By the summer of 1995, 22-year-old Juninho Paulista was one of the hottest footballing prospects on the planet.

He caught the eye of Boro boss Bryan Robson - acting as assistant to Terry Venables with the England national team at the time - with an electric performance at Wembley in the Umbro Cup.

Robson was part of a Boro party that jetted out to South America later that year to attempt an audacious signing of the diminutive star, one which would require patience, perseverance and the beating of several of Europe’s biggest clubs.

In early October, word filtered back to north east England that the deal had been completed - Juninho was coming to Boro.

The Little Fella, as he would come to affectionately be known among the Boro faithful, touched down at Teesside Airport on October 16, where he was to be greeted by a contingent of fans. 

And the following afternoon, more than 5,000 supporters were at the Riverside - as well as a samba band - to welcome the exciting new signing, who was paraded in front of the cheering masses alongside his new manager Robson.

Boro fans had to wait a couple of weeks to see the Juninho at the Riverside again - but he didn't disappoint. The Brazilian made his debut on November 4 with Boro at home to Leeds United, setting up the opening goal for Jan Aage Fjortoft in a 1–1 draw.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Take a look at photos from Juninho's arrival in the gallery above.