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11th Apr 2017

Regretful Juninho reveals why he didn’t move to Liverpool

What might have been

Simon Lloyd

Former Middlesbrough star Juninho has spoken of his regret at not joining Liverpool.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, the 44-year-old explained that he had the opportunity to move to Anfield after the first of his three spells on Teesside came to an end, with Roy Evans – Liverpool’s manager at the time – contacting his father to discuss the possibility of a transfer.

However, the former Brazilian international, who was part of his country’s World Cup-winning squad in 2002, had already agreed to join Atletico Madrid at this point and completed his switch to the La Liga side soon after.

“If I could go back to the past, I would never leave English football when I did,” Juninho explains.

“I had the chance to go to Liverpool in 1997. The manager [Evans] spoke to my father but I had already given my word to Atletico Madrid.

“I can’t complain about my career but if I could change some things I would have liked to have played for longer in England.”

After a loan spell back at Middlesbrough two years after leaving for Madrid, Juninho returned for his third stint at the club in 2002 only to leave for a final time at the end of the 2003/2004 season.

“When Middlesbrough finally got into Europe [in 2004] I left because of Steve McClaren. Perhaps I could have stuck it out.”

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