All your favourite soccer stars

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The match between Mexico and Portugal in 1997 will go down in infamy. Played in Springfield, in the USA, to a crowd unused to the beautiful game, the game was abandoned early due to rioting. This is a particular tragedy as it was a showcase for some great talents, many of whose careers have fallen into history. This article will focus on five of them.


Hector Arriaga, Mexico

A tall, left-footed forward, Arriaga was something of a veteran by the time of the Portugal match. Able to play out wide or up front, he was a popular figure at his hometown club Chivas, and earned the attention of Spanish club Real Valladolid in the late 1980s. After a decent couple of seasons, there he moved to Valencia, but couldn’t replicate his form. After a few loan spells – in the latter of which he was a bystander in the VA-OM affair, he spent a couple more years in Ligue 1 with Montpelier before returning to Chivas. He ended his career in the US, and having had a loan spell in San Diego earlier in his career, became one of only three players to play in both the NASL and the MLS, along with his compatriot Hugo Sanchez and Roy Wegerle.

A regular in the Mexican national team, he made a couple of substitute appearances at USA ’94, but ended his national career after being cut from the final squad for the 1998 World Cup.

Born: December 21, 1965, Guadalajara, Mexico
Position: Striker
Club career
1984→ San Diego Sockers (loan)125
1987-1989Real Valladolid6423
1990-1991→ Real Valladolid (loan)257
1992→ Albacete (loan)40
1992-1993→ Valenciennes (loan)307
1995-1999Chivas108 35
1999-2000LA Galaxy3011
2001Colorado Rapids175
International career
1983-1985Mexico U20137

Sebastian Arriaga (Arriaga II), Mexico

Known as Arriaga II to differentiate him from Hector (no relation), Sebastian Arriaga was, at the time, a promising defender, able to play at right-back or in the centre. He was one of Mexico’s better players at the 1998 World Cup, and subsequently joined Monaco, winning a Ligue 1 title in 2000. After five years in the principality, he earned a move to Barcelona, but had the misfortune to join the club while they were in turmoil, and by the time they won the Champions League in 2006, he was on loan to Marseille. He then went back to Monaco, before, with a neat symmetry, rejoining his first club, Monterrey.

Arriaga II
Born: March 28, 1976, Mexico City, Mexico
Position: Right-back
Club career
2005-2006→ Marseille (loan)330
International career
1994-1996Mexico U2090

Barriaga Alves de Souza, Portugal

A classic number 9, Barriaga made his name at Porto in the early 1990s, before teaming up with Gazza at Lazio. After a couple of respectable seasons in Rome, he fell out of favour, returning to Portugal for four years at Sporting. When his contract expired, he was on the verge of completing Portugal’s Big Three, but perhaps wisely decided against it, returning to Italy instead. His spell at Udinese was not a success, and he joined Middlesbrough on loan for the second half of the season, where he became a cult figure, mostly coming off the bench.

Usually in the pecking order behind the likes of Domingos and Joao Pinto, Barriaga did not earn as many caps as may be expected. His poor form at Lazio caused him to miss out on Portugal’s only tournament of his international career, Euro 96.

Born: October 17, 1967, Braga, Portugal
Position: Striker
Club career
1987-1993FC Porto12877
1988→ Santa Clara (loan)1311
2001→ Middlesbrough (loan)112
International career
1986-1989Portugal U21178

José Aruglia, Mexico

In the late 1990s, Aruglia was the big star of Mexican football, famed for his flair and trickery, particularly a move which involved him trapping an incoming pass between his knees. After the 1998 World Cup, he joined Real Madrid, where he was christened “the new Hugo Sanchez”, but failed to live up to that. A number of loans followed, the last of which, with Benfica, was turned into a permanent move. He was to fall out of favour in Lisbon, though, and ended the season helping Sam Allardyce’s Bolton avoid relegation. There was talk of him staying in the Premier League, but he chose instead to give Spain another try, with three solid years at Celta Vigo. Spells in MLS and back in Mexico followed before he ended his career in 2013

Born: April 18 1977, Mexico City, Mexico
Position: Striker
Club career
1998-2002Real Madrid121
1999-2000→ Real Betis (loan)286
2000-2001→ Olympiacos (loan)2819
2001-2002→ Benfica (loan)2711
2004→ Bolton Wanderers (loan)123
2004-2007Celta Vigo10029
2007-2009LA Galaxy6134
International career
1996-1997Mexico U2064

José Eduardo Pizzoza, Portugal

Brazil-born defensive midfielder Pizzoza joined Benfica in the late 1980s, and was a vital part of the team that reached two European Cup finals, He joined Torino in 1991, where he reached – and lost – another final, this time the UEFA Cup, but Italian football didn’t suit him, and so he returned to the Stadium of Light. He remained at Benfica through the fallow 1990s, before ending his career in the J-League.

Consistently overlooked by Brazil, Pizzoza was naturalised by Portugal in 1991, and was a fixture at the base of their midfield throughout the decade, playing four matches Euro 96.

Born: January 18, 1963, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Position: Midfielder
Club career
1998-2000Shimizu S-Pulse403
International career

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