Chelsea flop Mateja Kezman played for 12 clubs before finishing career in China

Chelsea flop Mateja Kezman played for a whopping 12 clubs before ending his 16-year career in China.

Kezman, 42, was a highly-rated young striker for Yugoslavia and then Serbia and Montenegro, but is best known among Premier League fans for his brief stint at Chelsea.

The Serbian international signed for the west Londoners for £5.3million and was part of the record-breaking 2004/05 side which successfully won their first ever Premier League title under new manager Jose Mourinho.

But despite the hype, Kezman only netted seven goals across 41 matches for the Blues, resulting in him being labelled a flop and sold on to Atletico Madrid.

Before his Chelsea move, the striker’s incredible four-year spell with Dutch side PSV had seen him smash records and earn a number of individual awards.

His tally of 129 goals in 176 games saw him win the Eredivisie golden boot three times between 2001 and 2004, and it was his glowing reputation as one of Europe’s brightest prospects that earned him a move to Stamford Bridge.

Fast-forward to his Atletico move in 2005 and the Serb was partnering Fernando Torres up-top, though injuries and a poor campaign for the club saw him flogged again at the end of the season having scored eight.

Kezman’s next destination was Fenerbahce where he enjoyed a resurgence by leading the club to a Super Lig title in 2007 and a Champions League quarter-final the following season.

He attracted attention from Paris Saint-Germain ahead of the 2008/09 season, but his transfer to the French giants would prove to be another poor decision leading to his wilderness years and eventual decline.

Kezman was loaned out to Zenit Saint Petersburg after just one season before being sold the following year to obscure Hong Kong First Division side South China.

After netting seven for the ‘Shaolin Temple’, he tried his luck in Belarus for BATE Borisov, where his grand total of zero goals failed to leave an impression.

To cap-off a career of immense highs and several lows, Kezman decided to hang up his boots back at South China in the Asian Challenge Cup, where he missed a penalty in the third-place decider.

Do you think Kezman would have been more successful by staying at PSV? Let us know in the comments section.

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Stunningly, the forward told Sky Sports in 2011 that out of all his adventures across different leagues, his spell at Chelsea was the most enjoyable despite being deemed a flop.

He said: “Chelsea was the best thing in my career. That was the climax of my career, for sure.

“Living and playing in London was something that I will never forget. I don’t know if I made a mistake because I moved away so quickly.

“Maybe I do and maybe I don’t regret it but I always believe in my decisions. But the transfer to Chelsea made my dreams come true. That was the best thing that ever happened to me.

“Maybe I could achieve more and I could have been more successful at Stamford Bridge, but I don’t regret anything.”

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