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Corinthians sign Ukraine international Junior Moraes

Brazilian-Ukrainian striker Junior Moraes, who played for Ukraine’s national team and Shakhtar Donetsk before fleeing Russia’s invasion, has signed for Sao Paulo club Corinthians, the team said Wednesday.

“I’m very happy and ready to wear this jersey. I hope to do everything to help the team get results,” Brazilian-born Moraes said in a statement announcing his homecoming.

The 34-year-old forward was one of 13 Brazilian footballers who fled Ukraine with their families after Russia invaded the country on February 24.

Moraes hails from Santos, a city 75 kilometers (45 miles) southeast of Sao Paulo, where he started his professional career before leaving for eastern Europe.

He obtained Ukrainian nationality in 2019, after playing several seasons in Ukraine for Metalurh Donetsk, Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar.

He has scored one goal in 11 matches for the Ukrainian national team.

His new contract will run through 2023, said Corinthians, who have qualified for this year’s Copa Libertadores.

FIFA ruled earlier this month that all foreign players and coaches working in Russia and Ukraine can temporarily suspend their contracts and relocate due to the conflict.

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