Juninho is Coming Home
By Robert Nichols
Tuesday 05 May 2020 15:02:00
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Juninho is coming back to the Riverside to play in the big charity game next year. The brainchild of Juno's former team mate Mikkel Beck and now being organised with Red Army TV's Dave Roberts the battle of the Boro greats will be a real tonic after the trials of COVID 19. A light at the end of the tunnel, perhaps and a massive fundraiser for MFC Foundation.

Juninho was Brazil Player of the Year when he stepped off a plane into the Riverside in 1996. Teesside had seen nothing like his arrival.  I still recall the feeling of disbelief. Imagine buying the star player from the best footballing country on earth. Middlesbrough! It just was unheard of at the time.

The Riverside Stadium was sold out to season tickets almost immediately after such an audacious transfer move. We were the talk of the country and beyond. His first press conferences was crowded with cameras and media crews from two continents. The atmosphere at his debut v Leeds was as out of this world as some of the scintillating football he served up as he took on whole teams and surfed over the flailing legs. Juninho sent us head over heels into dream land.

The next season when Juno hooked up with Ravanelli and Emerson was the probably the biggest, the best and the worst season ever in Boro's history. Two cup finals and a relegation. Three losses then but amazing football at the best and coming close to achieving things we could never have dared to hope of at our former home of Ayresome Park.

Juninho would return a couple more times and finally help us land the first ever silverware in 128 years in Cardiff. This could brings us around to some of the opposition he might well face at the Riverside next year.

Juninho will be reunited with Mikkel Beck and Fab Ravanelli next year. Of course there is no means of knowing when the match date will be but next summer Juninho's return is certain to be the hottest ticket in town. At last something to look forward to.



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