Brazilian football stars are no longer a PokerStars exclusive, as on Monday, March 21, 888poker announced inking a sponsorship deal with Denilson, one of the most celebrated and high-profile footballers in the country's history.
Denilson was sart of the legendary team that won the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan and Korea. During his 16-year-long career in professional football, he played for 10 different teams across four different continents.
Although he started his career at Brazil's Sao Paulo club, the player made headlines in football in 1998 when he decided to accept a £21.5 million offer to join Spain's Real Betis. At the time, this set a new record for the most expensive transfer ever made.
A prolific and skilful winger, Denilson got himself a name in international football thanks to excellent dribbling skills, a great technique, and understanding of the game.
Throughout his career, Denilson won a significant amount of titles, including the aforementioned World Cup, Brazilian League, Copa America, and Spain's Copa del Rey.
At 888poker, Denilson will be mentored by the other Brazilian members of the room's pro team, as at 888poker he joins other fellow Brazilians Bruno Kawauti, Bruno Politano, and Nicolau Villa-Lobos.
"All my friends started to play poker and so I got more and more interested in the game," Denilson said. "Many of the qualities you need to be a successful footballer can help you improve your poker game. 888poker is one of the biggest and best poker platforms in the world, so I am very proud to join the 888poker team. I hope it will help develop my own pokers skills as well as encourage new players to get involved in this exciting game."
Denilson is Brazil's first sports star to sign for 888poker and the room's second attempt at seducing football fans by bringing popular names from the football world to the green felt. Prior to Denilson, the poker room signed a deal with Uruguay football superstar Luis Suárez. However, the room decided to part ways with the player only one month after the signing because Suárez was involved in a biting incident during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
"Denilson played football with skill, enthusiasm, and energy, bringing happiness to millions," said Itai Pazner, Senior Vice President & Head of B2C at 888 Holdings. "We're delighted to have signed him as a member of the 888poker team, because we want poker players to approach the game in a similar way. It is a game of skill, it takes practice and intelligence, but we also want our players to have fun and enjoy themselves along the way."