Wednesday, July 31, 2013

31 July 1976 - The Wonderful Paulo Wanchope

On 31 July 1976, Costa Rican striker Paulo Wanchope, scorer of the greatest goal in Derby County history, was born in Heredia.

He started his career with his hometown club Herediano in 1993, then joined Derby in 1997 for a transfer fee of £600,000 after impressing in Costa Rica's qualification campaign for the 1998 World Cup. On his debut for the Rams, he scored a wonder goal against Manchester United that Derby supporters later voted the greatest goal in club history.

In the summer of 1999, Derby sold him to West Ham for £3.5 million, but he spent only one season there before moving to Manchester City for £3.65 million. Although he was a fan favorite there, injuries limited his playing time and he scored a total of 27 league goals in four seasons. He then played for six different clubs around the world before retiring from club football in 2007.

He continued to play for Costa Rica until 2008, however, and finished as the team's all-time leading scorer with 45 goals in 73 appearances. Although Rolando Fonseca later passed that mark in 2011 with 47 goals, Wanchope remains second on the team's all-time scoring table.

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