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Juninho owes form to fellow veterans

Juninho Pernambucano has credited the inspiration he has drawn from fellow veterans Clarence Seedorf and Deco for his recent impressive form for Vasco de Gama.

Juninho, 37, who returned to old club Vasco from Al-Gharafa in 2011, bagged a goal and two assists during his side's 3-1 win over Figueirense at the weekend.

The match-winning display follows on from a string of excellent displays this season by the former Brazil international, who has scored 13 goals.

And the ex-Lyon man says he owes his recent success on the pitch to the likes of Seedorf, 36, at Botafogo and Deco, 35, at Fluminese, who continue to set the bar high with their performances despite their advancing years.

"I have been taking good care of myself and feel like I am in good form," he said. "I get inspiration from guys like Seedorf, Deco and also Fred and Dede, who are the top players in this competition. I want to be at their level.

"I came back to Vasco to be a part of a successful team, not to spend the last days of my career. I think that I can still contribute over 90 minutes and that's what I have been concentrating on doing."

Vasco remain fourth in the Brasileiro standings, just two points behind third-placed Gremio, who have a game in hand.

Juninho won the Brazilian championship twice, as well as the Copa Libertadores and Copa Mercosul, during his previous six-year spell at Vasco, from 1995 to 2001 - a period that yielded 60 goals in 295 games.

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