At a time when Chelsea were spending vast sums of money on foreign superstars it was a player who cost just £160,000 from an Italian Third Division club who made perhaps the greatest impact.
Carlo Cudicini found it hard to live up to the exploits of his father, the legendary Italian keeper Fabio. He had played just 51 league games by the time he moved to Chelsea at the age of 26 as back up goalkeeper to Ed de Goey.
Initially on loan, he had to wait patiently for a chance. When it came, in the second half of the 2000/01 season, Carlo took it brilliantly.
Despite an initial challenge to his place from Mark Bosnich, Carlo kept his place with a series of brilliant displays. Not the tallest of keepers, his specialty was the impossible-looking save. He was also a brilliant penalty stopper.
Carlo was voted Chelsea's Player of the Year in 2002 and a year later won the 'Golden Gloves' award as the best goalkeeper in England, a season in which he helped the club qualify for the Champions League.
His injury problems, though, resurfaced the following season and his absence was desperately felt in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final. Petr Cech was then brought in and Carlo found himself again the number two keeper.
Despite this Carlo showed great loyalty until moving to Tottenham in January 2009. He had kept 98 clean sheets in his 216 Chelsea appearances.