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Red Bulls land famed free-kick specialist
by Paul Kennedy, December 17th, 2012 9:22PM

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TAGS:  brazil, france, mls, new york red bulls

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[MLS TRANSACTIONS] The New York Red Bulls continued their makeover with the signing of 37-year-old Brazilian midfielder Juninho, also known as Juninho Pernambucano. He is best known as a free-kick specialist and for his nine years at French club Lyon, where he won seven straight Ligue 1 titles, two under Gerard Houllier, who is the head of global soccer for Red Bull. For more on Juninho and video of one of his most recent free-kick goals ...

During his nine years in France, Juninho scored 100 goals in 344 matches in all competitions. He was the 2006-07 Ligue 1 Player of the Year.

After leaving Lyon, Juninho moved to Al-Gharafa in Qatar, where he won a league title and Player of the Year honors.

In April 2011, he returned to Vasco da Gama, where he had spent seven seasons prior to leaving for France, and spent the last year and a half. He had seven goals in 29 league games this season -- including four on free kicks.

“Juninho is a world-class player who our Global sporting director, Gerard Houllier, and I have known and admired for many years,” said Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh in a statement. “Aside from being a top dead ball specialist and a tremendous talent, Juninho is a fantastic professional both on and off the field. He is in great physical shape and we think he can make a positive impact for us in 2013.”

Juninho is often referred to as Juninho Pernambucano (from the state of Pernambuco in northeast Brazil) so as to not be confused with the two dozen or so other players who go by the name Juninho. Probably the most famous is Juninho Paulista, who played on Brazil's 2002 World Cup championship team. Juninho won back-to-back MLS titles with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Juninho free kick goal against Sport (August 2012 @2:10):





MLS TRANSACTIONS:
Monday:

-- NEW YORK signed Brazilian midfielder Juninho (ex-Vasco da Gama) as free agent.



2 comments
  1. Gak Foodsource
    commented on: December 18, 2012 at 8:33 a.m.
    Two and a half years removed from top flight european soccer? MLS needs to get younger.

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: December 18, 2012 at 12:41 p.m.
    I am a fan of him and I have a good feeling about this signing. I only hope he stays healthy. He will be 38 by the time he starts playing for the NYRB but with his current form, it shouldn't be a problem.


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