HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese Super League leaders Guangzhou Evergrande have re-signed striker Muriqui on a six-month contract until the end of the current season, the club announced on Wednesday.
The Brazilian, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the Asian Champions League in 2013 when his 13 goals in 14 games helped steer the club to their first continental crown, previously spent four years with the southern Chinese side.
In addition to the Asian Champions League, Muriqui also claimed three CSL titles and the 2012 Chinese FA Cup and scored 77 times in 133 appearances.
“Guangzhou Evergrande is pleased to announce the re-signing of the club’s legendary player, Muriqui,” Evergrande said in a statement on their website (www.gzevergrandefc.com).
“Muriqui is joining the club as a free agent and the contract is valid for six months, with the option to extend.”
Muriqui originally joined Guangzhou in June 2010, when the club was in the second division and he helped them gain promotion.
He was named the Chinese Football Association’s Footballer of the Year in 2011 when he finished as the CSL’s top scorer and was also named the Asian Football Confederation’s top foreign player in 2013.
He left China midway through 2014, joining Al Sadd in Qatar before stints with FC Tokyo in Japan and Vasco da Gama in Brazil.
“At this late stage in the summer transfer window, and after full consideration of all aspects of the team and in order to maintain our target of winning four trophies this season, head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has proposed to bring back the versatile veteran, who also knows the club very well,” added the statement.
“When Muriqui received the invitation from his second home, he cancelled the contract with the club he was serving at the time. He has joined the club as a free player with a very flexible contract. We believe that Muriqui will repay the club and the fans with his passion and effort.”
Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong; Editing by Christian Radnedge