Galaxy fan favorite Juninho retires at 31

Galaxy fan favorite Juninho closed the book on his professional career Tuesday, announcing his retirement.

Juninho, 31, helped the club to a pair of MLS Supporters’ Shields (2010-11) and three MLS Cups (2011-12, 2014). He was also a three-time MLS All-Star.

His 189 appearances are second most by any Galaxy midfielder, just behind Mauricio Cienfuegos (206), and puts him in eighth on the all-time club list.

“I am extremely proud of my career and all that I have accomplished, but it is time for me to step away from playing and move on to the next chapter,” he said in a statement. “I have been fortunate to play this game professionally for over 10 years and am grateful to all of my coaches, teammates and fans I have met along the way.

“Each of you have played a pivotal role in my life and I have formed friendships that will last forever. Thank you to São Paolo, Chicago Fire, Club Tijuana and especially the Galaxy, where I made the best memories of my career, for all your support. I am honored to represent Los Angeles for this club and help us capture three MLS Cups.”

Juninho joined the Galaxy on loan from Sao Paulo in 2010. He joined Tijuana in Liga MX and was loaned back to MLS and the Chicago Fire in 2017. Last season, he returned to the Galaxy, but made just two appearances.

The Galaxy declined his 2020 contract option late last year.

Juninho finished his MLS career with 19 goals and 25 assists in 210 appearances.

Former teammates Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan posted farewell messages to Juninho

“Congratulations on an incredible career,” Donovan said. “It was a true pleasure to play with you and an even greater pleasure to call you a friend and a teammate.”

Keane said: “It was an absolute pleasure to play alongside you. You were really a big part of what we achieved with the Galaxy.”