Brazil

After fleeing Ukraine, Júnior Moraes is hired by Corinthians

Striker Júnior Moraes is the new reinforcement of Corinthians. The contract signed by the 34-year-old is valid until December 31, 2023.

“I am very happy and prepared to wear this shirt. I hope to help the team as much as possible in search of results”, said Moraes, to Timão’s official website.

He played at Shakthar Donetsk since 2018 and was linked with the Ukrainian club until the end of 2022. On March 7, however, the International Football Federation (Fifa) suspended players and coaches who were in teams from Russia and Ukraine from the respective contracts, in the midst of Russian military attacks in the neighboring country, facilitating the athlete’s trip to Alvinegro.

Due to the war in Ukraine, Moraes and other Brazilian Shakthar players, along with their relatives, were housed in a bunker improvised in a hotel in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, at the beginning of the attacks. The attacker was one of the leaders of the group who asked for help to return to Brazil safely.

On February 27, they managed to leave Kiev by train, heading for Chernivtsi (535 kilometers from the capital), close to the borders with Romania and Moldova. The Corinthians reinforcements landed at Guarulhos airport, in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, four days later. The athlete did not know if he would be able to leave the European country, as he has Ukrainian nationality and could be called up to the Army.

Moraes was revealed by Santos, in 2007, when he scored the title goal of the Campeonato Paulista over São Caetano. Before heading to Europe, he defended Ponte Preta and Santo André in São Paulo football. In the Old Continent, the forward played for Gloria Bistrita (Romania), Metalurg Donetsk (Ukraine), CSKA Sofia (Bulgaria), Dinamo Kiev (Ukraine) and Tianjin Quanjian (China). There are 345 games and 173 career goals, one of them for the Ukrainian national team.

The player should debut for Corinthians only in the playoffs of Paulistão, as registration for the group stage is closed. Timão qualified in anticipation of the quarterfinals, also ensuring the leadership of Group A. The opponent will be the second place in the group. Inter de Limeira, Água Santa and Guarani are vying for the post. The confrontation, in a single game, will have Corinthians, regardless of the rival, for Alvinegro to have a better campaign.



Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News




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