World Cup winner & former most expensive player Denilson comes out of retirement aged 44 to sign for 'worst team in the world'

Denilson Brazil
Getty Images
The club is looking to shake off its reputation and has turned to a member of the 2002 World Cup winning squad to help them in their quest

Former Brazil star Denilson has made a sensational return to football at the age of 44.

The World Cup winner has been out of the game for 12 years, having last played professionally for Kavala in Greece before ending his career in 2010.

But the ex-Sao Paulo and Bordeaux winger has decided to return to the field once again and had made a bizarre move to a team that was once dubbed the worst in the world.

Article continues below

What has happened?

Denilson has signed for Ibis, a team in Brazil's lower leagues.

Once a world-record signing at £21.5 million when he joined Real Betis, Denilson has joined a team that once made the Guinness Book of Records for all the wrong reasons.

In the 1980s, Ibis went on a run of 32 games without a win to earn the title of "the worst team in the world". In total, they went three years, 11 months and 26 days without a win.

What has been said?

Bizarrely, Denilson has teamed up with the Brazilian side despite his age and having not played in over a decade.

He took to Twitter to announce the switch, declaring: "I can talk now! IT'S OFFICIAL! The invitation appeared and after reflecting with my family... the father here decided to return to football after 12 years! From today I wear the shirt of [Ibis]."

Why did Ibis sign Denilson?

Ibis may have turned to Denilson in an attempt to fix their repuation.

Ibis have played up to their title as the world's worst team for decades, even naming their mascot Derrotinha, which means Loser.

The club have not put that history behind them completely, however, as they were in danger of being relegated this season.

But they managed to rescue their campaign with a win this week and the president says they hope to turn things around.

"Let's leave our history as 'the world's worst team' to the 1980s, when Ibis really were the worst in the world," club chief Ozir Ramos Junior said this week.

"We're not anymore - though we use it for marketing, so people know us."

Further reading

Close