On Wednesday evening Hernan Crespo finally brought his adventure in European football to an emotional end. The player’s career in Europe is bookended by spells at provincial club, Parma, and is in fact almost a palindrome: Parma, Lazio, Inter, Chelsea, Milan, Chelsea, Inter, Genoa and Parma.
Things didn’t start off that well, though, for the Argentine, and if it wasn’t for the faith shown in him by Carlo Ancelotti we may never seen him prosper. In December 1998 we even saw Crespo score a goal and then play a 5-minute goalkeeping cameo against Udinese in a Coppa Italia Quarter Final. He soon learned he should stick to the day job, though, after conceding the deciding goal in the 92nd minute.
Crespo was a world record signing at the turn of the century but his honours barely tell the whole story. He was a superb striker whose clinical finishing earned him moves to some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Injury marred a club football goal scoring record which was almost a goal every two games (273 in 608). Crespo’s brace in the Champions League final consigned to history after a Milan collapse in Istanbul in May 2005.
He has spoken of offers to play in China, MLS and India – where he fetched the highest price in the player auction. Crespo admitted in a tearful good bye press conference that he “was yet to find an agreement elsewhere”. His vow to continue playing is testament to the motto with which he arrived in Italy with – “fare non parlare” (don’t talk, do).
One of the greatest players in the last 20 years of football, remember that name.
We give you Hernan Crespo: An Iconic Career (Click on image to enlarge)