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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

Remember Julio Baptista? Arsenal flop is making a comeback alongside an old friend

The 34-year-old is on his way to Major League Soccer.

Image: SANG TAN/AP/Press Association Images

‘THE BEAST’ NEVER quite lived up to his intimidating nickname.

There was a time when Julio Baptista was a high-profile figure and commanded a transfer fee of 25 million euro when he joined Real Madrid from Sevilla.

He later moved to Arsenal on loan but struggled to impress in England but for an exceptional four-goal haul against Liverpool in a famous 6-3 League Cup quarter-final victory at Anfield.

Source: lsrdjan/YouTube

Arsene Wenger decided against making the switch permanent and Baptista returned to Madrid for one more season.

From there, it was off to Roma, then Malaga before heading back to his roots and signing with Cruzeiro.

The Brazilian side didn’t renew his contract in December and he’s now been snapped up by Major League Soccer side Orlando City SC.

Their marquee player is a guy Baptista knows quite well – Kaka.

The pair were team-mates at Sao Paulo and with the Brazilian national team.

Still, with striker Cyle Larin the team’s first-choice attacker, Baptista, who’s 34 now, may well be asked to contribute mainly from the bench.

In theory, he’s not a bad substitute to have.


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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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