10 random Premier League stars you may have forgotten about!

Fabien Barthez

Age: 41

Who?: Made a name for himself as a top shot-stopper in his native France, before Sir Alex Ferguson snapped him up for Manchester United. Barthez spent four years at the club, winning the league title twice, and became a regular between the posts for the Red Devils. However, the bald headed World Cup winner loved a blunder and gained a reputation of being a liability, which eventually saw him lose his number one spot to someone who had about the same amount of hair as himself, Tim Howard.

Where is he now? : In 2004 Barthez returned to France and signed a contract with Marseille. Soon after, he announced that he wanted a move back to his first club Toulouse to be close to his sick mother or he would retire from football, but after failing to agree a deal with the club, Barthez called it a day and officially announced that his playing days were over.

 Later on that year however, he made a comeback and signed for FC Nantes. Controversy followed as a dispute with a Nantes supporter left his club terminating his contract and at the time of writing this, he hasn’t played since.

Gilberto Silva

Age: 35

Who? : Gilberto was a late bloomer as professional football players go, only signing a contract at the age of 22. His first team was Brazilian side América Mineiro before moving to fierce rivals Atletico Mineiro, and eventually moving to England to display his talent on the big stage with Arsenal. He was the anchor in midfield for over 8 years as a Gunner, playing 170 games and scoring 17 times.

Where is he now? : Gilberto swapped North-London for Greece as he penned a contract with Panathinaikos where he spent 3 seasons, before flying back to Brazil and joining Gremio.

When his current contract is up, there are rumours that he wishes to return to Atletico Mineiro, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Igor Biscan:

Age: 34

Who? : Biscan began his career at Dinamo Zagreb and played a huge part in what is considered to be the most successful era in their history. Liverpool then signed the Croatian international despite interest from Barcelona and Milan, and he was an ever-present in Gerard Houllier’s first eleven.

Where is he now? : With a Champions League medal in hand, Biscan packed his bags and joined Greek giants Panathinkaikos, but after two years at the club he returned to his home club Dinamo Zagreb where he was greeted by excited fans and an even more excited chairman, who had reportedly been nagging Biscan to come back for months.

After 4 years at the club, his contract was terminated and he is now unattached, looking for a return to the game.

Jay-Jay Okocha

Age: 39

Who? : The man so good they named him twice. This little bundle of flair oozed quality and his technique made him one of the most recognisable faces in football. He had played in Germany with Eintracht Frankfurt, in Turkey with fenebahce, In France after a $24m move to PSG, before gracing the Premier League with Bolton Wanderers.

Trick after memorising trick made Okocha a fan favourite at The Reebok but after 4 years at the club he fell out with the hierarchy and moved to Qatar SC, where he spent a year before returning to northern England to showcase his talent in Hull.

Where is he now? : After being released by Hull in 2008, Okocha has retired from the game. However, he is due to start playing for Durgapur Vox Champions in a newly-formed Indian League.

Tomas Repka

Age: 38

Who? : One of the hardest men to ever play in the Premier League. A man with no self control, he could send a chill down the spine of any opponent simply with a glare. Former Czech international Repka has almost 600 club appearances to his name, with a major chunk of them coming at Upton Park, where he spent 5 years playing for West Ham.

He did, however show a softer side when the Hammers fans gave him an emotional send off from the club, singing his name on his last appearance against Fulham, and he broke down in tears.

Where is he now? : Like a lot of Players, he moved back to his country of birth. The next 5 years of his career were spent representing Sparta Prague.

The man who boasts 18 red cards (including one for attacking a cameraman) currently plays for Czech club SK Dynamo Ceske BudeJovice.

Arjan De Zeeuw

Age: 42

Who? : The big Dutch defender made his name in the colours of Barnsley when he was a key figure in the team that won promotion to the Premier League in 1996.

He went on to play for Wigan and Portsmouth, again winning promotion to England’s top flight, but after an argument with then Pompey manager Alain Perrin, he headed back to Wigan where he was a much loved figure.

 One of the incidents he is most famous for is when dirt-bag El Hadji Diouf spat in his face during a game, but rather than retaliating, the 6ft4 centre back went on to score the winner to ensure his team went on to win the game.

Where is he now? : After Wigan, De Zeeuw went on to play for Coventry but saw his first team appearances limited by a succession of injuries.

He then played 12 games for Dutch side ADO’12 in the 2008/09 season before retiring from football.

In an unusual turn of events, he is now working as a forensic detective and apparently loves his new job just as much as he loved playing the beautiful game.

 

Nicky Butt

Age: 37

Who? : Mention the name Nicky Butt and you won’t have many people asking that question. Although you might find them saying ‘Oh yeah, what’s he doing these days?’

 Born and raised in Manchester, Butt progressed at Manchester United as a youngster and eventually progressed into the first team as a part of a group that included David Beckham, Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. He went onto play 269 games for the Reds, winning an incredible 6 league trophies, 3 FA Cups and a Champions League. Not bad eh?

Where is he now? : With first team chances limited, he moved further north to Newcastle United but struggled to secure a first team place. He spent a season on loan at Birmingham City in 2005/06 but would return to the Geordie side and become captain, before eventually lifting the Championship trophy when they won it in the 2009/10 season.

 Soon after, Butt went on to play 3 games for Hong Kong club South China and has made appearances in both Gary Neville's and fellow ginger Paul Scholes’ testimonial matches but is now retired from football, and is currently trying to avoid the sun in case he gets burnt!

Dean Ashton

Age: 28

Who? : A wasted talent, forced to quit the game due to a persistent injury. Ashton looked to have a great future ahead of him when he was scoring for fun whilst contracted to Crewe Alex, the club he had joined as a 16 year old.

After 61 goals in 159 games, Norwich splashed £3m on the 22 year-old, and Ashton would go on to score 18 goals in 46 games for the Canaries before moving south to West Ham for an impressive £7.5m.

Ashton was on fire for the Yellows and warranted himself a call up to the England squad. However, a dismal challenge by Shaun Wright Phillips in a training session broke the striker’s ankle, keeping him out for well over a year. He also injured his knee ligaments which would effectively be the end of his career for both his club and country.

Where is he now? : He did eventually win his England cap in 2008 but had no choice but to leave football on medical advice. Since playing, Ashton has stayed away from the game and is said to be enjoying time with his family before considering a return as a coach.

Juan Pablo Angel

Age: 36

Who? : Born in Columbia, Angel has played 562 games so far in his 19 year career, scoring 205. He was once Aston Villa’s most expensive player after signing from River Plate for a whopping £9.5m in 2001.

He started his playing career at local side Atletico Nacional at 18 years old and quickly progressed as one of the hottest names in South-America. Angel forced his way into Villa hearts with his long hair and his flamboyant style of play, netting 44 times in 173 games.

Where is he now? : In an attempt to revitalize his goal scoring, Angel headed to the MLS and signed for New York Red Bulls where he quickly found his form, becoming the first ever player for the club to score in six consecutive games and was also awarded with MLS player of the month.

3 years and 58 goals later, the striker jumped ship and signed for LA Galaxy but after just 8 months he would be used as a make-weight for new striker Robbie Keane and subsequently joined his third MLS club, Chivas USA. He has since played 23 games and scored 11 goals for his new employers.

Rigobert Song

Age: 36

Who? : Nicknamed ‘Big Chief’, a versatile defender who could play across the back four, made famous by his wide variety of hair styles and colours.

Song played 138 games for his country, Cameroon, scoring 16 goals and being one of only two players that have been sent off in two World Cups. (He also holds the record for the youngest player ever to be sent off in the World Cup at 17 years old).

He spent the first five years of his career in France and Italy, before earning a move to Liverpool for £2.7m, although he failed to make an impact and was later sold to West Ham United.

Where is he now? : Song also failed to cement a first team place at Upton Park, which led to him going on loan to German side Koln, before signing a permanent contract with Lens, where he would stay for only 2 years.

His career looked to have been rekindled when the African signed for Turkish giants Galatasaray in 2004, however during his four years at the club, a string of arguments with managers and staff saw him frustrated and played fewer games than he would have liked.

He decided to leave the club, but would stay in Turkey and join up with Trabzonspor to see out the rest of his stuttering career. He had a successful 2 years and was eventually appointed captain before he called it a day in 2010.

Song now uses his football experiences in his new job as a football pundit for ‘Orange Sports’.

 

Please feel free to comment on any former Premier League players that may have been forgotten about!