Hall of Fame - Caniggia
The arrival in the City of Dundee in September 2000 of Claudio Caniggia in many ways mirrored that of Billy Steel fifty years previously, both arrivals stunned the Scottish football scene and brought massive media attention and while both arrived with a reputation as controversial characters they were quickly taken to the hearts of a Dens public who recognised their undoubted ability.
The man from Henderson on the outskirts of Buenos Aires had enjoyed a chequered career at River Plate, Hellas Verona, Atalanta, Roma, Benfica, Boca Juniors and Atalanta before arriving at Dens, but the highs had outweighed the lows and at the press conference to announce his signing he voiced his desire to resurrect his career to the point where he would be selected to represent his country at the 2002 World Cup.
That was an ambition which would have the support of the Argentinean people with only his close friend Diego Maradona surpassed Caniggia's popularity in his home country, indeed they associated 'El Pajaro' more with the national side than with any of the clubs he represented during his career, but his comments brought forth a certain measure of incredulity from the media.
Caniggia was 33 and hadn't played for months so there was plenty of speculation that he wouldn't have the fitness required to impress, but from the moment he took to the field for his debut as a substitute at Pittodrie there was no doubt that he was still the real deal. His last minute goal was pure theatre and 3,000 Dark Blue fans headed south from the Granite City that evening ready to tell anyone who hadn't been lucky enough to make the trip "I was there when Claudio played for Dundee for the first time."
In the weeks and months that followed it was unusual to see a replica top with anything other than 'Caniggia 33' on the back as 'The Tayzurri' reveled in the Argentinean's presence on Tayside - and on the field the darting runs of a man who still had phenomenal acceleration over short distances lit up a season when entertainment almost seemed more important than results.
Initially signed on a six month deal he penned a new three year contract in January of 2001, but in hindsight it was obvious that he was unlikely to be at Dens for that length of time, though his signature did make sure that when the Old Firm came calling then Dundee would get a substantial fee for his services.
He was beginning to be mentioned as a possible choice for Marcelo Bielsa's squad for the World Cup finals, incredibly after several years away from the international squad, though opinion in South America was that he would have to be playing for a more high profile club than Dundee to be selected.
It would be Rangers who would snatch Caniggia away from Dens, but before he went he gave the support who traveled to Ibrox to see Dundee face the Glasgow giants in a midweek encounter another great memory, Dundee dazzled that evening and none more than Claudio, he opened the scoring and turned in a virtuoso performance as the Dark Blues won 2-0.