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Home is Where the Heart’s at | Stories of unwavering club loyalty in football


In a fast and ever-changing world, the football transfer market is a representation of the temporary nature of all good things. Great players are constantly moving from one big club to another in search of glory and higher wages. While there is nothing wrong with this, there are a few players in football that stand out as symbols of club loyalty in a fickle minded society.

In the past, there have been many players that spent all or most of their professional careers at one club. This spirit of ‘with you through thick and thin’ is dying today. Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Xavi Hernandez, Philip Lahm, Raul and many others are shining examples of this dying culture.

To stay at a club that’s winning everything is admirable but relatively easy. But to stick with a club that’s struggling and unable to compete at the highest level is a mark of true loyalty. Nobody personifies this more than Steven Gerrard of Liverpool and Francesco Totti of AS Roma. These two players have shown that loyalty is not conditional. It does not depend on success or money. Loyalty is a state of mind. It is a commitment to a cause come what may.

Steven Gerrard Football Liverpool Club Loyalty
(Image source: Twitter) Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard is considered one of the greatest midfielders to ever grace the game. He won only on Champions League title and one league cup in his entire career. He proved that you don’t have to win countless trophies to be remembered and honored. The love and adoration that the fans of your boyhood club can give you cannot be found anywhere else. Coming through the system, the clubs values are engraved in the player’s psyche.

One incident that stands out is when Inter Milan wanted to sign Paul Scholes from Manchester United. Inter were ready to spare no expense. They offered a blank cheque to United. They were willing to to pay whatever it took to bring Scholes to Italy. Scholes’ reply was short and simple. He said ” If you want me to play for you you’re going to have to buy Manchester United.” His dedication to United was unchallenged. There was never any doubt in his mind about where he wanted to be playing football. He was Manchester born and bred and the club’s traditions flowed through his veins.

Paul Scholes Manchester United
(Image source: Twitter) Paul Scholes

Money rules the world today and football is no stranger to its influence. Astronomical wages and transfer fees that would make your skin crawl have stripped the game of some of its beauty. The difference in spending powers of the top clubs from the rest make it very difficult for anyone to compete with them.

In today’s football game it is very hard to find players who resemble this attitude of unconditional loyalty to their club. Lionel Messi at Barcelona is one of the very few players still playing football who have been at the club since the beginning of his career over two decades ago. There is nothing wrong with transfers and seeking new challenges. All we can hope for is that within this hurricane of constant big moves and unbelievable amounts of money flying around, we find a few players who represent the constancy and loyalty that we as fans love to see.

To cap it off I would like to say –

It’s hard to create history but it’s even harder to create a legacy.

Also Read: Bust up at the Parc de Princess – A take on rampant Racial Abuse in football

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