10 Loyal one-club players
A one-club man, as the name suggests refers to a player who joined a club as a young prospect and subsequently developed and went on to serve the club for long periods. In modern day football, one-club men have become scarce owing to large pay offers and hunger for glory at the highest level.
2015 saw players like Iker Casillas and Bastian Schweinsteiger bid goodbye to clubs where they had started their professional careers and went on to become footballing greats. Bastian Schweinsteiger bid farewell to the Bavarians and went to Manchester United stating that he wanted to prove himself outside of Germany as well.
The increasing competitiveness at the club level has diminished gestures of goodwill from the management, evident from Casillas’s reluctant departure from Real Madrid. With players being lured by lucrative offers these days, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for the likes of Andres Iniesta, Daniele De Rossi etc., who have considerable playing years left in them.
Let us take a look at 10 famous one club men and their achievements with the respective clubs.
#10 Paul Scholes – Manchester United (1992-2011 & 2012-13)
Despite turning into a professional in 1993, Paul Scholes made his debut a year later in the Football League Cup scoring twice in a 2-1 victory over Port Vale. He made 17 appearances in the league and scored five goals.
With time, Scholes grew into one of the best midfielders in the world. He was capable of performing any of the midfield roles, be it defensive, attack or playmaking. Inch-perfect passing, long range shooting abilities, tactical intelligence and high work-rate are a few traits that define this midfield maestro.
Fellow footballers Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry and Edgar Davids openly expressed their admiration for his talent. While Xavi portrayed him as his role model, former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola considered him as the best midfielder of his generation.
He won several honors that include 11 Premier League titles, two Champions League titles, three FA Cups and two Football League Cups. He also came back from retirement in 2012 to help an injury-stricken Manchester United team and went on to win the title.