As icons go, Paolo Di Canio is up there in the West Ham hall of fame.
The now 51-year-old spent five years at Upton Park between 1998 and 2003 after arriving from Sheffield Wednesday for £2m, and quickly worked his way into the fanbase’s heart with his determination and ability on the ball.
We all remember his fantastic volley against Wimbledon in 2000, but for those who weren’t born then, you can find it below.
Either way, the affinity also goes the other way, as the Italian remembers his time at West Ham fondly, and even has his eye on perhaps returning there one day, revealing as much during a chat with Sky Sport Italia, relayed by Citta Celeste.
He said: “Me the manager of the Hammers? I have West Ham in my heart. That’s a dream that stays there. Of course, in the depths of my heart, there is that dream, even if now I am venturing into other fields.
“Look at how beautiful that claret and blue shirt is. To play in a country like England and to be remembered like that is fantastic for an Italian. I’m very happy of with what I got”.
The forward made 136 appearances in a West Ham shirt in all competitions, scoring 51 goals and assisting another 14 along the way.
He then returned to his first ever club, Lazio, for a couple of years before retiring after a year spent at Cisco Roma.
Following his retirement, Di Canio tried his hand at managing for a couple of years, first at Swindon Town before briefly (13 games) trying to revamp Sunderland, to no avail.