Juninho waves goodbye as Boro beaten by PSV

Middlesbrough V's PSV Eindhoven.'Juninho at the start of the game.'sb
Middlesbrough V's PSV Eindhoven.'Juninho at the start of the game.'sb

APPARENTLY the Dutch aren’t very good at goodbyes.

Party pooping PSV Eindhoven bounced back from two Scott McDonald first half goals to put a dampener on Juninho’s fleeting return to the Riverside Stadium.

The Little Fella enjoyed a 35 minute cameo during Boro’s last pre-season friendly to finally say a proper goodbye to his adoring fans.

Yet while a bumper crowd of more than 20,000 cheered every touch by the Brazilian maestro, PSV banged in three goals at the other end to leave the Teessiders with three defeats on the trot.

Fairground rides, Brazil shirts, flags and a samba band had created a surreal atmosphere before Juninho led his beloved team onto the pitch for the last time.

And while the crowds partied like it was the 1990s again, there was some irony in the choice of opponents.

It was Eindhoven where Boro were well beaten in the 2006 UEFA Cup Final – the start of the decline that came only a year after Juninho helped win the club’s first trophy.

Things are a little different now down by the Riverside with the wage bill being stripped and manager Tony Mowbray admitting Leroy Lita looks likely to join Swansea and become the latest senior player to be sacrificed for the sake of the books.

But the toil and struggle of another season in the Championship was put to one side as the Boro’s heady days were rekindled for one night only.

Full report in Saturday’s Mail ...