Football

Top four one-club footballers

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With the hype of Gareth Bale's phenomenal transfer to Real Madrid eclipsing the €57million splashed out by Barcelona for Neymar, money is seemingly being thrown around these days without giving much thought.

It's rather bizarre that such things happen and that it's really hard to predict where a footballer could end up in the future.

Nevertheless, the most valuable players are actually not the ones that cost £80million to move, but rather it's those who stay on from start to finish at a single club, generally garnering the greatest amount of respect and value from all.

Here, we take a look at the top four one-club footballer in the past decade, ranked from first to fourth in descending order.

(1) Paolo Maldini

Position: LB/CB

Honours:

- 7 Italian Serie A titles
- 1 Copa Italia
- 5 Supercoppa Italiana
- 5 European/Champions League Cup
- 5 UEFA Super Cup
- 2 Intercontinental Cup
- 1 FIFA Club World Cup

Paolo Maldini got his debut way back in 1984, where he impressed as a 16-year-old teenager. His development continued over the years and was even part of the 1991-1992 'Italian Invincibles' who went unbeaten in that season.

Ever since Maldini was appointed as captain of the club, his career sky-rocketed, as he led the Italians to trophies domestically as well as all over Europe and the world.

Maldini's amount of international appearances is also nothing short of sensational, despite failing to win any trophy with his country before retiring in 2002.

He retired at the age of 41.

(2) Ryan Giggs

Position: LM/CM

Honours:

- 13 English Premier League titles
- 4 FA Cups
- 4 Capital One Cups
- 9 Community Shields
- 2 Champions League Cup
- 1 UEFA Super Cup
- 1 Intercontinental Cup
- 1 FIFA Club World Cup

Ryan Giggs is a natural-born left midfielder who has played for United since 1990 when he made his debut as a 17-year-old player.

Being part of the English Premier League legacy since it's very start in 1992, Giggs is still holding the impressive record of scoring in every league campaign since its creation. While his domestic cups appear impressive enough, the only down side is his European trophy cabinet.

Nevertheless, being able to keep himself fit for every season is Giggs' greatest trademark. Now at the age of 39, he is still playing for Manchester United. He looked very much to be able to go on for the next three or four years.

(3) Carles Puyol

Position: CB

Honours:

- 6 La Liga Titles 
- 2 Copa Del Rays
- 6 Supercopa De Espana
- 3 UEFA Champions League
- 2 UEFA Super Cup
- 2 FIFA Club World Cup

Carles Puyol is a world class centre-back who has governed and captained the Barcelona team ever since the start of it's glorious days.

His pure leadership is Puyol's greatest asset despite the lack of ability to make crunching tackles these days. Now at the age of 35, the 1.78m defender still stays onto the squad despite falling behind in the pecking order in the Barcelona defence.

Despite the critics-especially on his lack of speed nowadays, Puyol has remained as a centre figurehead of Barcelona and will remain as one of the team's most loyal player of all time.

(4) Iker Casillas

Position: GK

Honours:

- 5 La Liga Titles
- 1 Copa Del Ray
- 4 Supercopa De Espana
- 2 UEFA Champions League
- 1 UEFA Super Cup
- 1 Intercontinental Cup

Iker Casillas is the only remaining home-grown 'Galactico' in the Madrid squad.

Amid recent reports where fans are starting to doubt his abilities, his personal heroics and accolades in the past is nothing short of magical.

Having played together with greats like Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Claude Makelele, David Beckham, Fernando Morientes, Raul and so on, Casillas has always been there, keeping the team together, strong and firm.

His heroics are also recognised on the international stage, as he captained the Spanish national team to winning back-to-back European Championship as well as the 2010 World Cup.

Now at the age of 32, his form seems to have taken a dip and some consider him past his best. Nevertheless, he still stays on and remain faithful to Madrid despite being demoted as the second goalkeeper of the squad.

There you have it, the top four one-club footballers in recent years. Steven Gerrard and Francesco Totti are also loyal players, however, due to lesser trophies being won, they are not included in my list.

I would have liked Paul Scholes to be up there as well. However, since we are assessing the whole Europe, it's best if we only have one player from one team.

In conclusion, loyal players are hard to come by these days. Sometimes money clouds a person's judgment, loyalty and love for the game.

So much so that the football game has turned into a cash-ridden battlefield and that only the richest of clubs are able to win trophies.

It's really hard to find a true one-man footballer nowadays. Nevertheless, the very one person who would definitely seem to be entering my list above in the future is none other than Lionel Messi.

However, we will still have to wait and see as these players is still able to move if being sold by Barcelona. I don't see it happening though, but with cash not being an issue these days, anything can happen.

 

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Topics:
Ryan Giggs
Iker Casillas
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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