Former Leeds United defender Roque Junior has told the Brazilian media he’s taken a job managing Ituano because of former Middlesbrough star Juninho. The two players were teammates during Brazil’s last Wold Cup triumph in 2002.
Speaking to Esporte, Roque Junior revealed he’s been following the work done by Juninho at Ituano, ever since he took control of the club seven years ago. The former Brazil international said his relationship with the Middlesbrough legend was a reason to become the coach of the club after previous failed attempts at coaching.
“I know and have followed the development of the club since 2010. I have a good relationship with Juninho and that’s why I accepted this challenge,” said the former Leeds United player.
Roque Junior had something of a disastrous time at Leeds United after arriving from AC Milan in 2002. The Brazilian was involved in some damaging defeats for Leeds United, which ultimately cost the club their place in the Premier League.
However, Roque Junior recently said he wished he’d lasted longer at Leeds United because he felt he needed more time to adapt to the English game.
Unlike his international teammate, Juninho made his mark on English football, especially in his first two seasons with Middlesbrough. The playmaker became a cult hero among the Middlesbrough fans, and would go on to have three different spells with the club.