Spurs' Espen Baardsen & Other Cult 90s Footballers: Where Are They Now? Part 1

We grew up idolising and copying men like Leeds' Tony Yeboah and er, Ken Monkou, but where did they all disappear to?
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Spurs' Espen Baardsen & Other Cult 90s Footballers: Where Are They Now? Part 1

Tony Yeboah

Together with Le Tiss the cult Leeds hero defined the '90s long distance wonder goal, leading to thousands of footballs being kicked over garden fences the country over. He also held the record for the only player to have won back to back MOTD Goal of the Month awards - until Gareth Bale matched him last year.

But after George Graham took over at Elland Road, Tony was farmed out to Hamburg - and it all went downhill from there. He nows runs a chain of hotels in Ghana called Yegoala. Puntastic.

Carlos Roa

The man who broke millions of English hearts when he saved David Batty's penalty to see his Argentina side through to the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup was subsequently linked with a move to a host of top Premier League clubs - but his career actually took a far more bizarre turn.

Just a year after his career peaked on that evening in St Etienne, Roa had devoted himself to religion, gave up meat and moved to a meditation retreat in Mexico.

He then returned to the game for a stint at Mallorca - on the basis that, as a Seventh-Day Adventist, he didn't have to play on the Sabbath, which was - you've guessed it - Saturday.

Ken Monkou

After making almost 200 appearances for Chelsea and Southampton during the '90s, Ken Monkou had a short stint at Huddersfield before retiring to his native Netherlands to open a pancake house in the city of Delft.

When he's not tossing, he likes nothing more than to escape to the north of England for a spot of fly-fishing. No, really.

Faustino Asprilla

Newcastle's talented Colombian set the Premier League alight upon his arrival from Parma, even smashing a hat-trick against Barcelona in a 3-2 win for the Toon - but his boss Kenny Dalglish soon ran out of patience with him, and sent him packing back to Serie A.

'Tino', as he is affectionately monikered, attracted controversy at the peak of his career for posing naked on the front of a magazine, and then allegedly firing a shotgun at Police (not on the same day).

Most recently, he was offered a starring role in a Colombian porn film - but we're still waiting to see if anything, ahem, comes of that.

Gabriel Batistuta

Having plundered 168 goals during nine years in Serie A at Fiorentina, Bati moved to Roma and Inter, before making his way to Qatar, the footballing scrapyard, in the early noughties.

So big is his legend in Florence that there is even a statue of the Argentinian striker outside of the Stadio Artemio Franchi - and if it ever needs touching up or shifting, perhaps they should call the man himself, as he now owns a construction company back home.

Espen Baardsen

Spurs' old Norwegian stopper, who bagged a Worthington Cup winners' medal in 1999, retired at just 25 years old, claiming that he 'fell out of love with the game' - and went travelling around the world in order to find himself.

With himself well and truly located, he has now brought himself back to London, and joined the 9-5 rat race, as a Hedge Fund Manager at an investments firm in the capital. So if you see him in Pret, or on the tube, now you know.

Bixente Lizarazu

Scrabble top score Bixente Lizarazu spent the 90s flying up and down the left hand flank for Bayern Munich and his native France, and winning the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 (as you do).

But age catches up with the best of us, and when his legs started to get a little heavy, he decided to retire from the game to take up less strenuous activities. Like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. And became European Champion after just a year and a half on the mats. Obv.

Zvonimir Boban

The ex-Croatia captain took the armband at a time when his country boasted a wealth of top talent, including Davor Suker and Robert Prosinecki.

With a reputation for hard tackling and tough battling, Boban is still a hero in his home country after kicking a Yugoslavian copper in the face during a pitch invasion whilst he was at Dinamo Zagreb.

Following his exit from the pro ranks, Zvonny went from brawn to brains - and completed a Uni degree on 'Christianity In The Roman Empire'.

Today, as well as the odd bit of outspoken punditry work, Boban now owns a bar in Zagreb called 'Boban'. Not the most original name, but I'm not going to be the one to tell him, are you?

Jorge Campos

He of colourful play and even more colourful jersey was notable for his eccentric style, and, as well as being pretty nifty between the posts, he wasn't half bad up front either - smashing 33 goals in a 16 year career.

Turns out, his legendary Mexico goalie top was self-designed (you don't say), but his dodgy fashion sense obviously didn't do him any harm, because he went to to secure 130 caps for his country.

He now owns a fast food franchise back home.

Philippe Albert

Perhaps most famous for notching the chipped fifth and final goal in Newcastle's 5-0 demolition of Man United back in 1996, the Belgian, 'stached defender moved to Fulham, before becoming disillusioned with football (well, you can't blame him) and retiring after a short-lived return to Charleroi.

fHis pro career spanned 14 years and 41 international caps, but his life is now more melons than sell-ons, and more citrus zest than fitness test (plenty more where they came from), as he now works as a fruit grocer.


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