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Fernandinho has yesterday sealed his return to former club Athletico Paranaense after his release from Manchester City.

Brazilian Fernandinho, 37, left City this summer as his contract expired and expressed a desire to return to his home country.

Not only is he back in Brazil, but he has secured a move to his first club Athletico Paranaense, where he made 72 appearances between 2002-05 before sealing a move to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Fernandinho left City as the club’s most decorated player, and said it was a dream to wear the Paranaense shirt again, 17 years after he left. He will wear the number five shirt and has signed a two-year contract.

He said at a press conference on Monday, confirming he intends to retire after his new deal expires:

Without a doubt, I am fulfilling a personal wish, a dream to wear the Athletico shirt again.

Establish a brand that will end my career playing for just three clubs: two in Europe and one in Brazil.

I’m very happy, I thank my family, which has always supported me in this decision. Not only my heart, but all of us ended up speaking louder at that moment.

We had numerous proposals, from several different clubs, from Brazil and abroad. But the most sensible decision was to return home and try to deliver my best here at Athletico now.

President Mario Celso Petraglia said:

Athletico’s dream is coming true, to return to his home. We kept in touch all these years, since he was sold to Shakhtar Donetsk. We follow his spectacular career.

He was, without demerit to the others, the athlete who had the most prominence among those who passed here. Kleberson was five-time world champion, but he didn’t have the career that Fernandinho managed to develop.

It will help us in this level change that we are working on. Getting Fernandinho in was not easy. He showed from the first moment that his intention was to return to Athletico.

But the pressure of the whole world and of several Brazilian clubs, wanting to have him in the group. He remained faithful, the good son to the house makes.

Fernandinho returns to Athletico Paranense, having featured for the club at the start of his career.

The Brazilian previously appeared 72 times for the club, scoring 14 goals, before moving to Shakhtar in 2005 to begin what was a nearly two-decade-long run in Europe.

The midfielder then joined City from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013 and spent nearly a decade with the English Premier League club.

He made a total of 338 appearances for City, featuring at least 33 times in every season he spent at the Etihad Stadium.

By the end of his career in Manchester, the midfielder had won five English Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and six League Cups while earning PFA Team of the Year honors in 2018-19.

By Amara

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