Much-maligned England centurion Ashley Cole has gone some way towards restoring his reputation among football fans with a brave move to Serie A side Roma.
Having laudably shunned a quiet life in a less competitive environment, Cole will challenge for Scudetti and Champions League honours next term and we at news.bwin.com/en/ sincerely hope his first season goes better than these guys’…
Robbie Fowler – North Queensland Fury 2009-10
Despite picking up player of the year and top scorer awards in his first season Down Under, the Liverpool legend’s contract was terminated.
Naturally, Fowler sued the Fury and headed to Perth for a spell, then Thailand before finally hanging up his shooting boots when on trial at Blackpool two years ago.
Ron Atkinson – Manager of Atletico Madrid 1988-89
Don’t be fooled by the timeline; Atkinson lasted just three months at the Vicente Calderon before being binned and replaced by his ‘back-stabbing’ assistant Colin Addison, who stuck around Spain for two stints in charge of Cadiz after his inevitable Colchoneros exit.
Mark Hughes – Barcelona 1986-87
Stoke’s current chief was a surprising failure at the Camp Nou, where Terry Venables partnered him with fellow new signing Gary Lineker, who gobbled up all the goals.
Hughes had notched 17 Division One goals for Manchester United the previous season, but managed just five in 36 for Barca before being packed off to FC Bayern Munchen, where he fared rather better.
Luther Blissett – AC Milan 1983-84
After setting the heather ablaze with 27 league goals for Watford during the ‘82/83 season, Blissett left for Italy in a £1m move, but was sold back after the ‘83/84 Serie A campaign for just over half the money, having struck just five times for the Rossoneri.
Oh, and he couldn’t find anywhere to buy Rice Krispies.
Jonathan Woodgate – Real Madrid 2004-07
There has surely never been a more dire Los Blancos debut than scoring an own goal before being sent off, and to make matters worse Woodgate’s first La Liga match came over a year after he’d signed, due to injuries.
Sadly, after establishing himself in the first team at the Bernabeu, injuries again took their toll, and Woodgate ended up making just 14 appearances for Real.
On a happier note, he’s back home in Middlesbrough now and still playing at 34.