Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior

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Personal information
Full name Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior
Date of birth (1954-06-29) June 29, 1954 (age 66)
Place of birth João Pessoa, Brazil
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Playing position Left back, Midfielder
Youth career
1973–1974 Flamengo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1974–1984 Flamengo 192 (7)
1984–1987 Torino 86 (12)
1987–1989 Pescara 62 (6)
1989–1993 Flamengo 70 (10)
Total 410 (35)
National team
1979–1992 Brazil 70 (9)
Teams managed
1993–1994 Flamengo
1997 Flamengo
2003 Corinthians

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior (born 29 June 1954), known simply as Júnior or Léo Júnior, is a Brazilian former professional footballer who played as a left back or midfielder.[1]

He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.[2] Junior now works as a television pundit for Rede Globo.

Club career

Júnior in action with Torino

Júnior played for Flamengo during the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, winning four Brazilian Championships (1980, 1982, 1983, 1992), the 1981 Copa Libertadores and 1981 Intercontinental Cup.[1] With 857 matches, he is the player with most appearances for Flamengo.[3]

On 12 June 1984 he was bought by Torino, for a fee of two million dollars. Júnior asked and obtained a guarantee to play as a midfielder rather than a full-back, because he considered the former role less stressful, so to extend the life of his career. Although he was now thirty years old, after some initial difficulties, he succeeded in integrating in the formation coached by Luigi Radice, becoming the leader of the midfield. During his first year in Italy was the victim of two incidents of racism: in Milan he was repeatedly insulted and spat upon as he left the stadium with his mother and father and in Turin, on the occasion of the derby, Juventus fans exhibited offensive banners on the colour of his skin. The Torino supporters responded promptly with another banner: "Better negro than Juventino". At the end of the season, finished second behind Verona, he was awarded Serie A's player of the year.[4]

During his time with "Toro" he was also given the affectionate nickname of "papà Júnior", due to his elder appearance. He remained in Turin until 1987, when he had a fallout with the manager Radice. The coach believed the performance of the Brazilian lower than that of the first season, while Júnior was particularly annoyed for being substituted during a UEFA Cup tie against HNK Hajduk Split, which culminated with the elimination of the team.

He also played for Italian club Pescara between 1987 and 1989.[1]

He also took part in many Beach Soccer World Cups, winning awards for top scorer and best player.[1]

International career

He recorded 74 appearances for the Brazilian national team, between May 1979 and December 1992, scoring six goals.[5] He appeared in both the 1982[6] and 1986 World Cup.[7]

Managerial career

Júnior coached Flamengo from 1993 to 1994, and in 1997. He coached Corinthians from October 1, 2003 to October 10, 2003.

Style of play

He was known for his technique and teamwork as well as his versatility, playing at left back and on the left of midfield for Brazil due to his two footedness (despite being naturally right footed) whilst often playing midfielder at club level.

Career statistics


Club Performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Brazil League Copa do Brasil League Cup South America Total
1975 Flamengo Série A 27 0
1976 21 1
1977 18 0
1978 25 4
1979 7 1
1980 19 1
1981 6 0
1982 23 0
1983 26 0
1984 20 0
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1984–85 Torino Serie A 26 7
1985–86 30 4
1986–87 30 1
1987–88 Pescara Serie A 28 3
1988–89 34 3
Brazil League Copa do Brasil League Cup South America Total
1988 Flamengo Série A 1 0
1989 15 1 3 1
1990 12 0 4 0
1991 17 0
1992 25 9
1993 0 0 8 1
Total Brazil 262 17 15 2
Italy 148 18
Career total[8] 410 35





Beach soccer




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Enciclopédia do Futebol Brasileiro Lance Volume 1. Rio de Janeiro: Aretê Editorial S/A. 2001. p. 103. ISBN 85-88651-01-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Pele's list of the greatest". BBC. March 4, 2004. Retrieved June 12, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Pereira, Mauro Cezar. "Mais Sobre Flamengo" (in Portuguese). ESPN Brasil. Retrieved June 12, 2009.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "Junior, from the pitch to the box". FIFA.com. Retrieved November 7, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Napoleão, Antônio Carlos; Assaf, Roberto (2006). Seleção Brasileira 1914–2006. São Paulo: Mauad X. p. 268. ISBN 85-7478-186-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Brazil's World Cup squad 1982". Planet World Cup. Retrieved June 12, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Brazil's World Cup squad 1986". Planet World Cup. Retrieved June 12, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior at National-Football-Teams.com
  9. FIFA XI´s Matches - Full Info
  10. "South American Team of the Year". January 16, 2009. Retrieved October 25, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Junior completa 58 anos de idade e recebe o carinho do Flamengo". Site Oficial do Clube de Regatas do Flamengo. June 29, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>