I kept trying over several months but the price was too high – but you have to pay a high price for a player of his class.”Mark Hughes (Chelsea): “Because of his quality I’ve continued to learn about the game since leaving United It’s never too late to learn from a player like Zola You learn things even when you watch him in training. It helped me keep my place when a lot of people thought Zola would replace me.”Alex Ferguson (Manchester United manager): “Before he came to play against us in February, I wasn’t sure he was as good as people said, but after he scored early on I changed my mind. I’d started with our two full-backs wide, but he saw that straightaway and went wide – the clever little bugger caused us lots of problems.”What they say about JuninhoIan Wilson (Middlesbrough fan who drew Bryan Robson’s attention to the fact he could buy Juninho for half the price Liverpool paid for Stan Collymore): “He’s the one who gave Boro a new lease of life – he can do things our supporters never dreamed of. He’s just fabulous.”Bryan Robson (Boro manager): “When I first saw him closely in Sao Paulo he was being marked by a beast of a man who got away with murder compared with what defenders are allowed to do here I knew he would cope.
He plays in such a way that he can carry the attack from inside his own half. He loves playing at Wembley – remember the goal he scored against England in 1995.”Alex Ferguson: “How could anyone not name him as the player of the year? Against us he’s just been magnificent – the best player I’ve seen in the Premier this season. You can’t mark him.”Mario Zagallo (former Brazil manager): “He knows where to be and when it’s necessary to play simple passes. He can be a defender as well as a maker of openings.”Gary McAllister (Coventry City): “He reminds me of Ossie Ardiles.
People said he was too light and frail for English football but he proved them wrong Juninho is the same. He was brought up in Brazilian games where they have a lot of hit-men. He was a great signing even if he plays the game on a different level to some of the other players. You can’t stand off him, but when you try to tackle him he can leave you for dead.”Pontus Kaamark (who was asked to man-mark Juninho for Leicester in the Coca-Cola Cup final): “Juninho is an artist – we are in show business Players should be a little more free to do good things. I told him it was because he was so good that I had to mark in this way.