Fans of Florentia Viola, successor to the collapsed Fiorentina, strung out banners at their weekend match in tribute to their old favourite Julinho who died in Brazil at the weekend.

Julinho, real name Julio Botelho, played outside right in Fulvio Bernardini’s outstanding Fiorentina team of the mid-1950s.

Many observers considered him a greater outside right than Garrincha who won the World Cup with Brazil in 1958and 1962. Julinho played for Brazil in the 1954 finals but then ruled himself out of national team selection by transferring to Italy.

He stayed with Fiorentina for five years, helping them win the Italian league in 1956 and reach the Champions Cup Final a year later.

He made a sensational return to Brazilian football, scoring one goal and making another to inspire a 2-0 victory over England in a prestige friendly in the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 1959.
By Keir Radnedge

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