888Poker has added more weight to their Brazilian marketing campaign with the signing of the former World Cup winner Denilson.
888Poker has inked a deal with the former World Cup winner Denilson. The Brazilian star becomes the online poker rooms solitary celebrity ambassador. Former cricket legend Shane Warne held that honour before parting ways with the second largest online poker room in the world at the turn of the year.
It’s not the first time 888Poker has turned to a football star to try and draw attention to the site. They will be hoping that this one will be more successful than the last. In May 2014, 888Poker pulled off a major coup when they signed the then Liverpool and Uruguay striker Luis Suarez.
The signing occurred on the eve of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where Suarez was sent home in disgrace after biting Giorgio Chiellini during a group match against Italy. 888Poker parted ways with him after he received a four-month ban from “all football-related activities.”
Denilson never reached the heights of Suarez, but he did become the most expensive footballer in the world when Sao Paolo sold him to Real Betis in 1998 for £21.5m. He went on to feature 186 times for the Spanish club, scoring 13 goals. He appeared for his country 61 times, scoring eight goals and winning the World Cup in 2002.
Denilson told the press that all of his friends had started to play poker, and he was hoping the deal would help him develop his poker skills as well as raising awareness throughout his native country.
Brazil seems to be a hotbed of poker activity. Not only does Denilson join an 888Poker roster including the likes of Bruno Foster, Bruno Kawauti, and Nicolau Villa-Lobos, but PokerStars also have the Brazilian football stars of past and present Neymar and Ronaldo on their books.
Denilson also played for ten different clubs, from 13 different countries, during a career that lasted 16-years. He played 332 times and hit the net on 31 occasions. Nike sponsored him during his heyday. Other than playing poker, Denilson spends his time working as a commentator for a Brazilian sports network.