BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese

BBC Sport
    You are in: Sports Talk  
Sport Front Page
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Other Sports
Special Events
Sports Talk
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
Around The UK: 
N Ireland

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather

 Thursday, 2 January, 2003, 14:29 GMT
Your club's worst foreign signing?
Leeds 1995 record signing Tomas Brolin who became overweight and had his contract terminated
The Premiership has been seen as a place to come for some players to earn a last big pay day before retirement.

Has your club ever signed any foreign flops?

Since it began in 1992, several fading footballing stars have regarded the Premiership as a lucrative place to end their careers.

Examples include Brazilian World Cup winner Branco and his 11-game stint at Middlesbrough and also George Weah's brief three-month stay at Manchester City.

The much praised Swedish talent of Tomas Brolin became Leeds United's record signing for 4.5m in 1995, but he delivered just four goals in two years before having his lucrative contract terminated.

Frenchman Christophe Dugarry could be the next in line at Birmingham City.

Who is your club's worst foreign signing?

This deabte has now closed. Here are a selection of your comments.

Ketsbaia: 'moving to Wolves was the worst mistake of my life'. So moving to Dundee was a class decision I suppose? A rabbit could have told Temuri that he would not turn out like Caniggia did at that club. A rabbit would also have been more use to the club.
Neil M, UK

Dacourt gets my vote as a Leeds fan. Scored a winning goal against Arsenal, followed by a long spell of nothing. Then he made outrageous comments regarding Venables' management, instead of trying to make himself a regular in the first team. Clearly all that Terry needed was time! The sooner he is packed off to Roma, the better.
Neil, UK

Wayne Biggins. It was a disgrace that Celtic sunk so low in the 90s that this Englishman pulled on the famous Hoops.
Sandy, Scotland

In the 25 years I've supported and suffered as a West Ham fan, I've seen my fair share of "comedy footballers" grace Upton Park, but without a doubt, the worst has to be Samassi Abou. Just shocking. The man couldn't trap a bag of cement. There are Sunday league cloggers with more talent. Another one of Redknapp's gems.
George Deverrick, USA

These are some pretty bad players, but at Leicester we had the worst: Zeljko Kalac. A 6'7" goalkeeper who couldn't catch! He made a few appearances and then we realised that we had been done.

On the plus side, he is down in history as our best substitute. When we were 1-1 after 120mins in the play-off final, we brought him on to save penalties (being so big) and within seconds Claridge scored a stunner.
Lewis Grant, Coventry, UK

At York City our worst ever signing was this season - a Brazilian striker called Rogerio. The club shop stocked up on Brazilian shirts and other merchandise expecting the customers to come flooding when he became a great success. Suffice to say he's gone to another club on loan - Harrogate Town!!!
Phil, York, England

Finidi George - what a waste of money, especially in troubled times!!!
Rita, Ipswich, England

I have a few things to add to my London club supporting collegues. Chelsea - Bogarde, (and you are still paying him 40grand A WEEK), and to the Hammers fans, Repka is still your best player, and 'Calamity' James is still your goalie. Is that why you are bottom of the league??
Matt, UK

As a Liverpool fan its hard to know where to start, Traore is a joke, how he consistently wears a Liverpool jersey is beyond me but the worst of them all has to be Ronnie Rosenthal!! That miss against Aston Villa off the crossbar, dear god how did it not go in!
Gareth, Ireland

Aston Villa - Dr Joe as manager!
Phippsy, England

As a Spurs fan, Rebrov is perhaps the most obvious, but to be fair few doubted his ability when he was signed. Ramon Vega has to be the worst; own-goal specialist who couldn't even run in a co-ordinated fashion. How that man ever made a career from professional football I will never know.
Nick Maurice, England

Massimo Taibi for United. No contest! Actually Cantona's mate William Prunier was probably worse! Don't think any foreigner comes to United to retire though!
Guto, Wales

This QPR fan has two choices. Domonic Iorfa who was big, fast and totally unfamiliar with the offside rule. Kurt Bakholt, played 45 minutes as a sub for us at Man City and we never saw him again.
Christopher Orriss, Englishman in USA

It's a good thing that this list is limited to the Premiership or some of Stoke City's Icelandic legion would almost certainly figure prominently.

On the Premiership front, I didn't recall seeing the Tyneside strike duo of Anders Anderson and Stephane Gui'varch there, one for the scrap heap if ever I saw one.
Kevin Critchlow, England

As an Ipswich supporter through and through, our worst signing would have to be Nigerian International Finidi George. He promised to do so much but failed, only picking a handful of goals which had little effect as we were still relegated to the First Division! Where is he now I wonder?
Moyosola Oshikoya, Nigeria

I am a Smoggie. Middlesbrough has to be the home of Carlos Kickaball, especially under Robson. But my nomination has to go to Boksic. It's not so much that he is bad (although he can be terrible), it's just that for 63,000 a week you expect two Shearers and instead we land a never has been!
Dominic, England

As an Arsenal fan, it must be Igors Stepanovs

David Edwards, England

As a Saints fan I can think of only a few. However probably the most notable signing must of been when an inspired Mr Souness signed a man based on the fact he was George Weah's cousin and having not seen him play put him out in the starting line up. After about 10 minutes and realising the man had probably never even seen a football he was substituted and never heard from again.

It could only happen to Southampton. But as the Hammer fan noted, at least we didn't spend 11m on Rebrov like some small club from the Arsenal area did!
Nick , England

As an Arsenal fan, it must be Igors Stepanovs, the guy can hardly stand up let alone defend. Arsene Wenger is not quite Harry Redknapp when it comes to buying flops but he has his moments!
David Edwards, England

I remember a young lad at Old Trafford called Eric Nevland who was going to be the new Ole Gunner. He made a great reserve-team player for 1.5m...and back to Norway he went!
Stuart, England

No Evertonians so far, a bit of a surprise considering one or two of our past signings. Claus Thomson, Stefan Rehn, Ray Atteveld were three of our "illustrious" stars. Daniel Amokachi had a poor time as well, but he is forgiven for helping to put Spurs to the sword in the FA Cup semis. But the winner by a country mile has to be Alex Nyarko - French football is welcome to him.
Bruce, England

As a Hammers fan I can think of a few, notably Boogers who has been mentioned earlier, but currently the worst import in the Premiership at has got to be Tomas Repka. The man is an absolute disgrace! Still, it could be worse; we could have spent 11m and got a Rebrov. Ha ha.
Will Pretty, England

Michale Padavano came to the Super Eagles (Palace) from Juve and then did promptly nothing - what a bargain!
Russell Peacock, England

As a Spurs fan I could mention the obvious candidates: Rebrov, Dominguez, Saib, Berti. Probably worst of all though was Paulo Tremazzani - an Italian left-back who played a handful of games (extremely poorly) and spent a year collecting a fat wage before having his contract bought.
Gary, England

QPR's worst was Ned Zelic, 1.25m for Australia's captain and a Bundesliga veteran. He left after six or so games. He said he hated living in dirty old London so much he'd rather work for his dad as a hod carrier in Canberra. Last seen in the small town of Munich, playing for 1860.
Stephen Martin, England

Igor Biscan! He is comfortably the worst player ever to pull on the Liverpool shirt. And now, for some strange reason (after we thought we'd seen the back of him), he's back in first team contention! I nearly wept.
Barry Webber, England

Georgi Hristov. Came to Barnsley as a record signing, made PR gaffes by saying women in Barnsley weren't exactly attractive, didn't score hatfuls of goals, got injured and hardly played, missed a sitter of a header in the play-off final against Ipswich then left on a free.

Being a Chelsea fan, there's plenty of choices!

David, UK

He promptly became good for his new employers and was one of the top scorers in the Dutch league. Ho hum!
Chris, England

Amir Karic: good enough for World Cup and Euro Championships but not good enough for Ipswich.
Rich, UK

Aston Villa's worst ever foreign signing : Bosko Balaban!!!!
Daniel Francis, UK

Being a West Ham supporter I've seen many bad buys! Paulo Futre was declared unable to play football suffering from a long term injury, just a few months after purchasing him. Perhaps the worst buy in the history of the Premiership must be a certain Marco Boogers. He was signed by Harry Redknapp to bolster our striking options. He failed to impress and the fact he lived in a caravan at the training ground didn't do too much for his CV!

Joey Beauchamp also rings a bell. He signed for us from Swindon, then a few days later informed the club he never wanted to sign for us but wanted to sign for Oxford! So after about a week he became an Oxford player, without ever making an appearance in a West Ham shirt.
Tom Lawrence, UK

I suppose I would have to say Andrea Silenzi was the worst foreign signing my team (Nottingham Forest) has made. Although David Platt tried his hardest to buy a worse one (a clearly overage and overweight Manini and a talented but frustrating Petrachi). Silenzi, allegedly a former Italian international, had played alongside Maradona at Napoli and had finished one of the top scorers in the league one season.

Unfortunately in the Premier League he seemed unable to stand up at times, not diving but simply falling over when running/turning. In addition, I sensed he didn't know about the offside law as I have never seen a player caught out more times than him. Not bad for 1.5 million!

Eventually he was released from his contract, no wonder we nearly went out of business. I did see him a couple of years later scoring in Serie A though, which makes the whole episode even more painful.
PJS, England

"Fat" Frank Strandli was a Norwegian who had been a Leeds fan since his youth and was overjoyed to be signed up by Leeds from IK Start for 350,000. Sadly, his enthusiasm wasn't matched by his pace and goalscoring ability, and he returned to Norway where he has continued to enjoy some success.
Ian, Leeds

As a life-long Manchester United supporter I have never been impressed with Veron! To think for the same money we could have a true quality player in Ronaldo!!
David Smith, London, England

I'm a Chelsea fan, how many would you like me to name? Bogarde springs immediately to mind.........
Tim, England

We've had our fair share of mercenaries at Elland Road over the years, Tomas Brolin, Jimmy Hasselbaink and Tony Yeboah. Although only a bit part player, for sheer greed and petulance Cantona stands out head and shoulders above the rest. As annoying as he was French.
Steve, S.Wales

It's got to be Newcastle's Marcelino. 5m and missed all of last season because of a broken finger.
Ian Richardson, UK

I support Man Utd and without a doubt our worst foreign signing of recent times has been Italian goalie Taibi (just pips Bosnich). He produced a string of clangers in his handful of games, most notably that Matt Le Tissier goal which went through his legs! He was sent back to Italy as quickly as he came!

Sunderland still have him on the books, it's Argentina's Nicolas Medina

Anthony, England

Other flops that I can think of for United have been: Poborsky (bought in after good displays in Euro 96, never reproduced) and Jordi Cruyff. Although both are now enjoying better times abroad.
Dan Cairns, England

I think the worst foreign buy had to be Sean Dundee who moved to Liverpool from Germany. He played two games and was pretty awful, let's hope we don't make any more signings like him.
Adam, UK

Sunderland still have him on the books, it's Argentina's Nicolas Medina. He is on a nice little contract with Sunderland. Signed about a year ago and has yet to make a first team appearance.
Anthony, England

Being a Chelsea fan, there's plenty of choices! The worst of the lot must have been Bernard Lambourde.
David, UK

Being a lifelong United fan, I would have to say Diego Forlan. Although his heart is with the club, he lacks a lot of skill and class to make him a true United player. We needed to make a better signing to keep up with Arsenal.
Muhammed Dumerk, Croydon, UK

I am a Mackem. The worst foreign buy we have ever made (or anyone come to that) has got to be Milton 'Tyson' Nunez. He was dreadful and cost 2.5m!
Euan Macdonald, England

The not so golden era of Graeme Souness as manger of Liverpool resulted in some dodgy signings. Out of a very bad bunch I'd have to say Istvan Kozma, an unknown Hungarian, was pretty bad.

However, he was eclipsed by the signing of Torben Piechnik! After winning the European championships with Denmark in 1992 he moved to Liverpool and to date has been the worst flop!
Seamus, Ireland

I'm a West Ham fan and we've had our fair share of dodgy foreign signings. We had the dubious honour of signing the half-game wonder Marco Boogers. Half a game and a red card later he went to live in a caravan in Holland having lost his marbles.

We also signed Florin Raducioiu who was better as a serial shopper than a serial goalscorer. And I'm sure there have been more.
Dave Lee, England

Links to more Sports Talk stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Sports Talk stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales