Second only perhaps to the signing of David Beckham is FC Dallas' unveiling of World Cup winner Denilson as its new designated player on Monday. Club owner Clark Hunt called the 30-year-old's signing the most important in FC Dallas' history and the second-most important in MLS history. Denilson was capped 60 times by Brazil, scoring nine times and playing in two World Cups, including its victorious 2002 campaign.
The Brazilian said the arrival of stars like Beckham and Juan Pablo Angel, the growing popularity of soccer in the U.S., and the club's sustained pursuit of him helped the 30-year-old to make his decision. Denilson arrives from Saudi Arabian club Al Nasr. Previously, he had played one year with Bordeaux of Ligue 1 and six years with Real Betis of Spain's La Liga before that, where he set a world record in 1998 by costing the Seville club $36 million from Sao Paulo FC. By and large, the talented Brazilian is thought to have never lived up to that bill.
"From the first moment, (FC Dallas) showed me a tremendous amount of attention in wanting me to be here," Denilson said through an interpreter. "I hope to fulfill all the expectations, not only of the coach and of the owners, but also the fans." The former Brazil international must now wait for a work visa before he can play. Dallas coach Steve Morrow said this would take five to 10 days.