Gaizka Mendieta came to prominence with his performances for Valencia in the 1998-99 season.
The following year his glittering array of skills and vision carried Valencia all the way to the Champions League final and saw him book a spot in the Euro 2000 squad.
Before the run-up to that tournament, he had been serially ignored by the national team with former coach Javier Clemente leaving him out following a dispute.
Last summer he became one of the most expensive players in the world when he left for Serie A after Lazio splashed out £28m.
He has taken his time to settle in Rome and the spectacular goals for which he was known in La Liga have failed to materialise.
Nevertheless, he remains the sort of player who can turn a match in a second with one key pass or through ball.
He made his debut in March 1999 as a substitute in a European Championship qualifier against Austria and his first international goal came in the last minute of a 9-0 win against San Marino.