Ex-Arsenal loan flop Julio Baptista celebrates Brazilian title win with Cruzeiro

Julio Baptista

With Nicklas Bendtner off the mark in the Bundesliga, Arsenal fans would be forgiven for thinking things couldn’t get much worse, but they have...

In a weekend that saw Arsenal snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against Manchester United, while former laughing stock Nicklas Bendtner scored in the Bundesliga, things have somehow gone from bad to worse for the Gunners with Julio Baptista celebrating title success in Brazil.

The 33-year-old attacking midfielder is best remembered in Britain for a short stint at the Emirates over the 2006/07 season and specifically for his League Cup heroics, scoring a club-record four goals against Liverpool in the quarter-finals as well as a brace against Tottenham in the semis.

However a return of just three goals in 24 Premier League outings saw Arsene Wenger opt against making a permanent move for the former Sevilla star, who was on loan at the club from Real Madrid, and he duly returned to the Spanish capital before moving to Roma and then later Malaga.

Baptista signed for Cruzeiro in the summer of 2013, and while injuries have hampered his impact since returning to Brazil, the man known as “The Beast” has still weighed in with 12 goals in 33 appearances to date.

And he was present for the Belo Horizonte side’s latest success, with Cruzeiro claiming the 2014 Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A with two games to spare following a 2-1 win over Goias this weekend.

It was Baptista’s second successive title with the club, won alongside the 2014 Campeonato Mineiro, in arguably the most successful spell of his career to date, having only won a solitary league title with Real Madrid back in 2008.

Baptista is not the only ex-Arsenal Brazilian flop still plying his trade as a footballer with forgotten Gunners man Andre Santos currently playing for FC Goa in the Indian Super League, where he has already scored two goals in just three games.

A remarkable return – particularly when you consider he is supposed to be a defender.

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