Professional footballers rarely get to play for the club they loved since they were a kid and even rarely do they stay in their boyhood club for their entire career. The lure of money and personal glory often take players away from their favorite team and only a special few have resisted lucrative offers to remain loyal to their club. In this article we will look at five such one club men who were celebrated for their loyalty,
5. Carles Puyol
One of the greatest center backs and captains in the history of Spanish football, Puyol remained a true Catalan throughout his entire career. He had the mentality of a street fighter and his love for Barcelona was only eclipsed by his love for football. Despite not being favored by his club when he was young, he decided to stay and fight for his place. His senior career started in 1999 and ended in 2014. In this period, he won three Champions League titles and six La Liga titles.
4. Paolo Maldini
Another center back but quite a contrast to Puyol’s character, Maldini was equally good as a full back and a center back. Maldini was calm, composed and astonishingly only received three red cards in his career spanning 25 years. He played for Milan until the age of 41 and won 25 trophies in his illustrious career including five Champions League titles. His father was also an AC Milan player and his son Daniel Maldini is following the trend.
3. Ryan Giggs
Part of United’s class of ’92, Giggs appeared for Manchester United a record 963 times in all competitions and played in a variety of attacking roles for the Red Devils. His magical left foot and insane dribbling skills led to many great goals and made him a fan favorite at Old Trafford. He won all the major club honors with Manchester United including thirteen Premier League titles and two Champions League titles. He also served as the interim manager after United sacked David Moyes in 2014 before his retirement.
2. Paul Scholes
Ask any midfielder who played with or against Scholes and they will tell you why he was the best player on the pitch almost every week. Unlike the other stars at Old Trafford, Scholes was a quiet man on and off the pitch. His style of play was unglamorous but he had a brilliant footballing brain and worked harder than everyone else on the pitch. He won eleven Premier League titles, three FA cups and two Champions League trophies in his career.
1. Francesco Totti
“I was born Roman and will die Roman” These words are enough to show how much Totti cared for Roma and the reason why he is called as “The eighth king of Rome”. The other players on this list played for the best club in their country and were always surrounded by world class players but Totti never enjoyed such privilege at Roma. He was hunted by many great clubs throughout his career, including Real Madrid but rejected all contracts due to his love for AS Roma. The man who created a niche for the “False nine” role, Totti deserved more trophies and goals but his loyalty prevented him from achieving those heights.