Name: Pavel Nedved
Position: Attacking Midfield
Then: Nedved was perhaps the most profitable player in the Lazio line up. As of 1999, he was one of the highest paid players in world football and had a hefty price tag of world record proportions on his head. And boy did the talent match the hype. Since moving from his native Czech Republic in 1996, he slowly established himself as one of the most talented two footed players in the world. His manager Sven Goran-Eriksson described him as “totally complete”. His speed, movement, stamina and overall technical game meant he was, at times, unplayable during a five year spell at Lazio. However, the vultures were circling. And by vultures, I mean the bullies of world football, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Now: Nedved is widely cited as the greatest player to ever come out of the Czech Republic. Since retiring from the professional game in 2009, he has largely stayed out of the limelight, occasionally offering his voice in several punditry roles. In terms of his Lazio career, Nedved was one of the first out of the door when financial problems hit hard. In 2001, he made the move to rivals Juventus for a frankly crazy fee of around the £35 million mark. Just a few years later, In 2003, he was awarded the Ballon d’Or and, in 2004, he was awarded the inaugural “Golden Foot” award.