Name: Marcelo Salas
Then: Salas defined hot property in the late-nineties. After scoring four goals in four games for Chile during the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the world’s elite circled around the prolific River Plate forward. Despite huge and high profiled interest from Manchester United, Lazio eventually won the £14 million battle for Salas and, in his first season for the club, he went on to score 23 goals for his new side. Despite a few injury problems in the title winning campaign, Salas still chipped in with 12 league goals – including the winner against United in the European Super Cup.
Now: Injury problems stopped Salas from becoming the world beater he was destined to be. Now 40 and six years retired, Salas has removed himself from the limelight. Despite a prolific period at Lazio, Salas’ subsequent moves will be remembered unfavourably by the player and fans alike. In 2001, he transferred to Juventus amid Lazio’s financial crisis. However, after being consistently hampered by injuries, the Chile star was released having scored just two goals. He will be far more satisfied with his international career. He is his country’s all time top scorer, having scored 37 goals in 70 international appearances.