Slipping under the radar of many news networks, it has emerged that one of the great players of the last twenty years is about to call time on an illustrious career.
Juan Sébastian Verón is, in terms of combined transfer fees, the fourth most expensive player of all time (points available for getting the top three - answer at the bottom). All right foot, he'd stroll around the midfield spraying passes, all the while with socks rolled half way down his shin pads - the ultimate statement of cool - and an ineffectual bandage on the right knee symbolic of past injuries.
Unfairly maligned as a flop in spells with two English clubs, he made his name in Serie A with Sampdoria, Parma and most notably Lazio after leaving his native Argentina. Dreaming of following his father's footsteps to Sheffield United, he instead ended up at Manchester United before the move to Chelsea that was riven by injury and probably best forgotten.
After a loan spell with Inter, it was back to Argentina and his first club Estudiantes de La Plata.He's been there for five years now, but age and injury have been gradually catching up with him throughout. Expected to retire at the end of the 2011 Apertura, Verón was persuaded to play on into the Clausura that has nine games remaining at the time of writing.
Speaking to newspapers in Argentina, Verón conceded that he'd not been fully fit for some time and that Leandro Benitez was more deserving of his place in the Estudiantes midfield. "I am no longer needed", said Verón. It's expected that he will call it quits before Estudiantes play Godoy Cruz next month.
Everyone deserves to be played out with their greatest hits, nobody more so than La Brujita:
Click the image to watch.
Those three players more expensive than Verón's combined $117m? Hérnan Crespo ($121m), Nicolas Anelka ($128.6m) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic ($150.6m).