Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Biggest Traitors in Football History

Loyalty is a dubious word in the world of football.

When a player transfers to a club in the same league, there's always the possibility of
friction and slight bad feeling. Often when the two teams then face each other, fans of the previous club boo their old boy, but generally get bored after a while. Then there are the transfers that incense fans for years, betrayals that they never get over. Even then there are the players that do it not once, but twice!

Here I look at some of the biggest traitorous players in football history:

William Gallas:

A player that has played for all big clubs in London and is one of, if not the biggest traitor in European football.

Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri bought Gallas from Marseille in 2001 for £6.2 million.
Once playing for Chelsea, Gallas was used in a deal to bring Ashley Cole to Stamford Bridge, and so he went to North London and joined Arsenal in 2006.

Gallas, a combustible character, lost the captaincy to Kolo Touré following his bizarre post-match sulk at Birmingham in February 2008. He ended up kicking lumps out of the advertising boards and sitting on the pitch in protest (right) after Arsenal drew with Birmingham, in a match that would ultimately end their title dreams.

In 2010 contract talks with Arsenal broke down when the Gunners felt that the contractual demands made by Gallas were unreasonable and not made in good faith.
It was reported that such demands included an £80,000 a week pay cheque, which Arsenal couldn't afford to pay him. As a result the Frenchman decided it would be a good move to join fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur managed at the time by Harry Redknapp.

Robin van Persie:

The Gunners' hero was smashing in the goals in his first great season in his 8 years at Arsenal after spending most of the first 7 years on the injury list.
This was a big part of the reason Arsenal fans were incensed when the Dutchman decided to join rivals Manchester United in 2012, after the North London club had stood by him in his injury plagued years.

The striker joined up with Manchester United for an initial £22.5 million with an additional £1.5 million to follow if United won a Premier League or Champions League title within the next four years. In his first season he fired United to their 20th Premier League title, scoring 26 league goals in the process, further aggravating Arsenal's fans.

Roberto Baggio: 

The former Italian forward made an unforgivable switch back in 1990 - from Fiorentina to Juventus.
Back then he was sold for €10m - a world-record fee at the time - but soon after the transfer, there were full scale riots on the streets of Florence where fifty people were injured.
Baggio replied to his fans, saying: "I was compelled to accept the transfer."

When Baggio played for Juventus against Fiorentina on 7 April 1991, he refused to take a penalty, and when substituted he picked up a Fiorentina scarf (right) thrown onto the field by fans and kissed it, a gesture which, although was appreciated by his former Fiorentina fans, caused outrage amongst the Juventus supporters.
Baggio claimed: "Deep in my heart I am always purple," the colour of Fiorentina.

Sol Campbell:

When playing for Tottenham Hotspur, Sol Campbell earned himself a reputation as a great footballer. After almost a decade with Tottenham, Sol Campbell became one of the most hated men in the club’s history when he left for Arsenal in 2001.

Campbell was labelled 'Judas' by the Spurs fans, and rightly so. The England international defender was looking to play European football which was fair enough, with several top continental clubs expressing an interest. Tottenham offered him a new contract which would have made him the club's highest paid player ever, but after months of negotiations and several public assurances that he would stay at Spurs,

Arsenal proceeded to sign him on a free transfer. This left Spurs fans feeling angry and betrayed after losing a top player for nothing to their biggest rivals.
Campbell had previously stated in an interview with Spurs Monthly magazine that he would never play for Arsenal.

Campbell went onto became a part of Arsenal's 'Invincibles' team of 2003/04 and scored in the 2006 Champions League final against Barcelona.

Emmanuel Adebayor: 

The controversial striker really doesn't help himself when it comes to his popularity. After scoring 30 goals in a season for Arsenal, he demanded that his wages were doubled. When they were, he proceeded to underperform and then jumped ship for a big money move to Manchester City in 2009. 

Booed and jeered hugely by the Arsenal fans throughout his first encounter with the Gunners since his move, he scored a goal and ran the length of the pitch to slide in front of the Arsenal fans (right) in his famously idiotic, yet brilliant celebration.
To ensure Arsenal fans would despise him even further, the Togo international then joined North London rivals Spurs in 2011, showing a shocking lack of loyalty to the club that brought him to English football.

Luis Figo:

The Portuguese man was hugely popular at Barcelona before making his controversial switch across the El Classico to rivals Real Madrid in 2000. This caused uproar in the Barcelona fan base, with the some Barcelona fans showing their anger at his traitorous transfer by throwing a pig's head at him when he played in his first El Classico lining up for Madrid. He played for five years at both clubs, although fans of the Catalans only remember their anger at his departure.

Ashley Cole: 

Whether he was tapped-up or not will never really be proved, but the left-back was branded 'Cashley' by angry Arsenal fans after his move from North London to rivals Chelsea in 2006. He was said to be "trembling with anger" when Arsenal offered him a mere £55k per week, so he decided to jump ship to earn £90k per week at London rivals Chelsea. His wage increased to £120,000 a week when he signed a new contract in September 2009.
To be fair, his move did pay off, both in terms of trophies won, and his bank balance.

Never one to be out of the limelight Cole (right) married Cheryl Tweedy in 2006 in a flamboyant wedding ceremony, before her split from the philandering footballer and their subsequent divorce in 2010.

Cesc Fabregas:

Another former Arsenal player, Cesc Fabregas returned to the Premier League this summer after a three-year spell with Barcelona, but decided on a move to the Gunners’ London rivals Chelsea, rather than returning to the Emirates Stadium.

Fabregas had spent eight years at Arsenal between 2003 and 2011, so his move to Chelsea left many 'Gooners' feeling gutted.

Kenny Miller:

If there's one rivalry that can rival the intensity of El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona, it's the Old Firm derby between Rangers and Celtic.

Given the rich political history behind the rivalry, that goes back well over 100 years, most players know that that is one rivalry you do not want to mess with.

The Scot crossed one of the biggest rivalry's in European football when he betrayed Rangers and joined fierce rivals Celtic in 2006. But this was not the end of his treachery, after spells in English football with Wolves and Derby, he then incredibly made the move back to Rangers in 2008.

He then left Rangers again in 2011 to play abroad, before re-signing for the blue half of Glasgow for a third time in June 2014 - to top off what was a shocking lack of loyalty.


Without a doubt Ronaldo was of the greatest footballers of all time, but he showed a complete lack of loyalty to any of his clubs.

Although, unlike some of the aforementioned men, he never transferred directly from one rival to another, he is the only player to have represented both Real Madrid and Barcelona, and Inter and AC Milan. The fact he was ridiculously good for all four clubs meant he was never victimised as much as most may have been.

The last move of his career is probably what puts him at number one; after training with Flamengo whilst recovering from knee surgery in 2009, he turned down a new contract offer to go play for arch rivals Corinthians.

Mario Götze and Robert Lewandowski:

Götze, the German World Cup winning midfielder joined Borussia Dortmund at the age of eight and made his Bundesliga debut on 21 November 2009. After spending four seasons at Dortmund, winning two Bundesliga titles and playing in a UEFA Champions League final he moved to arch rivals Bayern Munich in the summer of 2013, after the German champions activated his release clause of €37 million.

Lewandowski, the Polish international joined Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2010. Having played in the same successful Dortmund team as Götze, Lewandowski followed his former team-mate to Bayern Munich just a year later, leaving Dortmund fans' and boss Jürgen Klopp angry and frustrated feeling Bayern Munich is that school house bully who buys from other German clubs.

Jürgen Klopp put all his efforts in making them the most talented striker and midfielder and then they just left. The way the move happened is what hurts the fans the most. Although, there is no one denying the fact that they both helped Borussia Dortmund win the Bundesliga and reach the Champions league final, the fact remains that they were still indebted to the club and the fans for making them the players they are today.

Borussia Dortmund's much sort after attacking midfielder Marco Reus - former team-mate of both of Götze and Lewandowski has this message for them both and FC Bayern Munich --------------------------->

From what it seems money rules football and it seems that the fundamental thumb rule is show the players some money and all loyalty will be tossed aside. The very essence of loyalty and playing for the club seems lost now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Figo must be the biggest and Mo Johnstone not far behind