The good, the bad and the Roque Junior.
Players often earn themselves big moves after performances in a major tournament, it has become the easiest way and most convenient method of scouting players every two years without needed to send staff off to the far corners of the world.
Roque Junior was one such character.
The Brazilian defender was a member of the World Cup winning Brazil squad in 2002, which is always a good sign, we suppose, and a Champions League winner with AC Milan. Also a good sign.
Understandably former Leeds boss Peter Reid wanted him some of that. How could he fail, after all? This lad was clearly a born winner. It was in his blood. He had to succeed. He had done it before; he was going to be the making of this side and drive them forwards to eternal glory.
We imagine these were the thoughts probably streaming through Reid’s head when he made the call to secure the Brazil international on a season-long spell in 2003. Or, alternatively, maybe those that circled his thoughts as he tried to sleep at night by the time it became increasingly obvious that he may as well have burned the money used in some sort of voodoo ritual.
When we talk about terrible records, they do not get much worse than Roque Junior’s. In his opening seven first-team appearances, he yielded a remarkable four cautions and one dismissal, conceded 24 goals and was on the end of six defeats. Impressive stuff, hey. Junior did manage to bag two goals against Manchester United, though – which is more than enough to book a player in the history books under normal circumstances.
But he was extraordinarily bad, so, unfortunately, this rule did not apply.
Roque Junior left Elland Road as one of the worst signings of the century.
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