Hey, galera? How are you doing? Today in our Dica we are going to discuss Juninho Pernambucano, a famous soccer player from Brazil. Did you know Juninho Pernambucano played in major teams like Vasco da Gama, Lyon, New York Red Bulls and Al Gharafa? Learn more about Juninho Pernambucano’s famous free kicks and which jersey number was his favorite!
Juninho Pernambucano History
Antônio Augusto Ribeiro Reis Júnior was born on January 30 1975, known as Juninho or Juninho Pernambucano (because he comes from the state of Pernambuco) was a Brazilian football player. In Brazil is very common for players to be identified by nicknames which can often be the name of the city/state they originate from, although some people might assume these are real names. For example, before being known as Ronaldinho, Brazilians used to call him Ronaldinho Gaúcho because another player, Ronaldo, also had the same nickname at the time, Gaúcho was used to highlight his origin from Rio Grande do Sul as it is a general nickname for people from this area, therefore distinguishing the two Ronaldinhos!
Juninho Pernambucano and Brazil Leagues
Juninho Pernambucano is famous for his great skills and amazing free kicks, widely considered the greatest free kicker of all time. He holds the record for the highest number of goals scored by free kick, 77. Juninho began his professional career in 1993 with the Brazilian team Sport Recife.
Two years later Juninho Pernambucano was transferred to Vasco da Gama where he had the highlights of his career, winning many titles. Juninho quickly established himself as a dynamic and talented midfielder. His technical abilities, precise passing, and goal-scoring prowess captured the attention of both fans and football pundits.
One of the highlights of Juninho Pernambucano’s time at Vasco da Gama was the Copa Mercosur triumph in 2000. This tournament victory showcased not only the individual brilliance of Juninho but also his ability to contribute to team success on a grand stage. His performances with Vasco da Gama earned him recognition and laid the foundation for a successful career in both domestic and international football.
Juninho’s impressive displays with Vasco da Gama attracted the attention of European clubs, leading to his move to Europe and eventual signing with Lyon in 2001. While his journey took him to new heights on the global football scene, his formative years with Vasco da Gama played a crucial role in shaping the player who would go on to become one of the most iconic Brazilian midfielders of his generation.
Check out how amazingly he did during his time at the domestic league of Brazil:
- Campeonato Pernambucano: 1994
- Copa do Nordeste: 1994
- Campeonato Brasileiro: 1997 and 2000
- Campeonato Carioca: 1998
- Taça Guanabara: 1998 and 2000
- Taça Rio: 1998 e 1999
- Copa Libertadores da América: 1998
- Torneio Rio-São Paulo: 1999
- Copa Mercosul: 2000
Juninho Pernambucano and Lyon
In 2001 he joined Olympique Lyonnais where he played for eight years, winning seven consecutive titles and scoring 100 goals in 350 official matches for the club. Juninho Pernambucano’s career at Lyon is synonymous with an era of unparalleled success and flair for the French club. As a central midfielder, he quickly became the heartbeat of the team, mesmerizing fans and opponents alike with his exceptional technical abilities and visionary playmaking.
What truly set Juninho apart and etched his name in Lyon’s history was his extraordinary proficiency in taking free-kicks. The Brazilian maestro was renowned for his uncanny ability to bend and swerve the ball, making him one of the most lethal free-kick takers in the world. His remarkable set-piece prowess not only provided Lyon with numerous goals but also became a defining feature of the team’s playing style during his tenure.
During Juninho’s time at Lyon, the club experienced an unprecedented period of domestic dominance. Lyon clinched an impressive seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles from the 2001-02 to the 2007-08 season. Juninho’s leadership both on and off the field played a pivotal role in this remarkable achievement. As Lyon’s captain, he guided the team through the challenges of domestic competition, establishing Lyon as the preeminent force in French football.
Juninho Pernambucano and Al Gharafa
Juninho Pernambucano’s post-Lyon career took him to Al Gharafa in Qatar, where the Brazilian midfielder continued to showcase his footballing prowess. Joining the club after departing from Lyon in 2009, Juninho brought a wealth of experience and a reputation as one of the finest set-piece specialists in the game.
During his time at Al Gharafa, Juninho’s technical brilliance and eye for goal remained evident. He seamlessly adapted to the Qatari football landscape, contributing both as a playmaker and a scoring threat. While the level of competition in Qatar may have been different from the top European leagues, Juninho’s impact was nonetheless felt, and he became a key figure for Al Gharafa during his stint.
Juninho Pernambucano and the New York Red Bulls
On December 17, 2012, Juninho reached an agreement to join the New York Red Bulls. His debut for the North American club occurred in a match where he played for only 36 minutes. He contributed anyway to the New York Red Bulls’ 3–2 victory against Malmö in Florida. However, on July 3, 2013, Juninho made the decision to part ways with the club. He attributed his departure to subpar performance and a strained relationship with the team’s coach.
Juninho Pernambucano and the Brazil Team
Even not having had many opportunities to play on the Brazilian Team, Juninho played in only 40 matches and scored 6 goals. He also won the Confederations Cup in 2005. And he was part of the team who played the World Cup in 2006 scoring one goal against Japan. Take a look:
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Juninho Pernambucano: Notable Free Kicker
He is the owner of many different skills but widely known as one the best free kickers of all time. Juninho could score goals by taking the free kicks from many different parts of the field. With these skills he won fame and fans for all the teams that he played for. Let’s watch a video of his goals from free kicks.
Juninho is also well-known as a very politicized person on and off the field. He always showed strong and convincted opinions about politics, team managers’ abuse and football player rights. Many people admire him for this but these opinions cost him his job as a football commentator on Brazilian TV.
That’s it, my friends! We’ve learned a bit more about Brazil soccer player Juninho Pernambucano. Wht did you think about Juninho Pernambucano career over Vasco da Gama and Lyon? Tell us in the comments! And stay tuned for Dicas!
Hugs from Rio & Learn!