#LCQ Archive Player #7 – Ruben Baraja

Played for a total of three clubs during his playing career, but mostly rememebered for being an ever-present for Valencia, our 7th #LCQ archive player is Ruben Baraja.

Baraja began his career at Valladolid, where he played in both the ‘B’ Team and First team squads. He moved on to Atletico Madrid, where again he represented both teams. His spell with the first team didn’t last very long as Atletico were relegated and he was sold to Valencia.

He entered a team that had just been beaten by Real Madrid in the Champions League final. The team would reach the final again, only to be beaten on penalties by Bayern Munich. He spent 10 years at Mestalla, where he won two La Liga titles, a UEFA Cup, A UEFA Super Cup and a Copa Del Rey.

He regular in the Spanish national team for five years, Baraja, won a total of 43 caps and he scored 7 goals, three of which came against Northern Ireland, though over the course of two games.

Baraja retired at the age of 35, re-curing injuries perhaps cutting his career shorter than he would have liked.

Ruben Baraja

#LCQ archive player #6 – Jerome Rothen

A one season wonder? Perhaps.

Jerome Rothen, fondly known as one of the stars of Monaco, as the team from the principality reached the Champions League final in 2004.

Born in 1978. Rothen is a french winger, whom attended the famous Clarefontaine National football academy, before beginning his professional career at Caen.

Rothen spent three season with the Caen first team, before leaving in 2000 for pastures new and Troyes. He spent little more than a year and a half there, before Monaco snapped him up on the opening day of the January transfer window, for €5 million. The 2003/04 season was his best to date, as AS Monaco went on a run to the Champions League final, only to lose 3-0 to Jose Mourinho’s Porto side. Following this season, many of the larger clubs in Europe wanted to sign Rothen, yet he plumped for Paris St Germain, his boyhood club.

He is time at PSG was less than productive, at first anyways. He was injured for the majority of the first two seasons and saw little game time. He fell out of favour with the managers of the club, and eventually found himself on the transfer list. Following rumours that manager, Guy Lacombe was on his way out, Rothen decided to stay put, as Paul Le Guen came into replace the out-going Lacombe.

Rothen finally over came his injury and became an important of a failing PSG side. When Paul Le Guen left, Rothen found himself on the fringes as Antonie Kombouare deemed him surplus to requirements. A brief loan period at Rangers followed before he moved to Turkey and Ankaragucu.

Rothen eventually found his way to Bastia, where he spent two seasons, winning Ligue 2 and the personal accolade of Ligue 2 player of the season.

Rothen can currently be found playing back at his first club Caen.

Rothen has also appeared sporadically for the French national side, winning 13 caps and scoring one goal.

Rothen playing in the Champions League final

Rothen playing in the Champions League final

#LCQ Archive Player #5 – Kelly Smith

Our fifth player in our series of #LCQ archive players is Kelly Smith.

Perhaps the most famous English Womens player of all time, Kelly Smith has represented her country in 115 games scoring 46 goals since 1995. Beginning her career in England before moving to the US, in 1997, to study, and in doing so give herself a greater chance of playing professional womens football.

After playing for Senton Hall Pirates, Smith moved to the New Jersey Womens Stallions and spent one season with the side before she was drafted to the Philadelphia Chargers. Her time with the side was ravaged with knee injuries, and she eventually joined the New Jersey Wildcats. Her time with the Wildcats was again, hampered with injury following a leg break. She did managed 8 goals in 8 games however, and a homecoming was moving ever closer.

On returning to England, Smith signed with the Arsenal ladies side and began her most successful spell with any club to date. All in all Smith, recorded 100 goals in 112 games, and won everything the game had to offer, including the Women’s Premier League and UEFA Women’s Cup ( now the UEFA Women’s Champions League).

A move back to the USA beckoned following the re-formation of a a pro Women’s league. Smith was again drafted, this time to the Boston Breakers, but was under contract with Arsenal. She eventually decided to leave the club to return to the US. Injury again played a telling tale on her Breakers career, her third season she only managed 10 games.

In 2012, she signed back on with Arsenal.

Bristol Academy Women's FC v Arsenal Ladies FC - The FA WSL Continental Cup Semi Final

#LCQ Players Archive #4 – Vagner Love

The man with the mostly blue dreadlocks, number four on the #LCQ archive is Vagner Love.

Born in Rio, Brazil in 1984, Vagner Love is a consummate taker of chances having scored over 200 goals in his career to date. The Brazilian with the blue dreadlocks, Vagner Love has a habit of leaving a club only to return again. Starting at Palmeiras, Vagner Love spent just under three seasons with the club playing 42 games and scoring an impressive 27 goals.

This led to interest from numerous clubs, with Love eventually moving to CSKA Moscow of Russia. He spent seven interrupted years in Russia, with consistent rumours of Love being unsettled. During his time CSKA he scored some vital goals including the winner the UEFA Cup final against Sporting Lisbon in 2005. Overall his time in Russia was a success, winning numerous trophies and also playing for the Brazilian national side. He is a two time Copa American winner with the Selecao.

Loan moves followed, firstly back to his previous club Palmeiras and then to the club he supported as a boy, Flamengo. He spent a total of a year back in his homeland, before returning to the red and blue of CSKA.. He stayed for another two years at CSKA, then another return trip to Flamengo before he spent a year back at CSKA, talk about a back and forth career.

His currently resides in China playing for Shandong Luneng in the Chinese Super League. He has scored six in ten games for the Chinese club, having signed for them in July of this year.

He has 21 caps for the Brazilian national side, but has not featured in the team since 2007.

Vagner Love

#LCQ Archive Players #3 – Christian Vieri

Never a man to stay in one place for to long, Christian Vieri is our third #LCQ archive player.

In a career that spanned 18 years, Christian Vieri played for no less than 12 clubs, Vieri began his professional career in Turin and Torino. He spent two years with the club before moving on to Pisa. This began a sequence of a club a season for Vieri, a nomadic striker, he scored at whatever club he was with, most notably with Atletico Madrid in where he scored 24 goals in 24 league games. A move to Lazio followed, another one season stint, before he move on to Internazionale where he would remain for the next five seasons.

He was prolific with Inter, scoring 123 goals in his tenure with the club. He only managed to win a Coppa Italia with the cup however, which turned out to be one of his last games for the club.

Following his release from his Inter contract, Vieri moved across town, to AC Milan. His spell with the red side of Milan, didn’t last long however and he was quickly off to the principality of Monaco. Desperate to play in the World Cup, Vieri sought first team football with AS Monaco, but a serious knee injury scuppered all plans for a third appearance at the tournament, a World Cup Italy won by the way.

A 2 month stint with Sampdoria followed his time at Monaco, he made no appearances and promptly signed for former club Atlanta. 7 games and 2 goals later, Vieri was on the move again, this time to Fiorentina, before moving back to Atlanta and then retiring.

All in all Vieri averaged a goal every 2 games, as he scored 236 in 476 appearances.

He is Italy’s all time leading scorer at World Cup tournaments with 9 in 9 games. He is one cap short of a half century with Italy, but he scored 23 goals during his time for the Azzurri.

Interesting fact – His brother Max Vieri, has played for the Australian national side.

Christian Vieri

#LCQ Archive Players #2 – Gonzalo Higuain

Born in France, plays for Argentina, our second in our list of archive players is Gonzalo Higuain.

Currently at Napoli, Higuain’s career began at River Plate, where he made his debut in 2004. Whilst he didn’t score any goals in his first season (he only played four league games) he did manage a total of 5 goals in 12 games in his second season. His third and final season with the club was his best. He scored 10 in 17 games including a brace in the Super Clasico against Boca Juniors. Plenty of clubs in Europe were then interested in signing the young Argentine, but it was heavyweights Real Madrid, who won the battle, to welcome him to the Santiago Bernabeu, at around €12 million.

It wasn’t until his third season when Higuain really hit his stride, scoring 22 League goals in 34 games. He had come of age, and the following season was to get even better, when he scored 27 league goals in just 32 games. His follwoing season was beset by injuries, however managing a respectable 10 goals in 17 outings. He spent another two seasons with Madrid before finally moving on to Napoli in the summer of 2013. In total he scored 122 goals in 264 appearances for Real Madrid.

Gonzalo Higuain


Signed as the replacement for the out-going Edinson Cavani. His start to life in Naples has been relatively good, scoring 5 in his first nine Serie A games. He has also scored one in two in the Champions League.

To date he can boast winners medals to three La Liga titles, a Copa del Rey and two Supercopa de Espana.

Whilst he can’t say he has won anything at International level, his personal record speaks for itself. He has bagged 21 goals in 34 appearances and should be fully expectant to be travelling with his side to neighbours Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. Higuain

#LCQ Archive Players #1 – Rivaldo

Rivaldo was our feature player for our first recorded #LCQ, back on June 5th 2013.

Rivaldo Vitor Borba Ferreira, or to me and you just Rivaldo, was perhaps one of the greatest Brazilian players in history. Best known for his stint at Barcelona and for being an important part of the 2002 Brazil World Cup winning side, Rivaldo, was a player of utlimate class, scoring some absolute scorchers throughout his career.

He began his career with Santa Cruz in the 1991, before he moved to Mogi Mirim, (a club he now actually owns) where he played in the regional leagues before a loan move to Corinthians. He spent a year there and then two at Palmeiras before he made his move to Europe and Spain, with Deportivo La Coruna.

Following a succesful season in La Coruna, where Rivaldo managed to score 21 League goals, Barcelona showed their interest and signed the Brazilian for £26 million. Rivaldo stayed with Barcelona for five years, where he won 2 La Ligas, a Spanish Cup and a UEFA Super Cup, whilst he also won the FIFA World Player of the Year and European Player of the Year awards. He scored 130 goals for the Blaugrana before he moved onto to Italy and AC Milan.

He struggled to to replicate the form he showed at Barcelona, with AC Milan. He did however manage to win a Champions League trophy, a Coppa Italia and a second UEFA Super Cup. He briefly returned to Brazil before a move to Greece and Olympiacos. He spent three years with the Greek club, scoring 43 goals in all competitions. A move to the Greek capital followed and a season with AEK Athens.

He eventually found his way to Uzbekistan and Bunyodkor Tashkent. He stayed there for three years, playing in the Uzbek league and AFC Champions League. He added another three league titles to his medal collection, including to Uzbekistani Cups.

A move back to Mogi Mirim followed where he became President, before a loan move to Sao Paulo. He didn’t play a game for Mogi Mirim in his tenure there. A two year spell in Angola and you would think Rivaldo had, had enough. Not quite yet. He is now back in Brazil and at the age of 41 playing in the Brazilian second division for Sao Caetano.

His international career spanned ten years, as he played 74 times scoring 34 goals. Part of the famous trio of the three R’s, Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho. Rivaldo scored in the first five games of the tournament for Brazil. Still most remember from this tournament, however was the incident in the game with Turkey, where Hakan Unsal kicked the ball towards Rivaldo. The ball struck his shinpad, but Rivaldo went down clutching his face. But no one can quite deny how good of a player Rivaldo was and perhaps still is.

He has won basically everything possible in his career and he is yet to finish.

perhaps Rivaldo's best goal of all time

perhaps Rivaldo’s best goal of all time


Marcus Allback – October 23rd

Born in Gotenburg in 1973, Marcus Allback started his career with his local club Orgryte where he stayed for seven years. He scored 52 goals in 139 games. He then had a brief flirtation with football aboard playing for Danish Club Lygnby and then Bari, before returning back to Orgryte after just one season away.

He spent a further three seasons at Orgryte where he scored an impressive 34 in 64 games. This resulted in a move to the Eredivisie and Heerenveen. A two year spell there resulted in a good goal return and a move to the English Premier League. His destination was Villa Park, and Aston Villa.

Allback struggled in England, scoring just six times during his spell with Aston Villa. He was on the road again in 2004 as he moved to German club Hansa Rostock. He spent a year with them, before he moved to Danish club Copenhagen, where was won two Danish League titles. He found his way back to his first club Orgryte, where he saw out the remained of his career.

International striker

Alongside players such as Henrik Larsson and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Allback had a goal ratio of a goal every 2.05 games. He played for his country 74 times, scoring 30 goals.

Whilst he was a formidable scorer in Scandinavia and Holland, he struggled to transfer those skills to the harder leagues, such as the Premier League and German Bundesliga.


Marcelo Salas – October 9th

A Chilean legend, Salas was a great goalscoring forward. He won numerous titles and awards throughout his career, his best period coming with Lazio where he won an Italian Cup, A UEFA Cup Winners Cup and he scored the winner that defeat Manchester United in the UEFA Super Cup in 1999.

Born in Temuco, Chile, Salas began his professional career at Universidad de Chile. He stayed with the club for two seasons, winning the league championship twice. He scored 76 in all competitions for the Universidad. During his spell at Universidad, Salas made his debut for the Chilean national team. He would go on to represent Chile 70 times and score 37 goals, still a national record. He had a formidable partnership with Ivan Zamorano and helped guide Chile to the second round of the World Cup in France 98. He also received the Bronze shoe at the tournament for being the third top goalscorer.

Prior to his move to Italy and Lazio, Salas had two very successful years at River Plate in Argentina, winning both the Apetura and Clausura, including a Supercopa Sudamericana.

On his arrival in Italy, Salas instantly won the Supercoppa Italiana, the annual Serie A curtain raiser. That season would prove to be successful for Lazio, as they went on to win the UEFA Cup Winners Cup. His second season with Lazio got even better, as Salas’ 12 league goals helped to bag a Serie A title for the Rome club. He was also the only goalscorer in the UEFA Super Final victory.

Salas spent one more year with Lazio before moving on to Juventus. His time with the Turin giants, was was torrid. He sustained many injuries and could never replicate the form he had shown at Lazio. He was eventually loaned back to River Plate, but his injury problems continued.

The deadly duo, Salas and Zamorano

The deadly duo, Salas and Zamorano

A final move back to his first club Universidad, saw him manage to get back to decent scoring form before injury struck again. He eventually retired at the age of 33, to bring a close to Chile’s best ever goalscorers career.

Willy Sagnol – October 2nd

One heck of a right back for both club and country, Willy Sagnol was a true professional. It’s a shame that his Achilles heel was infact his Achilles heel, that eventually saw him retire early.

Sagnol started his professional career at Saint Etienne in 1995, playing 10 times that season, before becoming a regular the next season, appearing in the league 36 times. His performances that season, secured a move to newly crowned Ligue 1 Champions AS Monaco. In moving to Monaco, Sagnol got his chance to test his abilities in the Champions League. All in all Sagnol spent three seasons at Monaco winning two Trophees des Champions and in his final season the Ligue 1.

Bundesliga comes calling.

Come the summer of 2000, clubs from around Europe began sniffing around the young right back. Bayern Munich were the club that managed to secure his signing, and Sagnol moved across the border and into Bavaria. It didn’t take long for Sagnol to become a regular fixture at right back for Bayern, also on occasion being asked to play as an attacking wing back. His first season with Bayern ended in great success, winning both the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League. Sagnol would go on to win plenty more trophies with the German giants, including another four Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokals, two LIGA Pokals and a Intercontinental Cup.

It was during the year of 2000, that Sagnol made his debut for the French National squad. Initially he found it difficult to displace stalwart Lillian Thuram at right back. He spent a lot of time sitting on the bench for Les Bleus, until Lillian Thuram moved into centre back. Sagnol did win two tournaments with France, both Confederations Cups, and was a runner-up in the infamous 2006 World Cup Final, mainly rememebered for the Zidane/Materazzi incident.

Sagnol eventually retired in 2009 because of a continuous Achilles heel injury. It drew to a premature close a very successful end to a career for the man from Saint-Etienne

Sagnol (left) up against Spain's Fernando Torres at the 2006 World Cup in Germany

Sagnol (left) up against Spain’s Fernando Torres at the 2006 World Cup in Germany