Monday, 27 June 2011

One hit wonders


Anyone remember these guys?

Ever heard those jokes about the Baha men- the group that gave us the run away hit song, “Who let the dogs out?” For over a year we all had that silly song stuck in our heads and it seemed to play everywhere you went. Then, just like that, it was gone! Now it can only be heard in those cheesy high school party films, to alert one of some crazy..well... partying about to commence. It turns out there are footballers careers that turned out as such...


Anyone who watched the UEFA Cup final 2000/01 between Liverpool and Deportivo Alaves would probably remember this pair. In a see-saw match that ended 4-3 to the Merseysiders after extra time, these two, turning out for Alaves, announced their arrival on the European stage in grand style. Javi Moreno scored two in the game, including a cunning free-kick where he duped the entire Liverpool wall into jumping to block the shot, only for him to slot under the wall. Contra, a right back, tortured the entire Liverpool left flank with clever feet, brilliant crossing and a bunch of “show me your number” moves.

Both players had the football world salivating. Contra was named in the UEFA Team of the Year and I personally thought he was the best right back in the world at the time. Both earned moves to Italian giants, AC Milan where they subsequently tanked quite a bit and were both cut loose after a single season. They both went on have mediocre careers, and are both retired. Suffice it to say they played the game of their lives that one time and rode the wave while it lasted.

NEIL MELLOR.(Liverpool)

Anyone remember the season 2004/05 season when Liverpool stole the Champions League from Milan in Istanbul? Earlier that season, in November 2004, Liverpool was level 1-1 with Olympiacos at Anfield, in their final group game, and seemingly on their way out! They needed two goals from somewhere to stay alive in the Champions League.  Everyone remembers that ‘Captain my Captain’ Steven Gerard saved Liverpool. But Neil Mellor actually scored the second goal for Liverpool; and his cushion header set up Stevie G’s oft celebrated screamer, for the third.

Oh and for good measure, a week earlier, he had been drafted into Liverpool’s first team due to an injury crisis in the striking department. He made his first team debut against Arsenal at Anfield. With the scored tied at 1-1, he scored a long range cracker of a volley in the 90th min to win the game. As Arsenal were the only other title contenders at the time, this loss to them literally set Chelsea on its way to a first title since 1955.

He currently plies his trade for Preston North End but for that one month, his did his small part in influencing history. Without him, we don’t know if we’d ever have seen the greatest comeback in Champs League history.

MAXI LOPEZ.(Barcelona)

He of the "chicken dance" celebration. Scored a wonder winning goal against Chelsea in the Champions League for Barcelona and celebrated with a chicken impression. This was his debut, by the way!

He cost Barca  £16m and currently plays for Catania in Italy. I guess it was a bad investment for Barca, but on that Champions League night in 05/06, he was value for money.

ZLATCO ZAHOVIC.(Slovenia and Valencia)

This guy. Anyone? He was one of the revelations of The 2000 European championships in Belgium and Holland. He turned out for Slovenia and scored two memorable goals against Yugoslavia in an entertaining Balkan derby that ended 3-3. He scored 3 of his country’s four goals at the tournament. He is also Slovenia’s all time leader in caps and goals which doesn’t count for much in world football, but for a week or so in the summer of 2000, he had world football’s attention   

Those are all I can think about at the moment. If anyone can think of anymore, please share.

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