Idol in Ukraine, Júnior Moraes starts a new phase of his career in Brazil

After a lengthy stint overseas, the forward signed a two-year contract with Corinthians.

Junior Moraes has been named as a fresh addition to the Corinthians squad. The striker is expected to be the number 9 that the supporters have been missing. The reinforcement is intriguing, but the player comes after escaping Ukraine, where he was  questioned if he would be called up to participate in the conflict.

As a result, moving to Brazil is a new start and a chance to demonstrate that he can be a top athlete in his own nation. He is a national hero in Ukraine, having protected the country’s top clubs. Remember a bit about the new Timo player’s journey!

Return to Brazil after the start of the war

After Russia’s invasion, unior Moraes was one of the Brazilian players that escaped the violence in Ukraine. He remained in a hotel with other national players at the start of the crisis and was one of the group’s leaders since he knows Ukrainian.

Several players are now negotiating to terminate their contracts in the war-torn nations, or at the very least to be loaned until the situation improves. Junior Alonso, for example, was transferred to Russian football at the start of the year but later returned to Atlético-MG on loan.

Difficulties leaving Ukraine

When Junior Moraes landed at Guarulhos Airport on March 3, his sorrow came to an end. Because he had an additional issue, the striker was one of the last in the group to return.

Junior has been a citizen of Ukraine since 2019. He has a lengthy history in the country and has previously appeared in 11 matches for the national team, scoring one goal. However, with the outbreak of the war, the issue became more problematic, since he may be summoned to fight.

Many individuals have fled the nation, although it is more difficult for males between the ages of 18 and 60. In this way, the days leading up to the return to Brazil were stressful. Even though he has moved on, he has not forgotten the location he has made his home. The player gave the Ukrainian government 1.67 million hryvnias (about R$290,000) to aid conflict victims.

Long career in European football

Junior Moraes, unlike other Brazilians, had to start his career from the ground up in Europe. He played for Gloria in Romania and CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria before shining for Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Metallurg Donetsk was his first company in Ukraine. He signed a contract with the club in 2011, although he did not play any games. He returned a year later, this time with chances. He scored 37 goals in 70 games and won over the fans on the pitch.

In 2015, he joined with Dynamo Kyiv when his contract expired, and he made his Champions League debut. He was pivotal in the 2015/2016 season, when the team made it to the round of 16 for the first time in 16 years. During this time, he played in China for a few months before returning to the United States.

Finally, Junior Moraes finished his time in Ukraine by signing with Shakhtar Donetsk, a club recognized for signing a large number of Brazilians. He made the decision to become a Ukrainian there, becoming the third Brazilian to defend the national team after Edmar and Marlos.

Junior won the National Championship twice more with Shakhtar (he had previously won with Dynamo) and had a contract with the club until June 2022, but the war intervened. He will play in Brazil again at the age of 34. .

Goal of the São Paulo title in Santos

Junior Moraes’ time in Brazil was brief. The striker, who was born in Santos, was discovered by the squad and made his professional debut in 2007. In the same year, he had one of his most memorable experiences.

Moraes (as he was called at the time) was activated by Vanderlei Luxemburgo and entered the second half of the Campeonato Paulista final against Sao Caetano. He was responsible for the championship goal, which he scored with a header, while wearing the number 18 jersey.

Although the transfer was significant, the striker failed to establish himself in the club and was loaned to Ponte Preta in 2008. He also played for Santo André in 2009, but due to a lack of prospects in Brazil, he opted to play for Gloria in Romania.

Junior Moraes gets the chance to play for a big Brazilian club once again, some 12 years later. The difference is that he is more experienced and well-known in European football, and he might be the number 9 that Corinthians have been lacking.

Related Articles