One Club Players Who Joined Another Club In The Latter Stages Of Their Career

One Club Players Who Joined Another Club In The Latter Stages Of Their Career
Jul 7, 2017

Featured Premier League

When you think of loyal one club players, the likes of Paulo Maldini, Francesco Totti, Paul Scholes, Tony Adams, Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon and Steven Gerrard all come to mind. The tales of their loyalty still echoes around the cities of their respective clubs. All of them were players with exquisite quality and sparkling talent but if you ask people about their greatness, their loyalty is mentioned in the very first line. Legendary Juventus striker, Alessandro Del Piero, once said: “Paulo Maldini is the symbol of Milan” and when Del Piero was asked about his commitments towards Juventus after the Calciopoli scandal, he simply said: “A true gentleman never leaves his lady”.

However, times have changed. Players have become centred around money and ambition rather than their dedication and loyalty to a club. Zlatan Ibrahimović is a prime example. One of the finest strikers of this generation has played for 8 different clubs, the recent being Manchester United. Young players of this generation are getting more and more attracted towards the possibility of a lucrative deal and representing a big club. But then again, one can’t just blame players, sometimes, even clubs let go of players deemed unnecessary. Chelsea have been the biggest contributors in this category with Petr Čech, Frank Lampard and as recently as this week, club captain, John Terry.

Here are six players, like John Terry, who remained one club men before moving on to another club in the latter stages of their career.

6. Petr Čech

First on the list is perhaps one of the best goalkeepers to have graced the Premier League era, Chelsea legend Petr Čech. One of the very first signings of the illustrious Roman Abramovich era, Čech was signed in the summer of 2004 and became the first choice goalkeeper for José Mourinho and started his rise to become one of the finest between the sticks in the world. As a blue, Petr Čech won everything there was to win and is the most decorated goalkeeper in the club’s history, winning  4 league titles, a Europa League title and the Champions League, where he famously saved two penalties in the penalty shootout versus Bayern career was in the making for the 3 time best European goalkeeper.

However, a certain Chelsea loanee was making huge strides in the European circuit. A certain, Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian’s stellar performances for Atlético Madrid convinced manager, José Mourinho that the time was right to recall him. In the 2014-2015 season, Courtois replaced Čech as the Chelsea number one after the Czech international’s 10 season incumbency.

Finally, Čech realised that it was time to move on whilst he was still in his best years as a goalkeeper. In the summer of 2015, Čech was allowed to join London rivals Arsenal and has been a regular for them ever since, winning the Community Shield along with the FA Cup against his former side.

5. Raúl

Real Madrid is one of the biggest clubs in world football, if not the biggest, so having bolstered squads with immense talent is common at the club. Galácticos as the superstars are known as during the Florentino Pérez era. The policy was signing at least one-star player in every window. However, ask any Real Madrid fan who their greatest striker of the modern era is, many say Raúl. The Spaniard was a part of the Atlético Madrid’s youth set-up which was then closed as a cost saving measure by Atlético’s then-president Jesús Gil.

Raúl was snapped up by city rivals Real Madrid and started rising through the ranks quickly and became the one of youngest ever players to play for the Real Madrid first team at 17 years and 124 days. As a player, Raúl represented Real Madrid 741 times, scoring 323 goals and winning 6 La Liga titles and 3 Champions League titles in a career spanning over 15 years and 17 years when you count his youth career as a Real player.

In July 2010, Real Madrid announced that Raúl will be leaving the club. Raúl subsequently joined Schalke and ended his career at New York Cosmos after a stint at Qatari outfit Al Sadd, taking away his legacy as a one-club man.

4. Frank Lampard

Another Chelsea great on the list, Frank Lampard. Lampard is the all-time highest goalscorer for Chelsea Football Club and was a great servant for both club and country. Part of the English golden generation, Frank is widely regarded one of the best ever midfielders to grace the game and rightly so. Frank represented Chelsea more than 600 times and scored 211 goals. The midfielder, who spent 13 years at Stamford Bridge was one of the pre-Roman Abramovich signings. He had a stellar career for the Blues and it looked like that ‘Super Frank’ was going to end his career at Chelsea. However, at the end of 2013-2014 season, Chelsea included him in the list of players to be removed along with Ashley Cole and thus ended Frank Lampard’s 13-year love affair with the club.

He subsequently played for Premier League rivals Manchester City, even coming off the bench to score against his old club in a 1-1 draw in which he described as a ‘very emotional day’. Lampard joined MLS side New York City FC, owned by the owners of Manchester City, and retired in early February of this year.

3. Xavi

Xavier  Hernández or Xavi, as he’s most commonly called, is without a doubt one of the best midfielders to have ever played the beautiful game. The Spaniard is one of the most decorated football players for all time for both club and country. For club, he was Barcelona’s pass master with a vision only matched by very few. Xavi was a Barcelona player for 24 years and his partnership with Andrés Iniesta is widely considered as the best midfield partnerships of all time. Xavi helped Barcelona win 8 La Liga titles and 4 ChampionsLeaguee titles. For country, two Euro titles and the World Cup in 2010 helped complete his already wonderful trophy cabinet. Only very few in world football have a more decorated CV than the Catalan legend.

Xavi was in talks with Bayern Munich for a potential transfer in the summer of 2008 but was convinced to stay by Pep Guardiola, who said:“Xavi is a player who has the Barcelona DNA: someone who has the taste for good football, someone who is humble and someone who has loyalty to this club. From the first moment I saw him play, I knew he would become the brain behind Barcelona for many years to come”. And that was one of the most important decisions for the club as a whole as they went on to win all 6 competitions they took part in, that same summer.

But, with the arrival of Luis Enrique and his preference to play Ivan Rakitić, Xavi found limited game time and with the twilight of his career nearing, Xavi decided to leave Barcelona bringing the end to an era. Xavi joined Qatari outfit Al Sadd at the end of 2014-2015 season and also became the brand ambassador for the 2022 World Cup to be held in Qatar.

5. Steven Gerrard

Liverpool’s talisman for the most part of the last two decades needs no introduction. A versatile box to box midfielder, Steven Gerrard had it all. Passing, tackling, shooting and tactical awareness. Gerrard bled foMerseysideeyside club. However, he was close to joining Chelsea in 2005. According to Gerrard himself, he handed in a transfer request just to make the club show some love towards him. But, Rafael Benítez convinced him to stay and rightfully ended as a club Legend. He spent 18 years at Anfield and remained a fan favorite till the last day of his Liverpool career.

Gerrard although unable to win a single Premier League with Liverpool, still managed to win his fair share of trophies which included 2 FA Cups, 3 League Cups and the unforgettable night in Istanbul which gave him the Champions League trophy. Gerrard also holds the record for appearing in the PFA team of the year, an incredible eight times. As an England Player, Gerrard made more than a 100 appearances and was the captain of the national side going into the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

It was widely believed that Gerrard would end his career at his boyhood club but it wasn’t meant to end that way as Gerrard announced that he’ll be leaving for LA Galaxy in January of 2015. Gerrard announced his retirement in November of 2016.

1. John Terry

The latest to the list, John Terry, was a controversial character but his excellence as a defender and a leader will rarely be matched. Joining the Chelsea youth set-up in 1995, Terry rose through the ranks swiftly and was handed over the captain’s armband by José Mourinho ahead of the 2004-2005 season, which was defensively the best season by any Premier League team ever as Chelsea conceded only 15 goals. Brilliant in the air and masterful in the tackle, Terry was a joy to watch in his prime. Terry who is also the highest scoring defender in the Premier League has represented the Blues more than 700 times. In that period, he has enjoyed a decorated trophy cabinet with 5 Premier titles, 5 FA cups and the Champions League title. A fan favourite, Terry was a true blue but the partnership looked like one made for the fairy tales. His later career, however, was unlike fairy tales. In February 2016, Terry announced that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season but later stayed on for one more season.

Finally, his Chelsea career came to an end at the end of last season and it was final. Terry didn’t retire and felt he had some football in him. Earlier this week, Aston Villa signed John Terry on a one-year contract.

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