Tens of thousands turn out to welcome Luis Fabiano

Tens of thousands of Sao Paulo fans greeted striker Luis Fabiano

in his return to the club in a party at Morumbi stadium on

Tuesday.

Luis Fabiano had a rock-star reception, with fireworks going off

as he entered a stage under the lights at Morumbi. Fans chanted his

name nonstop as he put on the Brazilian team’s No. 9 jersey.

Goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni, who scored his 100th career goal on

Sunday and also was honored by the club, was the first to greet the

former Sevilla striker.

Luis Fabiano said it was ”a dream” to be back with Sao Paulo

and that he hoped to repay the fans’ reception by scoring ”a lot

of goals.”

Sao Paulo opened the gates at Morumbi to allow fans to see the

striker up close and set up several attractions, including live

concerts.

The club said 45,000 fans were at Morumbi, but local media said

the number was closer to 20,000.

Luis Fabiano thrived with Sao Paulo from 2001 to 2004, scoring

more than 60 goals for the six-time Brazilian champion. He moved to

FC Porto in 2004, helping the Portuguese club win the club world

championship that year. In 2005, Luis Fabiano transferred to

Spain’s Sevilla, where he scored more than goals in 230 matches

before making the move back to Sao Paulo earlier this month.

Sao Paulo paid ?7.6 million ($10.7 million) to acquire the

30-year-old striker on a four-year contract.

Luis Fabiano was a starter for Brazil at the 2010 World Cup in

South Africa, when the Brazilians were eliminated by the

Netherlands in the quarterfinals.

Luis Fabiano played five and a half seasons for Sevilla, helping

the team win the UEFA Cup in 2006 and 2007, the 2006 European

Supercup and the Copa del Rey in 2007 and 2010.

He started his career with Brazilian club Ponte Preta and also

played briefly for France’s Rennes in 2000.

Luis Fabiano is recovering from a right knee injury and won’t be

able to play until May.