BRAZIL’S World Cup winner Juninho was given a standing ovation on his Celtic debut on August 29 2004 – just four days after arriving from Middlesbrough.

The 31-year-old winger had starred as a blistering long-range drive from Alan Thompson exploded behind Rangers keeper Stefan Klos for the late winner in the first Glasgow derby of the season at Parkhead.

Within a year, Juninho was heading for the exit.

WELCOME TO GLASGOW…Juninho is blocked during his winning derby debut. 

That first appearance, where he played for 87 minutes before being taken off by manager Martin O’Neill with the Hoops fans rising in unison to applaud the efforts of the wily little South American, was as good as it got for the player.

Juninho just could not adapt to the demands of Celtic and toiled to make an impact when he was given the opportunity.

He scored his only goal for the club in a 3-0 win over Hearts on October 16 in the east end of Glasgow. He made only 14 starts for O’Neill’s side.

By the turn of the year, it was obvious Juninho had become a bit-part player in Paradise and he was released from his contract eight months after his signing.

He returned to Brazil to play for Pameiras and had a spell in the Australian A-League with Sydney FC. He joined in the summer of 2007 and announced his retirement the following year.

In 2018, Juninho said: “It was a shame it didn’t work for me there, because Celtic is such a great club.”

* TOMORROW: Don’t miss the adventures of another former Celt in CQN’s EXCLUSIVE series.

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