Juninho recommends players to former club Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough FC have handed trials to two midfielders after recommendation by club legend and Sambafoot's official ambassador Juninho Paulista.
The Little Fella, as he is affectionately known in Teesside, has maintained strong links with Boro following three different spells with the club.
Juninho has recommended Carlos Rodrigo Correa, 31, who has played much of his football with Dynamo Kiev, and Brazil-based Eduardo 'Dudu' Favretto, 23, who has had spells with Gremio and Passo Fundo. Favretto has most recently played for Ituano, where Juninho is president of his boyhood club.
Middlesbrough manager, Tony Mowbray, said: ''I think Juninho knows the standard of player we need. While we're not in the Premier League, we're still looking for players who are good enough to get us back there.
''There have been some discussions and we're hoping to have a look at them and see what sort of qualities they possess and if they suit our needs.''
The two trialists could be given opportunities to impress in Boro's pre-season game with Hartlepool United at Victoria Park this evening.
Tony Mowbray added: “For me, it's not just about talent; it's about the balance of our squad. There's no point bringing in a player who upsets the balance of our squad. But if he has the talent, we will have a look at that.
''He might have exceptional talent but might not have the discipline required to play in England, for example. Let's wait and see.''
Juninho joined Middlesbrough from Sao Paulo in 1995 for a fee of £4.5 million and he was instrumental in the club's Carling Cup winning squad in 2004.
The 39-year-old is regarded as one of the club’s greatest players and he returned to Teesside for a farewell cameo appearance in a pre-season game against PSV last year.
After the game, an emotional Juninho said: ''I have to say thank you to all of the Middlesbrough fans and they must know they will continue to be in my heart forever. It was emotional to see all of the supporters again and hear them shout my name. I've never had a response like this anywhere else.
''I hope one day I can come back and help the club in some way. I would like to help them to get back to where they belong in the Premier League, where they deserve to be.''
Neil Bausor, Middlesbrough Chief Executive, said: ''We've got a great relationship with Juninho, he's still very much involved with football in Brazil and still very much a friend and supporter of Middlesbrough Football Club.
''We spoke last year when he was over for the Eindhoven game and he said that if there were any possible signings he would keep a lookout for us over in Brazil.
''He's given us two names and the boys are coming over to allow the coaches to have a look at them and see how they might fit in.''
Juninho, who also played in Spain, Scotland and Australia and won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, became Sambafoot's official ambassador for the English interface in 2011.