Born to Spanish immigrants in the small town of Olten, around 66km west of Zurich in June 1971, Vega studied at degree level in banking and finance at the Zürich Business School after spending his formative years at school in Trimbach.
Still, despite clearly being an academic, it was his athletic ability that would take precedence during his early life. Making his way through the youth ranks with Grasshopper Club Zürich, Vega became a first-team regular, as well as a frequent member of the Swiss international side under Roy Hodgson by the age 22.
Beginning his professional club career back in 1989, it was in his second season with Grasshoppers that he became a lynchpin in their backline. Winning three titles with the club, he played 67 league games in the 1994-95 and 1995-96 campaigns as GC made it consecutive title wins.
After impressing enough to earn a move to Caligari in 1997, Vega spent just seven months in Sardinia before Tottenham brought him over to London.
Signed by Gerry Francis off the back of an impressive outing for Switzerland against England at Euro 1996, the former White Hart Lane chief went as far as to suggest he ‘could be our Tony Adams’ upon his arrival on Hotspur Way. Despite helping the club to a League Cup win in 1999, he failed to truly recover from a stress fracture in his ankle that season, although he did make a last-ditch tackle to prevent Emile Heskey from scoring in Wembley’s showpiece against Leicester City.
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