Juninho sneakily gave Flamengo fans the finger behind his back before taking a corner kick
At 38 years old, Juninho Pernambucano isn’t getting more mature, he’s just getting more clever about his immaturity. Back with Vasco da Gama after a brief stint with the New York Red Bulls in which he did not score a goal but did get sent off for kicking the ball at an opponent out of frustration, Juninho started in the Classico dos Milhoes against Flamengo.
Given that this is his third spell with Vasco, he is well acquainted with the historic rivalry between the two sides. And given his accomplishments with Vasco (two Brasileiro titles and one Copa Libertadores), he is disliked by Flamengo fans just as much as he is loved by Vasco supporters. So when he went to take a corner kick in the first half and the abuse from Flamengo fans sullied his ears, he slyly gave the people behind him at the Mane Garrincha twin middle fingers with his arms crossed behind him.
In addition to the vulgar meaning of Juninho’s finger selections, there’s the added context of the arms crossed and each hand giving the finger being a symbol of Vasco’s ultras. Flamengo fans snapped pictures of Juninho’s sneaky antagonism while the match officials were oblivious.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw with Vasco finding a second-half equalizer after Flamengo opened the scoring in the 33rd minute, but Juninho was booked in the 27th minute and taken off at halftime for eventual goal scorer Willie.
Juninho’s previous experience with giving fans the finger back in 2012 was far less subtle. As I said before, he’s not really maturing, just getting more clever.