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The Lyon legend, famed for his prowess with a dead ball, has decided to hang up his boots after playing his last professional game for Vasco da Gama in his home country

Juninho Pernambucano has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 39.

Roberto Dinamite, president of the midfielder's current club, Vasco de Gama, broke the news to reporters after his side's 4-0 win over Audax.

"I want to make the decision of Juninho Pernambucano official. During the week we already talked about it and he decided to call an end to his career," said Dinamite.

"On Monday, Juninho will make his farewell as an athlete of Vasco. He will give a press conference and journalists will be able to ask whatever they want."

The playmaker signed for Vasco in July from New York Red Bulls, making it his third stint at the Brazilian club.

Renowned for his set-piece prowess, Juninho's career has spanned over 20 years, having made his professional debut for Sport Recife in 1993.

"It has been a privilege working with Juninho even for a short period," said Vasco coach Adilson Batista. "I've known him as an athlete and there comes a time that this happens in everyone's career. I know it's hard to go through this.

"Juninho has a beautiful story in Vasco and will always be remembered."

Juninho made his move to Europe with Lyon in 2001. He spent eight years at the club, winning seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles and becoming club captain.

The 39-year-old went on to have playing spells in Qatar and North America before returning to Brazil.

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