This is a compilation of some of football’s best strikers who for one reason or another have seen their careers…or better yet, sight on goal become blind partially or totally. In plain English, I mean they have become a shadow of their former deadly selves or have been forced to retirement.
First on the list is Marco van Basten and believe me, there are a precious few who match the Dutchman’s strike rate, let alone beat it.
218 league goals in 280 appearances for AFC Ajax and AC Milan speaks volumes in the Hall of Football Fame which also has numerous Dutch league and Cup titles along with Lega Calcio shields and ultimately the Champions League with Milan.
It then IS very unfortunate he did not get to inflict more damage on opposing defenses when at the ripe age of 28, his career came to an end no thanks to an ankle injury.
His coaching stint also has not been so successful, but not so bad, after leading a promising Oranje team to the Euro 2008 quarterfinal before finishing third behind surprise packages AZ Alkamaar and FC Twente in this season’s Dutch Eredivise…he resigned his post from Ajax afterwards.
Next is Dario Silva of Uruguay who among other clubs played for Malaga, FC Sevilla and Portsmouth before the worst happened.
In September of 2006, the striker along with two ex-footballers was involved in an accident when Silva lost control of his pick-up truck.
Sliva survived, but at the cost of his right leg which was amputated from knee down after he was thrown out of the truck, thus fracturing his skull and leg.
Martin Palermo however did not suffer like Silva did but his ego took a bit of mud when in the 1999 edition of the Copa Libertodores, he missed three penalties for Argentina against Colombia, a feat that earned him an unenviable place in none other than the Guiness Book of Records.
Palermo also never came to terms with his scoring boot in Europe as stints with Alaves and Villarreal show but his average with Boca Juniors is phenomenal with over 200 goals in under 250 appearances in two spells at the club.
He unfortunately has played seven times only for Argentina and scored three goals and while it may seem his world record feat ended his national team career, a spate of injuries at the time was the actual cause and with players such as Messi and Tevez and Aguero (who has a child-to-be with Maradona’s daughter, Maradona being Argentina boss now), it is hard for Palermo to break back into the national team.
So what other forward of high profile could have suffered career disappointment and there came Miguel Mista of Spain and more specifically, Valencia CF.
Full name Miguel Angel Ferrer Martinez, Mista was Rafael Benitez number one forward during their time at the Santiago Bernabeu with Real Madrid’s reserves.
Both then moved on to Tenerife where Mista’s goals helped the modest club to promotion into the Primera Liga in 2001 before both again moved onto bigger turfs with Valencia where two league titles and a UEFA Cup trophy was won.
Mista finished top scorer in the la Liga; earning the Pichichi title, in 2004 with los Che before finally parting ways with Benitez who left for Liverpool while he went ot Atletico Madrid.
Bad move that was as the man he replaced, Fernando Torres, flourished at Liverpool with Rafa while Mista failed to make any impact AT ALL with Atletico, crashing into obscurity faster than the moles dig into the earth.
Next in the list of unfortunates is former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who unknown to many, began his career quite poorly before a move to Boavista proved his break in front of goal, scoring 20 goals in 29 league matches for the Portuguese club.
That earned him just the Portuguese Cup though and a move to England with Leeds United for whom he continued his prolific scoring form and after two seasons; coinciding with Leeds downturn, he moved to Atletico Madrid.
At Atletico, he amazingly scored 24 league goals and 10 more in other competitions, yet was unable to save the club from the ignomity of relegation that season, prompting a move to Chelsea.
At Chelsea, he finished top scorer in three of the four seasons spent at Stamford Bridge but failed to land the league title with the Blues.
Hasselbaink NEVER won a major title at his sojourn round Europe; except the Portuguese Cup and Super Cup with Boavista and Community Shield with Chelsea, also failing to make any impact with the national team with the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooij, Dennis Bergkamp, Roy Makaay and Patrick Kluivert well ahead in the pecking order.