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#FestiveFavourites - Middlesbrough

We profile the five players our in-house social media team have selected to make up the memorable Middlesbrough side from the 1996/97 season.

Middlesbrough (1996/97)

Managed by Bryan Robson and backed by their local owner Steve Gibson, Middlesbrough, a side that scored and shipped goals at will, had a whirlwind campaign at the Riverside. 

Despite relegation, they reached two major cup finals during the 1996/97 season.

Mark Schwarzer (GK)

Having arrived at the Riverside in February of 1997, the Australian keeper was thrust straight into action, making his debut in the League Cup semi-final against Stockport. 

Schwarzer would only play 10 matches in the 96-97 season but it was the beginning of a spell that would see him feature over 400 times for 'Boro'.

Gianluca Festa (DF)

One of the first Italians to play in the Premier League, Festa arrived at Middlesbrough from Inter Milan in the midst of a relegation battle to add steel to the defence.

A dominating figure with incredible positional awareness, Festa’s header sent the club to the final of the FA Cup – where he also scored a goal that was ruled out for offside.

Juninho Paulista (MF)

An attacking midfielder with immense flair, Juninho’s skills helped the club reach the finals of both the League Cup and the FA Cup.

The Brazilian magician scored 15 times from midfield during the 1996/97 campaign before departing in the summer.

Emerson (MF)

Another dynamic Brazilian midfielder, Emerson joined Middlesbrough in 1996 and was part of a famous trio alongside Juninho and Fabrizio Ravanelli.

Emerson scored six times for Middlesbrough – most notably a rocket against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Fabrizio Ravanelli (FW)

A £7m signing in 1996, Ravanelli made an immediate impact for the club, scoring a hat-trick against Liverpool on his debut. 

The Italian scored 19 goals in 37 matches during his first season at 'Boro' and helped the club to reach the finals of the League Cup and the FA Cup.

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