Continuing our where are they now series, today we look at the life and career of Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles.
It was the summer of 2010, Liverpool had just sold Javier Mascherano to Barcelona for £20m and the club needed a replacement, step forward Raul Meireles a £10m signing from Porto who had just came off an impressive World Cup with Portugal.
That all sounds very positive right? Well it would until you realise that was the same summer we replaced Rafa Benitez with Roy Hodgson and the same summer we brought in the likes of Christian Poulsen, Paul Konchesky and Milan Jovanovic to play around Meireles.
His stay at Anfield would be a short one only lasting one season before moving on to Chelsea, he would later claim that he never wanted to leave Liverpool and the only reason he did was because he was promised a 100% pay rise if he had a successful season only for the offer to be reneged on, in total that season he played 35 times scoring 5 goals including Liverpool’s goal of the season versus Wolves.
”All I have to say is that I had one promise at Liverpool which wasn’t fulfilled”
During his time with Chelsea he was in and out of the team but did manage a 15 minute cameo appearance in the FA Cup final against Liverpool where Chelsea would go on to win 2-1 but a suspension kept him out of the Champions League final.
The next summer a move to Turkey was on the cards and off he went to Fenerbache where he caused somewhat of a stir when he was sent off in a game against Galatasaray. He responded to his red card by allegedly spitting at the referee and making a homophobic gesture towards him.
Meireles would deny this emphatically claiming “I’m really annoyed at being accused of spitting at the referee. I have an eight year old kid, can you imagine if kids at school start saying your father spat at a ref, this could ruin my reputation in the eyes of my child. I have many gay friends who I deeply respect. The hand gesture I made is directed at the referee caving in to the pressure of the home fans. That hand gesture was to tell him he was scared. Look at my hairstyle, what I wear, I’m not a prejudiced person.”
In total he played for four seasons with Fenerbache picking up a Turkish Cup winners medal and a League winners medal in 2013/14 before retiring from the game in 2015 due to persistent knee trouble.
So where is he now ?
His last public appearance was on Portugals Lip Sync Battle where his performance would go viral on social media, if you have not seen this yet I encourage you to take the next 15 minutes out of your day to watch this four or five times.