|Marinelli celebrates a goal with his Middlesbrough team mates.|
I don't want to be hard on the man, he was a teenager in a cold and smoggy city thousands of miles away from his home in Buenos Aires and he was never going to be as good as Maradona, so the "new Maradona" tag was an unfair burden. He did have a couple of good performances for the Boro, most notably netting two goals in a 5-1 win against Derby County in November 2001.
Boro fans will know that he failed to earn himself a regular place in the first team and made the majority of his appearances as a substitute. He was eventually farmed out on loan to Italian 2nd division side Torino FC, before joining the Italian club permanently in 2003 after making 53 appearances for the Teessiders in all competitions (29 as a substitute), netting only 4 goals.
|Marinelli during his time in American "soccer"|
with Kansas City Wizards.
The most regular run of first team football of Marinelli's career was probably his time at Kansas City Wizards between 2007 and 2008 where he held down a first team place making 41 appearances. he eventually left the club after a bust up with manager Curt Onalfo. He is remembered by Wizards fans as an unmotivated and infuriating player who wasted his potential.
Marinelli left the US to join one of the best names in world football, fallen Colombian giants Millonarios, (who were one of the best clubs in the world in the 1950s). He never settled there and was soon offloaded, he then showed up back in Argentina playing for 2nd division side Aldosivi in 2010, but was released by the club at the end of the 2009-10 season.
In September 2010 he joined Győri ETO of the Hungarian first division but again his stay there was a short one and in 2011 he turned up at Peruvian champions Universidad San Martín where he put in a brilliant substitute performance in a 2-0 win against San Luis in the 2011 Copa Libertadores.
It doesn't matter how many lies are added to Wikipedia to make him look a better player by his agent or greatest fan, he never lived up to the promise he showed as a teenager, he never scored enough goals, he has been criticised for ineffectual performances and lack of discipline on the field and for his poor attitude off it.
To give him some credit he has kept on playing and his career as an international journeyman footballer has given him a much wider experience in life than most of his armchair critics back in England. He has lived and played professional football in Argentina, England, Italy, Portugal, United States, Colombia and Hungary after all.
Part of the What ever happened to? series.