In 2002, Denílson de Oliveira Araújo stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his teammates on the Brazilian football team and stormed to victory, robbing Germany of joy with a 2-0 score. Now, the iconic footballer, who was once the most expensive player on the planet, is joining forces with 888 Poker to become the brand ambassador and celebrity face of online poker for millions of new and current players worldwide. Denílson is very excited about this new phase in his career, stating:
“All my friends started to play poker, and so I got more and more interested in the game. Many of the qualities you need to be a successful footballer can help you improve your poker game. 888 Poker is one of the biggest and best poker platforms in the world, so I am very proud to become an 888 Poker ambassador. I hope it will help develop my own poker skills as well as encourage new players to get involved in this exciting game.”
On the pitch, Denílson, who played as a left winger, was known for his exceptional dribbling skills and creative approach to ball control. Like many of his Brazilian teammates, the star footballer was born in São Paulo and made his professional debut while still a teenager, first pulling on his boots for São Paulo FC aged just 17. This game kicked off a glittering career that saw Denílson involved in a few high stake moves. In 1998, for example, the gifted sportsman made the move from São Paulo FC to Real Betis for the price tag of $32 million. After retiring from football, Denílson retained his high-profile with football fans in Brazil and beyond as a much-respected sports commentator.
Denílson brings a number of fantastic attributes to the role of brand ambassador for 888 Poker. As well as being someone with the tactical approach and insight all top league professional footballers must have, over a long and impressive career he has won trophies including the Brazilian league, Copa America and Copa del Rey in Spain. The team at 888 Poker are looking forward to welcoming their new member on board. Denílson will be taking his place alongside Bruno Foster, Bruno Kawauti and Nicolau Villa-Lobos. However, he will be the very first team member never to have previously played professional, creating a challenge this competitive man is bound to rise to with determination.
Itai Pazner is the Senior Vice President and the Head of B2C at 888 Holdings. Speaking on behalf of everyone at 888 Poker, he said:
“Denílson played football with skill, enthusiasm and energy, bringing happiness to millions. We’re delighted to have signed him up as an ambassador, 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.”
As Denílson limbers up for his exciting new role, picks up his chips and prepares to make his first forays into professional poker, it’s likely that a lifetime of thinking strategically, acting with discipline and psyching out opponents will serve him well on the 888 Poker team.