The Italian made the perfect start to his Middlesbrough career in 1996, when he scored a hat-trick against Liverpool. And he maintained a similar level of form throughout the campaign, scoring 16 times in the Premier League. However, Boro’s relegation saw the White Feather disappear after just one season.
He did make a return to England in 2001, joining Derby County. However, they were also relegated in his first year. And while he stayed for a little longer, he did little to inspire the Rams.
If an England cap was ever cursed, it probably belonged to Michael Ricketts. Having taken Bolton to the Premier League in 2001, he scored 15 goals before February in his first season in the top flight. Unsurprisingly therefore, he was rewarded with an international call-up, and made his debut against the Netherlands, as part of one of England’s greatest front threes – consisting of Ricketts, Darius Vassell, and Emile Heskey.
But, he would not score again that season. And since he joined Middlesbrough in 2003, he only managed to score 27 goals in the final seven years of his career.
When Robinho joined Manchester City in 2008, not only was it a statement of what the Citizens were hoping to achieve in the future, but it also meant that every football fan boasted the same striker in their fantasy team. He would score 11 goals before the new year during his first season, but only managed another three in the league before he disappeared without much fanfare in 2010.