Juan Sebastian Veron recently announced that he was retiring from playing football, his career lasted 18 years and saw some incredible highs as well as a few lows.
Most English Premier League fans will say ‘so what’, his time in England should’ve been so different, but between struggling to settle in his new surroundings and injury problems it just didn’t happen for him.
His career really should be defined on his time in his native country and his Italian adventure.
In 2004, he was awarded by being included in Fifa’s 100 centenary list, which was picked by fellow South American, Pele. Other names on the list were Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer, Zico and Zinedine Zidane.
The Argentine midfield maestro started (and ended) his career with Estudiantes before joining Boca Juniors, the latter saw him play alongside the legendary Maradonna.
He was then signed by Sven Goran Eriksson for Sampdoria in 1996 – the start of an exciting relationship between the two.
Veron joined the great Parma team in 1998; where won the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup. In the final, they beat Marseille 3-0 and some of that incredible side included Gigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro and Herman Crespo.
Sadly for Parma he only stayed for a year, and in 1999 he linked-up with Sven again, this time at big-spending Lazio.
The creative star was instrumental in leading the Roman club to win the Scudetto (only their second ever), the Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup all in one season.
Next it was to England, where he joined Manchester United for £28.1m in 2001, it was the most expensive transfer in English football at the time.
Whilst he continued to impress in Europe, Veron struggled in the Premiership and had injury issues. Despite this Sir Alex Ferguson still knew he had a real talent on his hands and was disappointed at seeing him sign for Chelsea.
He only managed 14 appearances at the London club, and once Jose Mourinho took control he loaned the player to Inter, where he won another two Coppa Italia trophies and the defaulted 2006 Serie A title.
In 2006, he decided to head home and re-joined Estudiantes, and it was there he finished his career.
In those final six seasons he won two Primera Division titles (both Apertura, the first Championship of the Argentine season), as well as the Copa Libertadores (the equivalent of the European Champions League for South America) in 2009.
A true star, who had it not been for his injury issues would’ve and should’ve lit up the Premiership as he did elsewhere.
By Scott Balaam