Marcelo Tejera

Marcelo Tejera is a former Uruguayan midfielder who was born in Montevideo on August 6th 1973. Tejera was known as 'The Golden Child' as a youngster, and won his first international cap in 1991 after some impressive performances for his first club Defensor Sporting. He only appeared occasionally for Uruguay however, after failing to settle at Cagliari, who he joined in 1992. A year later he joined Boca Juniors, but was considered a slight disappointment in Argentina, and returned to Defensor Sporting in 1995. After a successful 1995/96 campaign, Tejera joined Spanish side Logrones, who were relegated from La Liga in his first season. He spent the next three years battling in the Spanish second division before leaving in 2000 when the club dropped to the third tier. Tejera returned to Defensor Sporting for a third time, and enjoyed another impressive spell. In 2003 the Uruguayan joined Mexican side Estudiantes Tecos.

On 31st August 2005 Tejera signed for Southampton on loan having come recommended by agent Chris McMenemy. Manager Harry Redknapp said the player "had ability like you've never seen" but failed to give the former Defensor man a single minute of first team action, despite some impressive performances for the reserves. The closet Tejera got to appearing for the first team was on September 20th 2005 when he was an unused sub in a 1-0 League Cup defeat at Mansfield. He left the club shortly after Redknapp was replaced by George Burley as manager.

In September 2006 it was announced that Tejera's transfer to Southampton would be investigated due to suspicions of illegal payments. The midfielder's former club Penarol told The Independent that they had received £100,000 from Saints despite the player being available for nothing. Tejera's agent Pablo Forlan (brother of Diego) negotiated the deal, and insisted the cash was necessary for the loan deal, when in fact the player was available for free due to a clause in his contract. The player and his representatives negotiated his own deal without Penarol and therefore received 90% of the transfer fee. Southampton Chairman Rupert Lowe became suspicious of the deal when Tejera and Forlan accepted a lower offer than they originally asked for. Saints were initially told they would have to pay a £300,000 loan fee, with the player's wages coming to £5,000, plus £1,000 per game, plus £100,000 if he 20 times for the first team, plus relocation costs of £8,000. Because Lowe was unsure about Tejera's quality he offered a loan fee of £100,000, with wages of £3,000, plus a bonus of £50,000 for 20 games, plus relocation costs of £8,000. He was surprised when the offer was accepted, with the deal going through quickly just before the transfer deadline.

After leaving Southampton Tejera joined Defensor Sporting for a fourth time, and also had spells at Nacional Montevideo and Millonarios in Colombia. He hung up his boots in 2009 after a year with Liverpool Montevideo.