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Romulo Marques Antoneli, aka Romulo, who yesterday completed his move to Beitar Jerusalem, is described by the Brazilian press as a "physical striker who knows how to seize his chance."

However, his previous opportunity on the European stage started in similar cicrumstances to those that brought him to Beitar, and ended in misery.

Romulo joined German Bundesliga side Mainz at the start of the 2005/6 season, but by the winter break he had jumped ship back to Brazil after failing to fit in at the team.

Romulo joined Mainz after having scored 17 goals for Brazilian second division side Ituano in the previous season. Mainz's scouts felt the 1.87-meter striker could help the club in its UEFA Cup campaign - somewhat like Beitar, which is counting on his prowess to help it past FC Copenhagen into the Champions League.

Mainz faced a clash with Spain's Sevilla for a place in the UEFA Cup group stage and coach Christian Heidel thought Romulo could be the man to land a precious away goal. The first leg against Sevilla ended goalless with Romulo failing to impress. Mainz lost the second leg 2-0 Romulo never started for the team again.

In eight league appearances as a substitute, the Brazilian failed to score even once, and his only goal for Mainz came in a German Cup game against third division Osenbruck.

Romulo returned to Brazil to play for Gremio where he scored 11 goals in 26 appearances and added another two goals in two appearances for Cruzeiro.

Despite his return to form in Brazil, the local media were surprised that Beitar has pinned its Champions League hopes on the Romulo who has not played in over a month after straining a knee ligament in training.

"He hasn't been able to even train on his own. I can hardly imagine that he will be match fit within a few days," said Bruno Porteido, a Brazlian sportswriter who covers Cruzeiro.

The question is what can Romulo do once he is match fit. Not a lot, if you ask journalists in Germany.

"He's a good guy, and maybe he'll be good in the Israeli league," says Rudiga Vogel. "But the Champions League? Only if he has really developed over the past two years in Brazil. I hope for Beitar's sake that he has."

His 11 goals on loan to Gremio suggest that Romulo may have made the jump.

"We really wanted him to stay on with us," says Gremio's Sergio Schiller. "Our professional staff fell he is a player who has yet to fulfill his potential. He is striker who knows how to seize his chances."

Toward the end of the season Romulo's output declined but he had still done enough to make Gremio and Cruzeiro, two of Brazil's top clubs, fight for his services.

Romulo opted for Cruzeiro and scored twice in his first match for the team, both headers. From there on, however, things went downhill for Romulo and he lost his place in the team.

"Every time he was substituted his replacement scored, and that really undermined his standing among the fans," says Porteido. "After the first match in which he scord two goals, he was forgotten pretty quickly."

If Romulo wants to succeed at Beitar, facing up to pressure from the fans is something he will have to be able to do. But is is also something in which he failed at Cruzeiro.

"He couldn;t take the pressure from the fans who would curse him all the time, and that really deflated him," says Cruzeiro goalkeeper Fabio. "But he's a real professional with a very strong right foot and an excellent game in the air. He's also a really cool guy that everyone likes. We're all pleased that he has been given a chance to play in the Champions League."

One person who isn't worried about which Romulo will show up at Beitar is coach Itzhak Shum.

"Romulo is an oustanding striker. He was my first choice," says Shum. "I wanted him last year [at Hapoel Tel Aviv], but he was too expensive. He is better than Bosko Balaban and Andreas Mendosa. I don't care what happened when he was at Mainz. Maybe they didn't pay him in Germany and that's why he ran away? Anyway that was two years ago. I've seen him play twice adn I've collected a lot of information on him. He was waiting for an offer from Deportivo La Coruna, but fortunately for us that didn't work out. Judge him after you've seen him playing."