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Brazilian World Cup winner Denilson joins FC Dallas

Published 8/23/2007 10:44:37 PM by staff from mlsnet.com
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FC Dallas today announced the signing of Brazilian and FIFA World Cup winner Denilson. The 29-year-old attacking midfielder joins FC Dallas as its Designated Player and will be eligible to play upon receipt of his work visa. Per League policy, terms of the deal were not revealed.

"We are extremely excited to be able to add a world-class player like Denilson to our squad," said FC Dallas head coach Steve Morrow. "We've worked hard to build a team with players that have exceptional ability and also have the right attitude off the field. Adding a player like Denilson will improve us further and give us a boost as we go into the final stretch of the season."

Denilson, whose full name is Denilson de Oliveira, made his international debut for Brazil in 1996 at the age of 19. A year later, he led his country to victory in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup, picking up the adidas Golden Ball award, given to the tournament's best player. In 1998, he helped Brazil earn a second-place finish at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, and then played a key role in helping Brazil win their record fifth world-title in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea / Japan. He has scored nine goals in over 60 midfield appearances for his country.

"First, I want to thank all the people that helped make this happen with FC Dallas," said Denilson. "It is something took many days, but in the end came out well, as we had planned. And now, I am anxious to get started playing, and to join a team that is in a good position in the league. I hope that through my work I will be able to contribute to this team and have success in this league."

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Denilson becomes the fourth player in MLS history to have won a World Cup. The other three all played for New York: Lothar Matthaus (Germany 1990), Branco (Brazil 1994), and Youri Djorkaeff (France 1998).

"Signing a player of Denilson's caliber is another step in our organization's commitment to winning championships for our fans," said FC Dallas General Manager Michael Hitchcock. "Denilson brings with him the Brazilian-style of soccer combined with experience that can only be gained by having won at the highest level, the World Cup. We are proud to have Denilson on our team."

Denilson began his professional career with storied Brazilian-club Sao Paulo FC, joining the youth system in 1991 at the age of 14. He moved to the first team at the end of 1994 and remained a mainstay for the next four years. In 1998, Denilson became the most expensive soccer player in the world when Spanish club Real Bétis paid Sao Paulo $36 million for his services. After spending seven years in Spain, Denilson moved to Bordeaux of the French top division, before moving on to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nasr in 2006-2007.

Denilson Professional Career

1994-1998: São Paulo (Brazil)
1998-2000: Real Bétis (Spain)
2000: Flamengo (Brazil) six months
2001-2005: Real Bétis (Spain)
2005-2006: Bordeaux (France)
2006-2007: Al-Nasr (Saudi Arabia)

Name: Denilson
Number: 10
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 143
DOB: Aug. 24, 1977
Birthplace: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Last Club: Al-Nasr (Saudi Arabia) Nationality: Brazil

Label: FC Dallas, Denilson, MLS soccer
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