Due to unpopular demand, we’re back with another list blog. Inspired by Richard Wright’s decision to retire, the Twittersphere began trying to recount who from CM9798 is still playing today. With their help, here they are for your viewing pleasure – and also their FM16 data for the sake of it. Let’s kick this off with the man himself
In CM9798, Richard Wright is one of the finest young goalkeepers money can buy. It looked for a long time like Wright would fulfill that potential after moving to Arsenal and getting capped by England, but a red card against Malta summed it all up really. He retires today having been at Man City for 4 years and playing 0 games but winning a Premier League. Here he is on FM16…with a technique of 1.
Sticking with the theme of recently retired, Luca Toni was just a young lad at Empoli in 1997
Fast forward 19 years and his pace has actually improved, in fact if I were him I’d reconsider retirement. Though having seen his Paneka penalty against Buffon, that’s the way to retire
How’s that for a segway? Straight into the Buffon section. As an Under 21 International there were always high hopes for Buffon
However after getting his first cap during the 97/98 season, few could have predicted he’d go on to get well over 100 and still be the Italian number one 19 years later.
Speaking of players who made their International debut in 97/98 and went on to get well over 100 caps (that was a struggle)
Keane is one of the youngest players on CM9798 and although not loads of use in the first couple of seasons, it’s well worth acquiring him on the cheap and loaning him out for a few years until his potential starts to develop.
As time has passed, Keane’s pace has obviously declined but he’s still a useful striker in the MLS
Did somebody say MLS? It’s fair to say back in 9798 they had Lampard down as a bit of a wing wizard, with great dribbling and flair stats. Can’t argue with that shooting of 16.
After a glittering trophy-laden career at Chelsea (and briefly Man City), Lampard now resides at New York City FC. Interestingly, his pace is unchanged, which is remarkable after sitting on the bench at Man City for 12 months.
Now here’s a man who knows about Man City’s bench. Before all of that though, Shay Given was Newcastle’s number one after joining in the close season from Blackburn.
After finally growing tired of playing behind the likes of Titus Bramble and Peter Ramage, Given left for Man City in 2009 for the chance to win trophies. He won an FA Cup before losing his place to Joe Hart. After an average spell at Aston Villa, Given is now at Stoke. Despite a serious injury, Shay is expected to go to Euro 2016 as part of the Republic of Ireland squad
Guess who else is going to Euro 2016!? That’s right, it’s Eidur Gudjohnsen. Here he is as a spritely 18 year old, who was for some reason pegged as being very aggressive.
I could be on all day listing Gudjohnsen’s clubs, it’s fair to say he had great times at Chelsea and Barcelona and then less good times across the rest of the world. Eidur is currently at Molde in Norway and will be off to Euro 2016. It’s remarkable as I thought he retired years ago, but I’m all for it.
Speaking of players I thought retired years ago but are going to Euro 2016, it’s the pyjama wearing Hungary hero Gabor Kiraly. Shot stopping 20 is very generous.
I mainly remember Kiraly wearing his jogging bottoms at Crystal Palace but he also went to Burnley and then seemingly he had 7 years at 1860 Munich. He’s now at Haladas in his homeland. Haladas is the Hungarian word for Progress, which is ironic on so many levels, considering old Gabor is now in his 40’s
Another goalkeeper in his 40’s is Steve Harper, though his date of birth is inexplicably 5 years out on the 9798 database…and also he was born 14th March. Goodness knows what happened there
After spending a lot of years on Newcastle’s bench and making 157 appearances in 20 years, Harper was finally released and played for Hull for a couple of seasons. At 40, Harper looked set to retire but Sam Allardyce saw him as experienced backup at Sunderland so that’s where we find him on FM16
Another player who spent more than 20 years at one club is Francesco Totti, though to be fair he was a bit more successful than Steve Harper. Back in 97 though and Totti is a very promising, creative 20 year old.
What can I say about Francesco Totti? Having got man of the match in a losing effort at the Euro 2000 final, Italy extracted revenge by winning the 2006 World Cup on penalties against France. Totti scored one goal in the tournament – an injury time winning penalty against Australia. Here’s Totti on FM16 – will it be his last FM?
Who was in goal for that Totti penalty in 2006? Well it’s only this man.
After leaving Middlesbrough for Fulham in 2008, Schwarzer enjoyed 5 years at Craven Cottage before moving to Chelsea as a backup goalkeeper. Amazingly, Schwarzer won the Premier League in 2015 with Chelsea and then again with Leicester in 2016, though he didn’t play any games. Unsurprisingly his stats have dropped off a bit, though he did win over 100 caps for Australia.
Another multi-time Premier League winner still plying his trade in England’s elite league is Wes Brown. Back in 97/98, he was still Wesley, but a very highly rated centre back nevertheless
With excellent heading, tackling and positioning it’s no wonder Brown made over 200 appearances for Man Utd despite numerous long term injuries. With a handful of England caps to boot, it’s been quite a career for young Wesley. Here he is on FM16 where he is very much experienced back up.
*With props to Emile Heskey (forgot) and Ze Roberto (dodgy 9798 stats) who should be in this list.
Have I forgotten anybody else? Tweet me to let me know
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