 13 1999
Spanish media sources claim that Atletico Madrid have offered Juninho, their out-of-favour Brazil forward, back to Boro. Robbo agreed to pay £9.4 million for the player last January, but the deal fell through at the last minute when Juninho decided to stay in Spain until the end of the season. Since then, however, Juno has been sidelined by Atletico's new coaching team. It is thought unlikely Robbo will renew his interest unless the price reduces significantly. Having failed to sign Robbie Keane from Wolves, the media reckon Robbo still has an estimated £6 million to spend on new players.

July 30 1999
Juninho's agent has said that he has talked to Gregory and that he was told that Villa are not interested in Juninho. A number of South American clubs have become interested in Juninho he has said that he is set on a return to England.

July 28 1999
Aston Villa have had a 6.5 million explortory bid rejected. And a counter offer of 8.5 million has been excepted, this has caused Villa too regain thier interest in Juninho who has been told he is not needed by Madrid.

March 27 1999
Bryan Robson has stated that Middlesbrough F.C. no longer have an interest in Juninho, and that no offer has been made and that none is planned.

March 27 1999
Juninho has reportedly insisted he wants to see out his contract with Atletico Madrid following the appointment of Raddy Antic as coach. Juno has been linked with Boro, Aston Villa and Leeds United as he has failed to hold down a regular place in the Atletico side. But he says the arrival of Antic - who took over for a second time following Carlos Aguiar's resignation on Sunday - has given him a big boost. Juno was quoted as saying: "The arrival of Antic has a special significance for me - it was he who signed me and I am very happy he's back. Let's forget the past and start afresh." He added that Antic's concept of the way to play the game "benefits the midfield and the strikers." Doesn't sound good.

March 13 1999
Recent developments in the race to sign Steve Stone have got me thinking Robson has something up his sleeve. I just read that Middlesbrough didn't even bid for Stone becuase they thought the six million asking price was to high, Robson said 'If I pay that sort of money I expect to bring in one of the top players in the world. I'd give £10m for the right man. I paid £7m for Fabrizio Ravanelli because I knew he was world-class.' Robson is probably keeping his cash in the hope of swooping for a spectacular Brazilian double by taking Juninho and Emerson back to the Riverside in a near-£15m coup in the summer.

January 3 1999
Well as it turns out Boro beat Aston Villa to the punch and had a Juninho in the bag! In fact he'd be a Boro lad right now if it wasn't for Mr Arrigo Sacchi who inisted on keeping Juninho until the end of the Season - at least - because of injuries. Now both Robson and Gibson have pledged to step up thier bid to bring Juninho back to the Riverside when he becomes avaliable agian. Good news for Boro fans.

December 20 1999
It is now confirmed, well as confirmed as you can get these days that Boro have yet to hold talks with Juninho and Atletico, and the Villa have not had any bids accepted. The most surprising story of the day suggests that Atletico Madrid have made a U-turn on Juninho and now want to keep him at the club. An injury crisis at Atletico together with mounting protests by angry Atletico fans are supposedly increasing the pressure on coach Arrigo Sacchi not to sell Juninho.

December 10 1999
What is going on?? First Aston Villa "claim" to have Juninho signed, then Middlesbrough step in claiming they have first option on Juninho and now it seems both Villa and the Boro are ahead in the race depending on who you listen to. Every now and then Atletico pop up with a fee demand or to officially announce the Juninho is available, and only recently the little guys "British Agent" - Gianni Paladini - announced that it's 90% certain the Villa deal will go through. John Gregory, however, says he's only 50% certain Juninho will join Villa. I wonder what happened to the "He's only a phone call away."??

Fact File

Name:- Oswaldo Giroldo Junior

Place of Birth:- Sao Paulo, Brazil

Date of Birth:- 22nd February 1973

Previous Clubs:- Juventus (Bra), Corinthians(Bra), Ituano (Bra), Sao Paulo (Bra), Middlesbrough (Eng), Athletico Madrid (Spa), Middlesbrough on loan (Eng).

Signed From:- Sao Paulo

Date of Signing:- 14th October 1995

Fee:- £4.75 million

Boro Debut:- 4th November 1995 v Leeds United (h)

Boro Record:- 74 games, 17 goals (1st Spell)

Middlesbrough Shirt Number:- 10

Sold To:- Atletico Madrid

Date of Sale:- July 1997

Fee of Sale:- £12 million

Internation Honors:- 10+ Brazil full caps

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