Fernandinho rejoins Brazilian club Athletico Paranaense

(Football news) Former Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has rejoined Brazilian club Athletico Paranaense on Monday on a free transfer. The 37-year-old said that he will retire when his current deal expires at the end of 2024. He will be eligible to play in the Brazilian league after July 18, when Brazil's transfer window officially reopens. Athletico coach and former Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari pushed for his signing. Fernandinho’s last match for City was on May 22, which they won 3-2 against Aston Villa as he went on to win his fifth English Premier League title since he joined the club in 2013.

Fernandinho played for Athletico from 2002-05 before he left for Shakhtar Donetsk, where he was one of the Brazilian stars of the team for eight seasons. His best days came at Man City, where he was one of the most trusted players of coach Pep Guardiola. Fernandinho has also played for Brazil in two World Cups, both ending in disappointment for him. He was one of the most criticized players in the 7-1 hammering by Germany in the 2014 semifinals and then went on to score an own goal in the 2-1 quarterfinals loss to Belgium in 2019. The only major trophy he has won was the Copa America in 2019.

Athletico is currently fourth in the Brazilian championship after 14 matches. The team is also in the knockout stage of the Copa Libertadores. Fernandinho was born in Curitiba, as he began his career at Athletico as a teenager in 2002 before he moved to Ukraine to join Shaktar in 2005. In Donetsk he won six Ukrainian league titles, four Ukrainian cups and the UEFA Cup in 2009. Fernandinho caught the eye of a lot of scouts as City brought him to the club in 2013. By then he was already a Brazil international and currently has gone on to win more than 50 caps for Brazil.  When he was at City he won five Premier League titles, the FA Cup, six League Cups.

In April he shocked his manager Pep Guardiola when he announced he is leaving Man City during a pre-match press conference ahead of the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Atletico Madrid. He had said he was desperate for his children to see him play in his native country. Guardiola supported his decision and then described Fernandinho as "an incredible player." Athletico are currently fourth in the Brazilian league and are through to the last 16 of the Copa Libertadores, where they will play Paraguay's Libertad as he hopes to win South America’s most prestigious tournament for his boyhood club

"No doubt this is a personal wish, wearing the Athletico shirt again. I will finish my career having played for three clubs only; two in Europe and one in Brazil," Fernandinho said at a news conference in Curitiba.

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