It has been a long time since Juninho last pulled on a Middlesbrough shirt.
The last of the Brazilian magician’s three spells with ‘Boro came to an end at the conclusion of the 2003/04 season, in which the midfielder helped the club to their first ever major trophy, the League Cup.
In total, Juninho made 152 appearances in all competitions for Middlesbrough across his three spells in the north east, scoring 34 goals and establishing himself as a legendary figure at the Riverside Stadium in the process.
Following his departure from ‘Boro in 2004, Juninho headed north of the border to Scotland, joining Celtic on a free transfer that summer.
However, the midfielder’s spell in Glasgow would be brief, with Juninho leaving the club – after scoring once in 22 appearances – to return to his native Brazil in April 2005.
That move back to his home country saw Juninho join Palmeiras, where he enjoyed two impressive seasons with the club, scoring 20 goals in 63 games for the club.
Juninho then re-joined former club Flamengo in 2007, but was sacked in May that year after a bust up with coach Ney Franco, after his substitution at half time in a Copa Libertadores defeat to Uruguayan outfit Defensor Sporting.
After that, Juninho’s career took another turn, as he headed down under to join Australian side Sydney FC, as the club’s marquee player in August 2007. However, that stint would last just a single season, during which time he made 14 appearances while struggling for fitness, before being released from his contract in April 2008.
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Following that, Juninho announced his retirement from football, although there was still time for one last hurrah. That came when he took on a player-president role at Brazilian club Ituano in January 2010, and on the final day of that season, he would score the goal that helped the club avoid relegation.
Although Juninho never got the chance to return to ‘Boro for a fourth spell to end his career that he had previously revealed his desire for, he would also feature in his own testimonial for the club, a fitting recognition of his services to Middlesbrough.