At the age of 30 he gave up sales and marketing to pursue his calling as a coach and ended up in the MLS for two years. He's now moved to Seoul to start again...
There are key differences - largely off the pitch - but Liverpool fan Sam Drury has spotted five things that are similar five years on. A big sale, a big Italian arrival...
1) A goal from which striker won the 'Premier League Goal of the 20 Seasons' award?
2) Name any of Adam Le Fondre's three former clubs before Reading.
3) Which £12m striker has been relegated twice in the last three seasons?
4) Which striker broke records by scoring in ten consecutive games while on a loan spell at a Second Division club in 2000-01?
5) The last three top goalscorers in Ligue 1 are Mamadou Diang, Moussa Sow and then which striker?
6) Name two of the three players who arrived in English football last summer and have reached double figures in PL goals already.
7) Whose shirt is - according to Kitbag at least - the most popular PL player's name to have put on a shirt this season?
8) Which currently out-of-form striker finished last season as his team's top scorer despite only arriving in January?
9) Which expensive striker's two chldren are named Nora and Leo?
10) Against which club did Sergio Aguero make his City debut - scoring twice and making another goal in half an hour?
11) 'Better than Tevez' was the Daily Mirror headline when which striker received an international call-up?
12) Name either of the shirt numbers worn by Demba Ba at Newcastle or Chelsea.
13) Which striker has won the Bundesliga and the Premier League since 2008?
14) Name two of Rickie Lambert's previous five clubs before Southampton.
15) "What a stadium. If one day in my life I will cry, it will be the day I play here" - a quote from which striker when visiting which Premier League stadium in 2009, two years before he joined the club.
16) Which two players shared the Golden Boot in 2010/11 after both scored 20 goals?
17) Who is the only winner of the Golden Boot who is a) English and b) currently at a PL club?
18) From which club did Wigan sign Arouna Kone?
19) Javier Hernandez is called Chicharito because his father was called Chicharo. But why was his father called Chicharo?
20) Who is the highest-scoring Irishman in the Premier League this season?
The answers are this-a-way...