After being transformed into a world class midfielder under the tutelage of Bobby Robson at Porto, Boro fended off interest from Italian giants Inter Milan and Roma for Emerson's signature.
Lifting two league titles in Portugal and crowned the Portuguese Player of the Year, Brazilian star Emerson linked up with two of his fellow countrymen on Teesside in Juninho and Branco.
His flair and powerful running, along with an astonishing array of tricks, left Boro fans purring over his performances when he arrived at the Riverside in 1996.
In his first campaign on these shores, Emerson was part of the Boro side who reached the FA Cup and League Cup finals, losing out to Chelsea and Leicester City in the capital respectively.
He played his part in the route to Wembley for the FA Cup final, scoring a superb long range strike against Chesterfield at the semi-final stage.
Despite our relegation from the Premier League, Emerson remained on Teesside for the first half of our season in the First Division, with Boro also acquiring his cousin Fabio.
Emerson returned to Brazil over the Christmas period in 1997, and was sold to Spanish side Tenerife.
He clocked up over half a century of appearances in total for Boro, scoring 11 goals in all competitions.
Further spells with Deportivo La Coruna and Atletico Madrid followed before he was reunited with Bryan Robson at Scottish juggernauts Rangers, becoming the first Brazilian to play for them.