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) I am Scandinavian - I played for three clubs in the Premier League - I am now 42 years old - I have 109 caps for my country.
2) I am English - I was called up to the England squad in November 2002, but never got a cap - I played in the Championship last season - I was sold by Manchester United for £3million
3) I played for Arsenal - I joined for £1.6million in 1998 - I played 39 times for my South American country - I retired in 2005, at Quilmes.
4) I am an Italian international - I got my only cap in 1997 - I only scored once in the Premier League even though I am a striker - I served a prison sentence for drug trafficking.
5) I was born in England but played for another country - I played for only two English clubs, and one in the Premier League - I have an MBE - I got in trouble at the 2010 World Cup.
6) I am still playing, but not in England - A West London club paid £6million for my services - I am a forward - My Premier League record is 17 goals in 110 matches.
7) I arrived on Merseyside for £4million in 2003 - I have over 100 caps for my country - I played in the 2014 World Cup - My brother was kidnapped in 2008, but later released.
8) I scored 10 goals in my first 16 Premier League games - But never scored again - I am still just 31 - I have 30 goals in 63 games for my African country.
9) I came to the Premier League at the age of 31 - Before that I played for five clubs in Germany - I only ever played one Premier League game, for Blackburn - I am Turkish.
10) I have played for three different Premier League teams - I have scored in two different World Cups - I scored a memorable goal for my side in a win at Old Trafford - I finally left the Premier League for Malaga in 2004.
11) I scored on my only appearance for England B - I am a former chairman of the PFA - Bolton signed me for £3.5million in 1997 - I have a footballing twin brother.
12) I am 30 - I have played for four clubs that won the Champions League since 2000 - I was named in country's provisional squad for the 2014 World Cup - I am now back playing in my homeland after a spell in the Middle East.
13) I am an England international - I moved for £3.5million in 2003, but scored just three goals in 32 league games for my new club - After being capped at age 23, I scored less than 50 goals in the rest of my career.
14) I was born outside of Europe but represent a European country - I only scored one Premier League goal in 16 games - I now have 30 caps for my country, by the age of 27 - I have suffered two anterior cruciate injures.
15) I played for four different Premier League clubs - I am currently managing in Qatar after being sacked by a Russian club - I played predominately as a full-back - I scored against England at the World Cup.
16) I am an English left-winger - I got 12 caps for my country - Gerry Francis managed me twice at club level - My last England appearance came against San Marino in 1993
17) I have won the Serie A with two different clubs - I was voted fourth in the Ballon D'Or in 1993 - I played in the Premier League for a North East club - I was assistant manager of my country last year.
18) I joined my final Premier League club at the age of 34 in 2012 - I played most of my PL games in the North-West - I have captained my side at a World Cup - I am a manager in the MLS
19) I played two games for England - I am a central defender - I playd for Nottingham Forest in a UEFA Cup quarter-final - I am a current Football League manager.
20) I played for one Premier League club, on loan from abroad - I am currently playing in my home country, in South America - I scored 47 goals in two seasons at Sevilla - I have played for three different Spanish clubs.
Tough eh? Come here for the answers.