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By ESPN Staff

Marcelinho returns home to join Flamengo

Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath has confirmed the sale of veteran striker Marcelinho to Flamengo.

Marcelinho was on Tuesday allowed to terminate his contract with the Wolves 12 months early to sign a two-year deal with the Rio de Janeiro club.

The 33-year-old Brazilian is now heading back to his homeland after seven years in Germany.

'I had a great time in Germany and the fans were always kind to me,' he told Sport Bild magazine. 'The stadia were always full and I have to thank everybody. Now I am looking forward to my new challenge. It was a great offer and I had to accept it.'

Magath did not want to block his former captain's dream and confirmed the transfer on Tuesday.

'Marcelinho has a great offer from Flamengo and came to our offices this morning to terminate his contract,' he told Sport1.de. 'He will transfer to Rio.'

Magath did not try to hide his disappointment at losing a key member of his squad, however.

'His surprise departure is a big loss for us and also for the Bundesliga,' said the 55-year-old.

'Marcelinho was our captain and has also done a lot for the club off the field. Without Marcelinho, we would not be in the UEFA Cup now.

'He played a fantastic season and, in the year before that, he played a major role in us avoiding relegation.

'I had the impression that the player really wanted to move and I did not want to block him.'

Marcelinho will say goodbye to the Wolfsburg fans before their friendly against Palermo on Tuesday evening. He admits it will be an emotional farewell, not only to the city, but to the whole of Germany.

'I had a fantastic time and VfL (Wolfsburg) was like a family to me,' said the Brazilian.

'I felt very happy in Germany and it was a great experience to reach the UEFA Cup with Wolfsburg and I wish the club all the best.

'Flamengo is the biggest club in the world and it is a great challenge to win titles with this club while this is the beginning of a new era in my and my family's life.'

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