13 Loyal football players
13) Xavier Hernández Creus "Xavi"
The only footballer I have seen that retired form professional football by winning everything and still cried for his retirement. This is what I call PASSION! Xavi is one of the best midfielders of all time and is also viewed as being the embodiment of the tiki-taka passing style of play. Making 700 appearances in total for FC Barcelona, he is in the club’s Hall of Fame as the first player to play 150 international matches in the club’s history. “Magical” is the right word which describes this phenomenal player.
12) Philipp Lahm
A.K.A the “Magic Dwarf”, this is because of his pace, stamina and precise tackling abilities as well as his small stature. He is not only a Bavarian legend, but also a legend to the whole Germany, since the World Cup 2014 final against Argentina, where he raised the trophy for the first time for a reunified Germany. Retiring from international football was for the best. He still is playing and will play for Bayern München till 2018, when he will be almost 35. “Mia San Mia”.
11) Alessandro Del Piero
One of the many legends of “The Old Lady”, Alessandro Del Piero has refused many offers from big clubs. He stayed with Juventus even when they were demoted to Serie B and their two most recent Scudettiwere revoked. He appeared in 513 matches with the Juventus shirt and scored 208 goals. A technically gifted, and creative supporting forward, who is also a free-kick specialist, Del Piero is widely regarded by players, pundits, and managers as one of the greatest players of his generation, and as one of the best Italian players of all time, winning Serie A Italian Footballer of the Year award in 1998 and 2008. Unfortunately, he didn’t achieve any Ballon d’Or, despite of the fact that he has won a lot of individual and team awards.
10) John Terry
I think it’s fair to say John Terry isn’t the nicest guy and has been called things ranging from a racist to a wife stealer, but he can never be called a disloyal footballer. John Terry has played for Chelsea a massive 462 times and has scored an impressive 39 goals for a defender. One of Mourinho’s favorites, John Terry has endeared himself to Chelsea fans with his commitment and determination and has always given his all for the cause. As a Chelsea fan, he’s certainly one of my favourite players, though he’s probably not one of Wayne Bridge’s favourite people.
9) Iker Casillas
Spain has a history of producing great goalkeepers and Iker Casillas has certainly kept that trend going. Casillas joined Real Madrid as a youth player in 1990 and made his first team debut in 1999. Though not the best kicker of a football Casillas’s incredible reactions and consistent performances made him a fan favorite at the Bernabeu and earned him 510 appearances at Real Madrid. Seeing Casillas being forced to leave Real Madrid this year was very sad and Casillas’s tears during the following press conferences showed how much Real Madrid meant to him.
8) Francesco Totti
Francesco Totti truly is one of world Footballs legends. Totti made his debut in 1992 and hasn’t looked back since, scoring 243 goals and earning himself legendary status worldwide, Totti began his career 23 years ago as a fresh eyed youngster, now 38, Totti is still going and last season, he even won Roma’s top goal-scorer award. Not bad for someone who was playing before Jack Wilshere was born.
7) Jamie Carragher
It’s funny that someone who supported Everton as a child has come to represent everything Liverpool stands for. Carragher was a tough tackling, hard as nails central defender for Liverpool FC. Carragher joined Liverpool in 1987 and retired in 2013 and while there were more talented players in the Liverpool squad no one was ever more committed than the Scouser. Carragher has contributed to many trophies including the Uefa Champions League in 2005 and numerous FA Cups and League Cups. Jamie Carragher has been with Liverpool through thick and thin and aside from maybe Gerrard, nobody has contributed more to Liverpool Football Club.
6) Carles Puyol
For a player to play central back and still be appreciated in the same team as Messi , Xavi and Iniesta he would have to be very good, and that Carles Puyol most certainly was. The player affectionately known as ‘the caveman’ because of his wild hair and unmaintained look was the heartbeat of a Barcelona side which won Champions Leagues, La Ligas and Spanish Cups for years and years. Puyol was a fan favourite at the club and fans were terribly disappointed when injury forced him to retire. Puyol was one of the last really world-class defenders in world football and the game was made poorer for his retirement.
5) Paolo Maldini
Paulo Maldini is the definition of a legend. He joined AC Milan and racked up 647 Serie A appearances by the time he sadly retired in 2009. Maldini won 26 trophies with AC Milan, the Champions league 5 times, Serie A 7 times and other trophies in his hugely decorated career. Maldini was praised throughout his career for his elegant passing, his timing of tackles and his commitment and crossing of the ball. As Maldini got older, he seemed to get better and better and it came as a huge surprise when he retired because with his stamina, it seemed like he could play for ever and ever.
4) Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard is in my humble opinion, the best English central midfielder to ever play in the Barclays Premier League. Time and time again Gerrard got Liverpool out of jail and though he got numerous offers from teams like Manchester United, Chelsea and even Real Madrid but Gerrard’s never left. (Though he did consider it) It’s sad that Gerrard never won a Premier League but Steven Gerrard will most certainly go down as a Liverpool Football club legend.
3) Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs, though he hasn’t been loyal to his wife, has been one of the most loyal players to Manchester United in the history of the club. Giggs started his career as a flying winger who could beat his man with ease. Though down the years Ryan Giggs lost pace over the years he never lost his class. Giggs was performing brilliantly well into his mid-thirties and when he finally retired many people couldn’t believe it. Now Ryan Giggs is Van Gaal’s right hand man and has already been caretaker manager. Many people are tipping him as a future Manchester United manager.
2) Gary Neville
Whether you love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Garry Neville is united through and through. A real leader, Neville has made up for his lack of flair and pace with real grit, determination and steel. Gary Neville is somewhat of a rarity in modern Football as he speaks his mind and genuinely knows the game. Manchester United fans loved him and when he was made club captain there was no one who deserved it more. A real Manchester United legend who worked extremely hard to get to the top and played consistently well for the club. Gary Neville was a real one club legend.
1) Javier Zanetti
Javier Zanetti is undoubtedly the most loved player in Inter Milan history. Zanetti joined Inter in 1995 and never looked back, making 615 appearances in Serie A and playing consistently well until his sad retirement in 2014. Zanneti’s hardworking and committed performances at right back and defensive midfielder made him an integral part of Inter Milan’s and Argentina. Even when he was well into his late 30’s Zanetti was still the first name on the team sheet and when he retired last year, the football world joined together to appreciate his legendary career. Zanetti was one of the few players in world football who was respected by fans all over the world.
Who is your favorite legend?
Do you think I have forgotten any club legend? If so, I would appreciate it if you could mention it in the comments section. Thank you very much for your support!