Former Man City player Fernandinho joins Brazil's Athletico

Former Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho rejoined Brazil's Athletico on Monday on a free transfer.

The 37-year-old Fernandinho said he will retire when the deal expires at the end of 2024.

He will be eligible to play on July 18, when Brazil’s transfer window reopens. Athletico coach Luiz Felipe Scolari pushed for his signing.

Fernandinho's last match for City was on May 22, a thrilling 3-2 win against Aston Villa. He earned his fifth English Premier League title since he joined the club in 2013.

“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.

Fernandinho played for Athletico from 2002-05. He left for Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk, where he was one of the stars of the team for eight seasons. His best days came at Man City, where he was for a long time one of the most trusted players of coach Pep Guardiola.

Fernandinho 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 in Belo Horizonte, and scored an own goal in the 2-1 quarterfinals loss to Belgium four years later. He won the Copa America in 2019.

Athletico is fourth in the Brazilian championship after 14 matches. The team is also in the knockout stage of the Copa Libertadores, which starts this week.


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