The player with the name of Helder Manuel Marques Postiga came to Tottenham from FC Porto with high hopes of being the final piece in the attack to take Spurs forward. Brought in during July 2003 for £8.5 million (conditional on appearances and success), the young Portuguese striker was a real coup for Glenn Hoddle.
The forward started his career with local side Varzim SC who were situated in the North of the country and as a boy Postiga has watched Spurs on TV and liked them because of the players they has at the time and because their kit was close to that of Real Madrid. He left Varzim to go into the Porto youth set-up and worked his way up through the ranks into the reserve team. The arrival of new coach Octavio Machado saw his promotion to the first XI and he scored goals, so when Jose Mourinho took over, he made the best of the young striker's talents recording 13 goals. Postiga had been playing for Porto for two seasons already and had earned a reputation as a young talent who scored regularly and played with fire in his belly. That was shown when he picked up a second yellow card in the UEFA Cup and missed the final through suspension - a big disappointment as he had scored some crucial goals on the way to the semi.
Helder broke into the national side and has helped them forge a formidable forward line as they approach the Euro 2004 tournament in their home country.
Having won the Portuguese Superliga in 2002-03, Postiga became a prime target and Spurs splashed out £8.5 million on the 20 year old to bring him to White Hart Lane.
Scoring in his first friendly appearance against Stevenage went down well with the Spurs fans and he was mobile, skilful and fast - all attributes that have been missing from some of our forwards of recent years. Given a starting number, he was lined up to begin up front with Robbie Keane. However, his failure to get off the mark in the first couple of games, even though he was showing good touch and skill, meant that Hoddle opted for fit-again Frederic Kanoute with Zamora alongside him, using Helder as a sub. His relegation to the bench continued when Hoddle had gone and Robbie Keane's return to fitness saw him paired with Kanoute.
It was always hoped that Postiga would come good and get his chance when other forwards are unavailable, but his young age and lack of physical strength to match that of Premier League defenders meant that he failed to maintain a place in the Spurs side and was allowed to return to Porto in June 2004, with Pedro Mendes moving in the opposite direction.
Postiga returned to haunt England with a last minute goal in the 2004 European Championship quarter-final to take the game into extra time. His club form had suffered and he was allowed out on loan to St. Etienne in France to try to get inclusion in the 2006 World Cup squad. With changes in management, he has been in and out of favour at Porto, but has still managed to score goals whenever he has been selected to play. another spell out on loan to Panathinaikos preceded a permanent move to Sporting Lisbon and after three seasons, he left Portugal for Spain and joined Real Zaragoza, where he continued to play and score to keep himself in the Portuguese national squad.
As far as Spurs were concerned, it was perhaps a case of bringing a talented player to a new club and a new country too early in his career, but the two goals he did score were celebrated in a way that showed they meant a lot to him.