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. Which player has scored the most Premier League hat-tricks?
2. How many Premier League hat-tricks has Luis Suarez scored for Liverpool?
3. And how many of these have come against Norwich?
4. Who scored a hat-trick on his debut for Middlesbrough in 1996?
5. Name the opponent and the result.
6. Name the former England Under-21 international who scored a hat-trick in Aston Villa's 7-1 win over Wimbledon in 1995. Clue: He also played for Celtic.
7. True or false: Tony Cottee has scored more Premier League hat-tricks than Frank Lampard.
8. Who scored a hat-trick for Charlton in a 3-2 win over Liverpool in 2003?
9. Which player has scored more Premier League hat-tricks: Darren Bent or Paul Kitson?
10. Name the last Chelsea player to score a hat-trick in the top flight.
11. Which club has scored the most Premier League hat-tricks?
12. And who is in second?
13. Englishmen were responsible for all but seven of the first 40 hat-tricks scored in the Premier League, but which foreign forward scored the first?
14. True or false: Blackburn have scored more Premier League hat-tricks than Chelsea.
15. Who scored a hat-trick for Middlesbrough in their 8-1 victory over Manchester City in 2008?
16. Who scored two hat-tricks in the space of a week in April 2004, helping his team to a 4-2 win over Liverpool and a 5-0 thrashing of Leeds?
17. After the British nations, which country is responsible for the most top-flight hat-tricks?
18. Name the two Germans to score Premier League hat-tricks.
19. Which club has conceded the most Premier League hat-tricks?
20. The first time Man United conceded a Premier League hat-trick was in 2006. Which player bagged the treble?
The answers are here...