Thu, Jun 25, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Denilson stuns fans by quitting after playing half a game

REUTERS , HANOI

Former Brazilian international Denilson watches a match at Lach Tray Stadium in the northern city of Hai Phong, Vietnam, on June 6.

PHOTO: AFP

After playing half a game with Vietnam’s Hai Phong Cement FC, former Brazil international Denilson has shocked fans by quitting the team because of injury, the Vietnam soccer federation said.

Denilson, once the world’s most expensive player, scored a goal from a free-kick in the first minutes of his only V-League appearance on Sunday to help Hai Phong Cement defeat former champions Hoang Anh Gia Lai 3-1 and snap a losing streak.

He sat out the second half when the coach recognized that a right-leg injury was holding him back, the Vietnam News reported.

The soccer federation said he had quit the team on Tuesday and was planning to leave the country.

“One more time, fans were as shocked as his surprise appearance a few days ago,” the report said.

Denilson had missed two earlier games, angering expectant fans, before making his debut on Sunday.

The Brazilian came to the northern Vietnamese port city after months of cajoling and coaxing. The transfer delighted the mid-table V-League team’s fans, who welcomed the 31-year-old to practice in the port city with a motorcade of scooters, flags and flares.

However, his swift exit was sure to rankle Hai Phong supporters, who are known for their rowdy behavior.

Last Friday, the federation banned their fans attending away games if they wear clothes bearing the team’s symbols or name.

That decision came days after Hai Phong supporters clashed with paramilitary police in Hanoi when the team lost a match. Police used dogs and electric batons to disperse the crowd, while some fans fought back by hurling objects at the police lines.

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