Juninho was one of the most talented playmakers of the mid-90’s, won a World Cup with Brazil, and would have easily fitted into some of the best teams in football – so how did he end up at Middlesbrough?
The Brazilian, considered to be the next up-and-coming superstar in his native country, could surely have had his pick of major clubs, especially after featuring in the Umbro Cup in England in 1995, but that summer he chose to join Bryan Robson’s growing band of North East galacticos.
Juninho was one of the first big name foreign signings the former Manchester United midfielder made during his stint at the club, followed by the likes of Fabrizio Ravanelli and Emerson. ‘The Little Fella’, as he was affectionately referred to by fans, became an instant hit, providing goals and boundless entertainment in England’s top tier.
But this isn’t just a story about one man’s time at a football club – it is also about the crazy campaign that Boro endured in 1996/97, when they lost two cup finals, suffered a points deduction, and were relegated. And yet he won the PFA Player of the Year regardless.
In the latest episode of the 90’s Football Hall of Fame show, Ste, Peter and Ant discuss Juninho’s career in the Premier League, what made him so fun to watch, and why he fell in love with Boro.
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