Former Man Utd player who flopped under Sir Alex Ferguson is now unrecognisable
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A former Manchester United footballer is now completely unrecognisable.
Footballers spend a career being hyper-cautious of their fitness, diet and at times, appearance, with performances and brand deals often reliant on each.
And while some continue to be conscious of such matters upon their retirement, others opt for a more enjoyable and stress-free life, free from the rigours of top-level sport.
The latter can make some of the most recognisable stars become imperceptible to their former supporters as they enjoy the fruits of their labour.
Of course, so can the ageing process.
But few footballers look quite as different from their playing days as one former United player.
Indeed, after a 22-year playing career that included an ill-fated spell at Old Trafford, Massimo Taibi looks completely different.
The ex-shot stopper’s floppy brown locks are now cropped short and grey, while the 53-year-old’s 6’3 frame has broadened significantly.
Taibi joined United from Venezia in August 1999, however, what should have been a dream transfer soon turned into an all-too-brief nightmare, which contained one mistake that came to define him.
The then- 29-year-old, was reportedly signed for just £4.5million and was almost immediately rushed into the starting XI.
On his debut he made a series of great saves in United’s 3-2 win over Liverpool at Anfield on September 11, 1999, only to make a second man-of-the-match performance in succession in a 1-1 draw against Wimbledon.
However, in a 3-3 draw with Southampton, Matt Le Tissier’s weak pot-shot from 25 yards somehow went through Taibi’s legs and trickled over the line.
The legend of the ‘Blind Venetian’, as one newspaper called him, was born and it was the beginning of the end for Taibi.
The goalkeeper played just one more game for United: a 5-0 thrashing by Chelsea on October 3.
Having been at United for just 33 days, that defeat – the club's first in the league for 10 months – was a horrible end point to his stint in the Premier League.