Monday, April 27, 2009

One Club Men

In this modern era of professional soccer, footballers are typically portrayed as mercenaries who are driven by greed and the megabucks. Since the Bosman ruling allowed footballers to be treated as part of the EU workforce, the movement and switching of clubs took on a different perspective. Loyalty became a thing of the past and with Real Madrid then pursuing its "un galactico un ano" policy and now Man City throwing billionaire money around, the lure of riches is hard to resist for top players.

Nevertheless, there are exceptions to the rule and these are the active players who are part of the elite "One Club Men" group, seemingly oblivious to all these silly money.
1. Paolo Maldini - 25 years with AC Milan (Italy)
2. Noel Bailie - 20 years with Linfield (Northern Ireland)
3. Ralf Bucher - 19 years with Spvgg Unterhaching (Germany)
4. Ryan Giggs - 19 years with Manchester United (England)
5. Masashi Nakayama - 19 years with Jubilo Iwata (Japan)
6. Noel Turner - 18 years with Sliema Wanderers (Malta)
7. Gary Neville - 17 years with Manchester United (England)
8. Joao Alexandre Santos - 17 years with Varzim (Portugal)
9. Marcos - 17 years with Palmeiras (Brazil)
10. Joseph Saliba - 17 years with Qormi (Malta)
11. Francesco Totti - 17 years with Roma (Italy)
12. Christian Fiedler - 16 years with Hertha Berlin (Germany)
13. Mario Muscat - 16 years with Hibernians (Malta)
14. Raul Gonzalez - 15 years with Real Madrid (Spain)
15. Paul Scholes - 15 years with Manchester United (England)

These are quite an illustrious group of people. From this group, they have virtually won every honour in football....and they are still hungry for more! For example, Ryan Giggs is chasing his 3rd Champions League medal and a record 11th Premiership winner's medal. Paul Scholes recently made his 600th appearance in a Man Utd shirt and had a killer game against Portsmouth...he too is on his way to his 9th Premiership winner's medal. Marcos, the goalkeeping stalwart of Palmeiras is gunning for a Copa Libertadores winner's medal. This group has made over 400 appearances for their clubs and have scored over 200 goals. Some of the most decorated players in the modern game are here, Masashi Nakayama is a 3-time J-League winner and has made 518 club appearances. He is currently the all-time J-League highest scorer with 156 goals.

Loyalty have paid off for this select group of players. They have achieved great things in the game which is intangible and yet earn the respect and adulation of fans and peers alike. These players also become defining beacons for the club that they play for. This should serve as a reminder to the Steven Gerrards, Gareth Barrys and even David Villas of this world. Loyalty has its way of rewarding a footballer as long as he has the patience to be a part of the club's vision and plans.

I dont think either of us can think of club-hopping players who have been as successful in stocking up their trophy cabinets as the one club men. Even the most famous club-hopper, Monsieur Nicolas Anelka's achievements do not begin to match up to these one-clubbers. Just to pay our homage to these players, here they are again in living colour.

1 comment:

陈桂生 said...

Nicolas Anelka has won the EPL title and FA cup with Arsenal before he moved to Real Madrid where eventually he earned himself a champions league winnner medal.

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