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Juninho Paulista: Missing 1998 World Cup was disappointing

Happier times for the Middlesborough favourite
Action Images

Juninho Paulista admits missing out on the 1998 World Cup was massively disappointing, especially after working so hard to recover in time.

In 1998 Juninho was playing for Atlético Madrid but in February he suffered a serious injury that seemed like ruling him out of the summer tournament in France.

However, despite the former national team player believing he was fully recovered, Mário Zagallo didn’t include him in his Brazil squad.

Juninho explained the painful moment to Lancenet, he said: “At the time (of the injury) I felt a very sharp pain, but I thought it was something simple.

“When it was found out that it was broken and I had a fractured fibula, I was desperate, especially when the doctor at first told me a recovery time of five months.

“It was Ferburary and the Brazil call was coming in May. I cried a lot, the disappointment was great but I started to recover.”

Juninho was therefore left devastated when he wasn’t included in the Brazil squad for France 1998.

He added: “I began to hope again, I managed to make two appearances for Atlético Madrid before the call and I was convinced that I was recovered fully.

“Then I went down the list and my name was not there. This ended up being the most disappointing moment.”


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