Random 1990s Footballer Tuesday: #38 Paulo Futre
Name: Paulo Futre
In his 90s prime for: West Ham United
Lowdown: A really weird one this. Futre was one of the stars of European football after spells in his home country of Portugal, playing for both Sporting Lisbon and Porto. He then left Porto in 1987 after helping them to a European Cup victory over Bayern Munich, getting the Man of the Match award in the final.
He moved to Atletico Madrid, where he was a fans’ favourite, becoming captain during his seven years in the Spanish capital. He earned a reported 650,000 euros per year, one of the highest paid players in Europe at the time. His influence waned during the last couple of years in Spain after a succession of knee injuries hampered the winger.
His move to West Ham was shambolic. No-one at the club realised that Futre would only play in a number 10 shirt, and indeed had had the clause written into his contract. John Moncur already possessed the no. 10, and Futre bribed the forward with promises of trips away to the Algarve in his holiday home in return for changing numbers. Moncur agreed and Futre stayed moody, playing just ten times for the club in one season. One of the original sulking foreigners.
Now: After leaving West Ham in 1997, Futre returned to Atletico Madrid, where he played just ten league games before making the decision to move to play for the Yokohama Flugels in Japan. After a short spell in the country, he retired in 1998, aged just 32. He worked as Director of Football for Atletico between 2000-3, before retiring to become a property developer back in Portugal.