Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

It'll Be Great to See Juno Back at the Riverside

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

It'll Be Great to See Juno Back at the Riverside

Article excerpt

WHEN I first heard the news that Juninho was coming back to the Riverside I thought: "We've signed him again!" We've signed Teesside's own Samba star three times already. I thought it was a case of "may the fourth be with you".

And to be fair there are loads of Boro fans out there who probably think "he can still do a job".

For me, its great that the wee Brazilian is coming to visit and to take in a match at the Riverside.

You know he is going to get a fantastic reaction because all Boro supporters love the guy.

It will give the atmosphere a big lift before an important game too.

And who knows? It may even put a few extra bums on seats for the game.

I'm not saying that people will rush out to buy a ticket just to see him wave from the directors box - but if some people were wondering "will I, wont I" then maybe this will swing them into going.

There will be lots of fans want to take their kids along just to point him out to them and maybe get a picture with him or shake his hand.

Let's hope it is not raining on Saturday because he is going to have to spend a lot of time in the carpark before and after the game smiling and signing autographs.

I loved Juninho. He was a fantastic player to watch. He made things happen and he had those moments of magic that could turn a match.

I saw every single game Juninho played for the Boro - good and bad - when I was doing the radio commentary.

I know I'll get stick for suggesting he even had any bad games because Juninho is almost beyond criticism but I've got to call it as I see it.

He took his time to settle in his first spell here and in his second when he came on loan he was well short of pace and fitness because he was recovering from a serious injury. Then in his last spell Steve McClaren often played him out of position and shackled him a bit and you could see he was frustrated at times.

But boy, when he was on song he was out of this world. A true great.

At his best he was mesmerising. Mouthwatering. He was a real star. He was one of the best. You don't get a World Cup winners medal without having genuine quality.

And he's a nice guy too.

I spoke to him many times and it was always a pleasure. …

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