The Red Bulls added the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Lyon and Brazilian top-flight veteran after a lengthy bout of speculation that the club would be acquiring his services. Based on a team statement, Juninho does not appear to be a Designated Player signing, which means the Red Bulls still have a third DP slot vacant after the departure of Rafa Marquez. Terms of the deal were not disclosed per league and team policy.
"Juninho is a world-class player who our global sporting director, Gerard Houllier, and I have known and admired for many years," Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said in a team-issued release. "Aside from being a top dead-ball specialist and a tremendous talent, Juninho is a fantastic professional both on and off the field."
Juninho, a central midfielder known for his free kicks, played under Houllier at Lyon from 2005-07 and was with the French club from 2001-09. His 100 goals with Lyon are fourth-most in the club's history. He was most recently with Brazilian side Vasco de Gama for a second stint after playing there prior to his Lyon days. Juninho will turn 38 next month, but Roxburgh appears confident in his new signing's ability to still compete at a high level.
"He is in great physical shape, and we think he can make a positive impact for us in 2013," Roxburgh said.