The one-club man: Loyalty or indebtedness?
Loyalty; a strong feeling of pure love, undiluted support, and unwavering allegiance.
Often, indebtedness might want to go hand in hand with the act of being loyal, but whatever it is, both acts are hard to come by these days in football. The heart lies wherever the treasure is and gone are those days when the treasure used to be at your hometown club or the club where you became famous.
Loads of footballers have remained loyal to the club they love, but it came to naught in the end; a whole lot of others have gone on to become cult heroes and legendary figures both at their favorite clubs and the games as a whole. Today, we can barely look into the loyalty of a one-club man and find the zeal of the allegiance of the one club men of the times past, as it is fair to say that the passion and loyalty of the game has been overruled by money.
Francesco Totti, a boyhood A.S. Roma fan who went on to become a legend in his hometown club. Often referred to as the golden boy and the eighth king of Rome, a goal-scoring machine and a creative playmaker. Totti spent his entire career, which spanned 25 years with the Giallorossi, making 786 appearances across 25 years, scoring 307 goals.
The Italian who sits third on the log of players with the record numbers of appearances in the Italian Serie A had enough mouthwatering offers that could have made him leave the club after his heart. Still, he stayed true to the cause, revealing in an interview that he rejected a lucrative 25 million Euro contract from Real Madrid, a deal that would have seen him earn only below Raul Gonzalez, who at the time was referred to as the image of Real Madrid.
Sir Alex Ferguson also spoke about his failed attempt to lure the retired footballer away from the Stadio Olimpico; the legendary Manchester United manager said he discovered that the veteran was deeply attached and loyal to his city. In the end, 1 Serie A title, 2 Coppa Italia titles and 2 Supercoppa Italiana. He could have won more if he had moved away from the Italian capital city. Still, his loyalty has ensured that his name would never disappear from the club’s history books, with the city honoring him with a bust which has been named “Aeterno,” a term that translates as “eternal.”
Tony Adams, Paul Scholes, Carles Puyol, Ryan Giggs, Jamie Carragher, Paolo Maldini, Steven Gerrard, Igor Akinfeev, and a whole lot of others stayed loyal to the club where they made their names in the sport despite tempting offers, braving the odds and putting their names down as absolute legends both in at their football clubs and in the sport as a whole.
The one-club man’s loyalty might be in doubt, but the one club man knows that playing, sacrificing, and sweating it out for the badge in front of the shirt would make them remember the name at the back of the shirt forever.
Other articles from Paul