When did he fade?
Actually his career almost came to an end with a spate of injuries at Liverpool and Marseille. His Liverpool stay was complicated by a horrific fracture of the tibia and fibula that required internal fixation of the left leg. Most of his success came as a winger using his breakaway speed down the right flank, a transformation begun by Rafa following that injury.
By this time Cisse was fighting for first squad duty and actively began looking for a transfer. Marseille came knocking but on the eve of the World Cup, he broke his right leg. His loan delay put a crimp on Rafa's transfer plans. Cisse thus left Anfield with a cloud over him and a penchant for indiscipline and hirsute pursuits.
His slow start at Marseille frustrated impatient fans who thought his speed would complement Mamadou Niang and Samir Nasri and restore the club to its 1990s glory. It was left to Marseille great Jean Michael Papin to counsel patience. Cisse's return to form was a major factor in L'OM returning to CL competition in the 2007-2008 season. His loan transfer was taken over by the club and made permanent.
It was a matter of time before his success attracted Premiership attention including Man City. However he became one of Roy Keane's makeover of the 2008 Black Cats by signing a year loan contract and heralded his Premiership return with a winning goal against Spurs. In between he scored important goals against arch rivals Newcastle and Blackburn.
On April 18th he scored a disputed goal in a crucial win against Hull, which probably did enough to save manager Ricky Sbragia's job and give the club some breathing space in the relegation struggle.
For the season he has scored 11 goals which is almost as many as he scored in Liverpool and will be a major factor if Sunderland pulls off staying in the Premiership. Befittingly, Cisse wants to make this move permanent and Ricky Sbragia would only hope that chairman Niall Quinn obliges.
Here is Cisse's winner against Hull >>