The Biggest Serie A Flops of the Last 9 yearsBy: Francesco | October 29th, 2009
Although we are only 10 games into the season, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is starting to look more and more like a big flop. 15 million euro were spent on the Dutch striker, and even if he reaches 5 goals this season it would seem like a big achievement. Sure you can say that he needs time to adapt to a new style of play, new language, new culture, but it’s already November almost and we still have not seen Huntelaar’s name on the score sheet. Will Huntelaar be considered one of the biggest Serie A flops at the end of this season? It remains to be seen. But I thought it would be fun to go through players that were flops from 2000-2009. Flops after the jump.
Ricardo Quaresma – Inter (2008-present)
I consider Quaresma a flop, I don’t think he will ever be the player he was at Porto in Italy. Lots of money spent on him, and never lived up to expectation. All he has shown he is good at is his famous trivela, which he even uses for simple passes when his teammate is 2 yards away. Somebody should trivela him out of Italy.
Nicolae Dica – Catania (2008-2009)
Everyone thought Catania had made a great buy bringing Dica to Sicily in 2008. A Romanian international who had great technical ability and many likened him to Adrian Mutu. Instead, Walter Zenga (his former coach in Romania) couldn’t even field him because he was so bad, and only played 93 minutes in his first six months in Italy. Catania loaned him to Greek side Iraklis this summer.
Ricardo Oliveira – Milan (2006-2007)
After losing Shevchenko in the summer of 2006, Milan desperately tried to find a replacement, and settled on this Brazilian striker, who played for Real Betis. The start was good, as he scored on his Serie A debut vs. Lazio, but after that only managed 2 more goals the whole season and proved to be a big waste of money. He now plays in the United Arab Emirates. What a superstar.
Olivier Kapo – Juventus (2004-2005)
Moggi was undoubtedly the best when it came to finding unknown talents, but he made a couple of mistakes from time to time. Like Olivier Kapo. When he was signed he was supposed to be a French version of Pavel Nedved for Juventus, but it turns out he wasn’t very good at imitating his Czech counter-part. Quickly loaned away after his first season.
Gaizka Mendieta – Lazio (2001-2002)
Mendieta was one of the top midfielders in Europe with Valencia in the late 90’s and capped that with an excellent performance at Euro 2000. In the summer of 2001 Lazio broke the bank to have the Spanish midfielder on their books (somewhere near 50 million euro), and it looked like he only was in Rome on vacation. He didn’t look like himself at all, and spent the next two years of his contract loaned out.
Al-Sa’adi Gheddafi – Perugia, Udinese, Sampdoria (2003-2007)
Son of Libyan leader Muammar Gheddafi, he was apparently captain of the Libyan national team and facts were unknown about his Libyan club career. When Tamoil had a stake in Juventus, he was on the board of directors. In 2003 controversial Perugia owner Luciano Gaucci signed him, and he only played 1 game (vs Juventus) in his two seasons in Umbria. He also failed an anti-doping test. The following season Udinese signed him, and he once again only played 1 game near the end of the season. Then Sampdoria signed him, and he never stepped onto the field. After that season he retired.
Hakan Sukur – Inter and Parma (2000-2002)
A goal-scoring machine with Galatasaray, he was signed by Inter in the summer of 2000 after his excellent performance for Turkey at Euro 2000. However, he couldn’t cut it in Serie A, only nabbing 5 goals in 25 games. The following season Parma took a chance on him, but he still couldn’t make his mark, scoring 3 goals in 15 appearances. He left for England after the 2002 World Cup.
Shabani Nonda – Roma (2005-2006)
The Congolese striker was famously suggested to Roma by Luciano Moggi, and the Giallorossi took his advice and decided to sign him from Monaco. However, it seemed to be bad advice, as Nonda only scored 4 goals in 14 appearances and was then shipped off to Blackburn the following season.
Mido – Roma (2004-2005)
Egyptian striker Mido was a last minute signing for Roma in the summer 2004 transfer window. However, he seemed very out of place in Serie A and couldn’t put in any good performances. He only made 8 appearances throughout and the season and was then loaned to Tottenham.
Rivaldo – Milan (2002-2003)
After the 2002 World Cup and great seasons with Barcelona, Milan were expecting Rivaldo to be a huge signing in the summer of 2002. However the Brazilian could never get going, he was always injured, and when he did play he was a shadow of the brilliant player of years past. At least he won the Champions League and Coppa Italia though before leaving for his native Brazil.
Javi Moreno – Milan (2001-2002)
Another terrible striker signing by Milan. After impressing for Alaves in their UEFA Cup run to the final, Milan decided to take a chance on Moreno, who was dubbed “the Spanish Gerd Muller”. Well, quite simply, whoever gave him that nickname was an idiot. He couldn’t adapt to Serie A and only scored 2 goals in 16 appearances before being shipped back to La Liga.
Okan Buruk – Inter (2001-2004)
Picked up by Inter in the summer of 2001 with teammate Emre, Okan didn’t live up to expectation like Emre did. Okan never showed his talent, but remained on the books for 3 years. He only made 25 appearances in those 3 years however before returning to Turkey.
Fabian Carini – Inter (2004-2007)
The Uruguayan keeper was acquired from Juventus in exchange for Fabio Cannavaro and 10 million euro. I’m pretty sure Juventus got the better deal. Carini, despite being Uruguay’s number 1, was Inter’s 3rd and only made 4 appearances in 3 years.
All of these were done off the top of my head with no extensive research, so if I missed any big ones, or if you have your own flops you’d like to nominate, post them in the comments!!