Meet The Players
These are the players from the last Free Kick Masters event held at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Antônio Augusto Ribeiro Reis Junior (born January 30, 1975 in Recife), commonly known as Juninho or Juninho Pernambucano, is a Brazilian football player, who plays as an attacking midfielder for French club Olympique Lyonnais. He scored seven goals in 44 games for the Brazilian national team, before retiring from international football after the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
He moved to CR Vasco da Gama in 1995, and won several trophies with the club, including the Brazilian Championship in 1997 and 2000, the Copa Libertadores in 1998, the Copa Mercosur in 2000, as well as the 2000 Brazilian Silver Ball award, as one of the best Brazilian midfielders of the season. He made his debut for the Brazilian national team in 1999.
On September 7, 1999, Juninho became the first football player to play two top-level matches in two different countries in the same day. He represented his country in the second half of the friendly between Brazil and Argentina in Porto Alegre, which Brazil won 4-2, playing about fifteen minutes. In spite of a delayed flight to Montevideo, he still arrived in Uruguay in time to feature in the second half of the Copa Mercosur match between Vasco and Nacional.
In 2001, Juninho moved abroad to play for French club Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon). Before his arrival at Lyon, the club had never won the French Ligue 1 championship. In his first year at the club, the championship was secured, and it was subsequently won six seasons in a row. At Lyon, Juninho made himself especially noted for his accurate, powerful and varied set pieces. In addition, he is an effective passer, having provided many assists, and his leadership abilities have prompted Lyon manager Gérard Houllier to name him team captain.
Juninho represented Brazil at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Following Brazil's defeat in the quarter-finals of the tournament, he announced his international retirement, as to make way for younger talents coming through the ranks in Brazil to build for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Juninho has been nominated many times for FIFA World Player of the Year award and France Football Ballon d'Or but it has still not gained it.
|Full name||Antônio Augusto Ribeiro Reis Junior|
|Date of birth||January 30, 1975 (1975-01-30)|
|Place of birth||Recife, Brazil|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
Vasco da Gama
1 Senior club appearances and goals