Juan Sebastian Veron didn’t exactly set English football alight but the former playmaker is a proper legend at his first club Estudiantes.
His eye-catching performances in Italy led to him breaking the British transfer record in 2001, when he joined Manchester United from Lazio for £28.1 million, but the Argentine playmaker struggled to adjust to the frantic pace of the Premier League and subsequently lasted just two seasons at Old Trafford before being unceremoniously offloaded to Chelsea for £15 million.
Veron was an expensive flop for Stamford Bridge - he made 14 appearances for the west London club in total - and spent the next few years on loan at Inter Milan and Estudiantes before returning to his first club on a permanent basis in 2007.
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Veron, however, hadn’t returned to Argentina to wind down his career. He’d returned to win trophies - and that’s precisely what he did.
The midfielder inspired Estudiantes to Copa Libertadores glory in 2009 and the Primera Division title a year later.
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In both 2008 and 2009 he secured the prestigious South American Football of the Year award, won by the likes of Juan Roman Riquelme, Carlos Tevez, Neymar and Ronaldinho since the turn of the 21st Century.
Veron retired in 2014 - but now he's back
Veron hung up his boots in 2014 - his status as arguably the best player in Estudiantes’ history cemented - but now, at the age of 41, he’s back.
That’s right: Veron has decided to come out of retirement and will return to action for Estudiantes in January.
But what’s the reason behind his shock comeback?
According to 101 Great Goals, Veron has returned after a promise he made to the club’s supporters.
He promised to play in the Copa Libertadores if fans bought 65 per cent of the boxes at the club’s new stadium.
That happened and so Veron, a man of his word, has decided to fulfil his promise and was filmed back in training earlier this week.
Can Veron still influence games aged 41?
After two years out of the game - not to mention the fact he turns 42 in March - it remains to be seen whether Veron is still capable of influencing matches in South America’s equivalent of the Champions League.
Bur you suspect that Estudiantes fans aren’t really bothered.
They’re just delighted he’s back for what is effectively his fifth spell at the club his father, Juan Ramon, also played for.
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