Luis Boa Morte
Luis Boa Morte is a Portuguese winger who was born in Lisbon, Portugal on 4th August 1977. Boa Morte started his career with Sporting Lisbon, before joining Arsene Wenger's Arsenal in 1997. The youngster made his Gunners debut against Southampton at The Dell on 23rd August 1997. Boa Morte was only a bit part player during Arsenal's double winning 1997/98 campaign, but did show plenty of promise. The skilful wide-man netted a double against Birmingham in the League Cup on 14th October 1997. Boa Morte continued to be a solid squad performer during 1998/99, representing Arsenal in their August 9th 3-0 Charity Shield victory over Manchester United. He scored further goals against Panithinikos and Preston in cup competitions.
Boa Morte started the 1999/2000 season at Highbury, picking up another Charity Shield winners medal. On 25th August 1999 he moved to Southampton for £500,000. The former Arsenal man didn't make the best of starts at the Dell. Boa Morte made his debut as a substitute in a 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday on 28th August. In his second outing on September 11th, Boa Morte was sent off in a defeat at Middlesbrough for handball. His performances were hit and miss during his first campaign at the Dell. Boa Morte scored his first Saints goal in a 3-2 defeat at Watford on 28th December 1999. He fell out of favour when Glenn Hoddle replaced Dave Jones as manager in January 2000.
In July 2000 Boa Morte joined Division One outfit Fulham on loan. He played a key role in helping the Cottagers win promotion to the Premier League, scoring 21 goals in 46 appearances. Boa Morte's form earned him international recognition in 2001. The player represented Portugal for the first time on April 25th in a 4-0 friendly defeat to France.
Boa Morte signed for Fulham on a permanent deal in June 2001 for a fee of £1,700,000. Saints had yet to finish paying off the instalments from the original deal that took the player to the Dell, so the transfer funds went straight to Arsenal. Boa Morte enjoyed a successful 2001/02 season, helping Fulham reach the FA Cup semi-finals. He also established the club in the top flight. Boa Morte scored his first international goal in a 5-1 win over Angola on 14th November 2001. The Portuguese often fell afoul of referees during this term. He was sent off twice during 2001/02.
Boa Morte continued to impress fans at Craven Cottage throughout the early 2000s. His wholehearted displays made him a real favourite. Boa Morte represented Fulham in Europe, scoring goals against Dynamo Zagreb. He also netted an equaliser in a 1-1 draw at rivals Chelsea on 26th April 2003.
Boa Morte really stepped up his game during 2003/04, scoring 10 goals for Fulham, many of which were important and memorable. He netted in a 3-0 win over Tottenham on 30th August, and scored twice in a 2-0 win over Leicester, which briefly put Fulham in European contention. Boa Morte also played a starring role in Fulham's famous 3-1 win at Manchester United on 25th October 2003.
Boa Morte was voted Fulham's player of the season for 2004/05, notching a further nine goals. His form in the latter part of the campaign was particularly impressive. Boa Morte scored in three consecutive games in April 2005, against Portsmouth, Bolton and Manchester City. The player had yet another successful season during 2005/06, netting winners against Liverpool and Chelsea. Boa Morte was part of Portugal's 2006 World Cup. The Fulham winger played just 10 minutes of the tournament, as a substitute in the 2-1 win over Mexico on 21st June 2006.
Boa Morte's form dipped slightly during the start of the 2006/07 season. He played his final game for Fulham on 1st January 2007 against Watford. Four days later Boa Morte signed for West Ham for £5,000,000. The former Arsenal man made his Hammers debut on 6th January 2007 in a 3-0 FA Cup win over Brighton. Boa Morte initially struggled to replicate his Fulham form, with West Ham looking relegation certainties up until March. He did improve towards the end of the season, helping the club to an unlikely survival. Boa Morte scored in the 3-0 win at Wigan on 28th April 2007.
Boa Morte's performances were considered just about acceptable during 2007/08 and 2008/09, although he found himself in the referees notebook more often than the score-sheet. Boa Morte suffered a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury during a pre-season tour in Beijing in July 2009. He was ruled out for almost the entire duration of the 2009/10 campaign. Boa Morte returned to action on 9th May 2010, scoring in a 1-1 draw with Manchester City. He was rewarded with a new two year contract in the summer of 2010. Unfortunately, Boa Morte was never really the same after his injury. He was part of the West Ham side that finished bottom of the Premier League in 2010/11. The player was released from his contract by mutual consent in August 2011.
Not long after departing Upton Park, Boa Morte linked up with his former Fulham manager Chris Coleman at Greek side Larissa. He started well, bagging an assist against Veria on November 20th. Boa Morte was soon looking for new employment however, with Larissa falling into financial difficulties. He had a short spell in South Africa with Orlando Pirates in early 2012.
In September 2012 Boa Morte joined cash-strapped Portsmouth on a trial. Nothing came of the move however. He eventually signed for League Two outfit Chesterfield on 10th October 2012.