VII Players Who Were Reborn After Being Cast Aside by Their Clubs

Football is a funny sport. Rarely do we see superstars maintain their level throughout their career, with many players facing highs, lows and everything in between.

Sometimes, players and clubs are simply not good matches, but there are also examples of players just needing that elusive chance to prove themselves. Regardless, a change of club can be the right answer.

Here are seven players who revived their careers after being cast aside by their club.


Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah?‘s career started off like so many others. He was a hot prospect after breaking through at Basel, but a switch to ?Chelsea in 2014 just didn’t work out. He had shown flashes of excitement, but rarely had fans off their seats.

He joined Roma on loan in 2015 and impressed enough to earn himself a permanent move a year later. In total, he managed 34 goals and 22 assists in 83 appearances, which sounds like a reborn career, right? Well, we’re just getting started.

That time with Roma led to a move to ?Liverpool in 2017, where Salah has erupted. He helped turn Liverpool into European champions and he finished fifth in the 2019 Ballon d’Or. How’s that for a career revival?


?Kevin De Bruyne

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Yet another example of a player reinventing themselves after leaving Chelsea, Kevin De Bruyne’s career risked stalling after his spell at Stamford Bridge came to an abrupt end in 2014.

An £18m move to Wolfsburg proved to be the spark De Bruyne needed, as the Belgian took the opportunity to prove to the world that he was the elite creator many felt he had the potential to become. He bagged 20 goals and 37 assists in just two seasons, before landing in ?Manchester City.?

De Bruyne is now one of the ?Premier League‘s elite talents, and his disappointing spell with Chelsea is well and truly behind him.


Esteban Cambiasso

Esteban Cambiasso

What’s most interesting about Esteban Cambiasso’s career is that he had to revive himself after leaving ?Real Madrid on two separate occasions.

Part of Los Blancos’ academy, Cambiasso was allowed to return to Argentina in 1998 after struggling to prove himself, but four years in senior football convinced Real to bring him back. However, he couldn’t hold down a permanent spot in the team, starting just nine games in his final season, and was ultimately released in 2004.

??Inter took a chance on him and he did not disappoint. Cambiasso made 431 appearances for I Nerazzurri, winning five ?Serie A titles and the 2009/10 ?Champions League.


Nicolas Anelka

Nicolas Anelka

?One of the hottest attacking prospects around in 1997, Nicolas Anelka lived up to that billing after joining ?Arsenal. He earned a £22.3m move to Real Madrid two years later, but that’s when things came unstuck.

The Frenchman managed just seven goals in 33 appearances and was quickly discarded, but he soon rebuilt his reputation back with PSG.

Anelka then went on to represent the likes of ?Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, scoring a total of 208 goals before retiring in 2015.


Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku

After blossoming into one of the Premier League’s finest strikers with Everton, Romelu Lukaku earned himself a move to Manchester United in 2017, but his time at Old Trafford yielded mixed results.

Things began well but quickly fell away, and by the time 2019 arrived, many fans were keen to see the back of him as they felt he had nothing to offer anymore.

It turned out that all he needed was a dietary change, and Inter were the ones to give him that. Lukaku has been back to his dominant best under Antonio Conte and is proving all his doubters wrong.


Edin Džeko

Edin Dzeko

Edin Džeko burst on to the scene with Wolfsburg in 2007, firing the team to an unlikely ?Bundesliga title in 2009 and earning himself a move to Manchester City soon after. He won two league titles in England, but rarely looked like an elite talent.

A loan to Roma saved the day, with Džeko eventually finding the kind of form which had him in the conversation for Europe’s top marksman. He fired home 29 goals in his second season at the club, which was nearly double his best numbers with City.

He was on the Ballon d’Or shortlist in 2017 and continues to score an abundance of goals for Roma, which is why he is still regularly linked with blockbuster moves back to England.


Jérôme Boateng

Jerome Boateng

Manchester City spent a long time pursuing a 21-year-old ??Jérôme Boateng, and they eventually got their man in 2010. However, almost as soon as he arrived at the club, it became clear that City didn’t know what to do with him.

Against his wishes, Boateng spent plenty of time as a right-back, and he eventually pushed for a move to ?Bayern Munich as he wanted to join a club who would play him in his preferred central role. In hindsight, that was a good shout.

A core part of one of the most dominant sides in Bundesliga history, Boateng has already lifted seven league titles and the 2012/13 Champions League, and he’s still got time to add to that.


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FIFA Propose Extending Expiring Contracts & Delaying Transfers to Finish Domestic Campaigns

Players looking to move when their contracts expire on 30 June will be made to stay at their current clubs until the season is completed, in proposals outlined in a new FIFA document.

The measures are part of the governing bodies plans to deal with the effects of the coronavirus on the football season. 

Extending the campaign beyond the end of June – when many players’ contracts run out – has been a subject of significant contention in discussions about how best to complete this term’s remaining fixtures.

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However, a new document presented to FIFA’s coronavirus working group, via The Ti?mes, says the crisis constitutes a “force majeure” – an unforeseen situation that can allow contracts to not be fulfilled. This also permits FIFA to introduce emergency powers such as restrictions on transfers until the season is complete. 

“This is an unprecedented time for football,” an extract from the document in which this plan is outlined begins. “It is very likely that any such completion will occur after the original end date of the season.” 

“Article 27 of the Regulations on the status and transfer of players (RSTP) states that cases of force majeure shall be decided by the Fifa council, whose decisions are final.”

“The proposals, the details of which were being discussed by Fifa’s high command today, have been drawn up by the organisation’s working group on Covid-19 and also recommends that clubs work with players and staff on deferred or reduced salaries ‘by reasonable amounts for any period of work stoppage’.”

Player contracts usually run from 1 July until 30 June, but FIFA argue that these dates are only chosen because they coincide with the football season. Therefore, ‘the true intention of all parties’ is to employ players for the duration of the campaign. 

These plans could even delay transfer that have already been agreed, such as Hakim Ziyech’s move to ?Chelsea. 

Some players who have agreed deals which included a significant pay rise could also stand to lose a significant amount of their earnings. Thus, FIFA’s decision seems likely to face a legal challenge.


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10 Pairs of Footballers You’d Never Remember Were Teammates

?Some teammates are so synonymous with each other it feels wrong mentioning one without the other. 

Xavi and Iniesta. Ferdinand and Vidic. Heskey and Owen. Just three examples of when such a  pairing cements itself into the footballing vernacular. 

In stark contrast, some teammates just do not look right together. So much so that when an image of them wearing the same shirt pops up on your phone, you perform a double take to make sure it’s not one of your mates playing a prank on you. 

We feel it is important at this point to promise that there is no Photoshop related trickery contained in the forthcoming article.  

Each and every one of the unlikely duos listed below genuinely played together at some point… as hard as it is to believe in some cases.


Robert Pires and Ashley Young

Robert Pires

By the time Robert Pires joined Aston Villa at the start of the 2010/2011 season his best years were very much behind him. Ashley Young’s career on the other hand was about to go stratospheric. 

This was Young’s final campaign at Villa Park before sealing a £17m move to ?Manchester United and what better way to spend it than in the company of a ?Premier League legend? 

Pires spent the majority of the season playing in a number 10 role, with his fleet footed colleague operating down the right hand side as the Villans secured a ninth placed finish. 


Fabinho and Cristiano Ronaldo ?

The story of Fabinho at Real Madrid is as curious as it was short. The Brazilian rocked up at Santiago Bernabeu on a one-year loan deal from Portuguese side Rio Ave. 

After impressing for the B Team, he was afforded a solitary appearance for the senior side against Málaga, helping Los Blancos see out a 6-2 win alongside the likes of Luka Modric, Mesut Ozil and of course, Cristiano Ronaldo. 

He can’t have impressed that much as Real failed to make his loan move permanent at the end of the season.


Louis Saha and Alan Shearer 

Louis Saha

?Louis Saha has been around the block a few times, playing for Fulham, Manchester United and ?Everton among others. However, did you know before he carved out a niche as a short term striking solution, a young Saha had a fleeting loan spell with Newcastle. 

This was a Magpies side in their pomp as well. Newcastle Brown Ale sponsored shirts, Sir Bobby Robson patrolling the touchline and Alan Shearer banging in 150 goals a season. 

Saha did not quite manage to reach the same heights, netting just once during his time at St. James’ Park. 


George Weah and Shaun Wright-Phillips 

George Weah, Nicky Butt

?The only African player to ever win the Ballon d’Or, George Weah had a career filled to the brim with highlights. 

However, the cream of the crop must have been his two month spell playing with a teenage Shaun Wright-Phillips at ?Manchester City.

Should Wright-Phillips ever desire a career in politics he should give his former teammate a call. You know, given that’s he’s now President of Liberia.


Mikael Silvestre and Ronaldo 

Mikael Silvestre

?The often ?underappreciated Mikael Silvestre had a single season stint at ?Inter, before rejecting Liverpool to sign for Manchester United in 1999. 

While he was there, a striker by the name of ?Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima was terrorising defenders for fun. 

Silvestre must have dreaded going in training, having to stop prime Ronaldo scoring every day. No wonder he only lasted a season…


Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Eden Hazard  

Lille's forward  Pierre Emerick Aubameya

?Prior to establishing themselves as superstars, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and ?Eden Hazard briefly shared a changing room at Lille. 

While Hazard started to shine during the 2009/2010 season, Aubameyang – who was on loan from ?Milan at the time – found things more challenging. 

The Gabonese striker only managed two Ligue 1 goals all season – an utterly unthinkable tally given the goalscoring form he has showcased since. 


Sol Campbell and Andy Carroll 

Emmanuel Adebayor,Sol Campbell

?After an utterly bizarre stint at Notts County and a fleeting return to ?Arsenal, Sol Campbell saw his career out with Newcastle. 

While on his welcoming tour of St James’ Park, Campbell would have likely come across a massive Geordie bloke with luscious long hair. 

A matter of months later, a media hype train would earn that very same man a £35m move to Liverpool. Yes that’s right. Let us never forget that Liverpool genuinely spent £35m on Andy flippin’ Carroll.


Serge Gnabry and Darren Fletcher 

West Bromwich Albion Unveil New Loan Signing Serge Gnabry

At first glance ?Serge Gnabry and Darren Fletcher seem to be from two completely different footballing eras. The thought of them being teammates is a strange one. What’s even stranger is that the man who brought these two players together was Tony Pulis. 

Unsurprisingly the flair-centric talents of Gnabry rubbed the work rate-obsessed Pulis up the wrong way, with the Welshman boldly claiming that he was not good enough for the Baggies starting XI. 

I wonder if he watched the Tottenham vs ?Bayern Munich game this year and thought: “Ah, that was good. But Chris Brunt is still better.”


Marko Arnautovic and Mario Balotelli 

Inter Milan's Austrian forward Marko Arn

With these two hell raisers in the dressing room, it is nothing short of a miracle that Inter managed to win a Serie A and Champions League double during the 2009/2010 season. 

To be fair, Arnautovic barely played with José Mourinho claiming that he had an ?”a?ttitude of a child.”

As for Balotelli… “I could write a book of 200 pages of my two years at Inter with Mario, but the book would not be a drama –? it would be a comedy.”

We guess that’s better. 


Yakubu and Shkodran Mustafi  

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?Shkodran Mustafi cut his teeth in Everton’s youth ranks, learning the art of the defensive blunder from the likes of Phil Neville and Tony Hibbert – sorry guys, that’s harsh. 

His only ever senior appearance for the Toffees came in the Europa League against BATE Borisov. 

With qualification secured, Everton fielded a much rotated side but a few first team players remained, including Premier League icon Yakubu – making Mustafi’s 10 minute cameo that little bit more special. 


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UEFA Still Aiming to Finish Football Season on 30 June as Scheduling Plans Are Drawn Up

?Football executives from around Europe took part in a conference call on Tuesday and agreed that they still plan on finishing the season on 30 June.

The representatives from the European Club Association and European leagues gathered in front of their webcams to discuss plans to resume playing as quickly as it is safe to do so. 

The coronavirus pandemic has already postponed the European Championship and the Olympics until next year, with the main target for UEFA being to make sure the domestic season can finish in time to begin again in the autumn.

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?Sky Sports has reported that that the main focus is ‘adapting the existing football calendar to include the scheduling of more domestic league matches in midweek, and the remaining ?Champions League and Europa League matches on weekends’. 

While this would cause a fixture clog, especially for clubs like ?Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain who are still competing for the Champions League title, the postponement of international matches for the remainder of the season should allow for all the remaining football to played, albeit in an unusual calendar.

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Each European league presented their own predicted scenario which was based on the state of the virus within their country. The virus was said to have first appeared in Europe in the Lombardy region of Italy, where this season’s surprise package Atalanta play their football, meaning that they are significantly further ahead than the rest of Europe and may potentially be able to resume playing before countries like the UK, who are only just adopting severe restrictions.

The news that domestic football is planned to resume will no doubt be welcome news to fans, for whom football is often their escape during times of adversity. During World War 2, special wartime leagues were set up in Britain to keep the people’s morale up, with famous stars of the era guest featuring for different teams in one-off appearances. 

The necessity for social distancing in this crisis, however, outweighs the importance of football, but the sooner it can be resumed the better with Gary Neville ?saying: “It’ll be a joyous occasion and we’ll all appreciate the game much more.”

Borussia Dortmund v FC Barcelona: Group F - UEFA Champions League

In the meantime, the two UEFA working groups – one to talk about the resumption of football and the other to discuss the impacts of the virus – will continue to meet from home until the game can resume. 

Until then, it’s important that fans adopt the practices of the sport and stay safe.

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On This Day in Football History – March 25: Inter Run Riot, Derby Victories & More

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More Day one of lockdown in the United Kingdom and nobody knows what day it is unless you’re a bit weird. But what we do know is it’s day 25 of the third month in the worst year EVER. 25 ?March isn’t necessarily a special day in the footballing calendar. Pretty irrelevant, in fact. But in unprecedented times like these, it’s about time we took a trip down memory lane to see what exactly went down on this day. So, here we go, people – it’s time for you to take a break from kicking bog roll…