When you listen to football fans talking, you may come across words like diehard fan, loyal player, traitor, one-club man etc. Loyalty means a lot when it comes to football. Once anyone starts supporting a certain club, that person tends to stick to supporting that club right till the end. ai???Win, lose or tie, (insert favourite clubai??i??s name) till I dieai??i?? are words that perfectly describe a fanai??i??s emotions about the club or team he supports. It is not the same when it comes to the players. These players actually have a direct connection with the said club. However, a football player may not have the same kind of feelings for the club as a fan will.

The Fansai??i?? Perspective

ai???When you start supporting a football club, you donai??i??t support it because of the trophies, or a player, or history. You support it because you found yourself somewhere there; you found a place you completely belong.ai???

-Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai?? Dennis Bergkamp

The above quote perfectly summarises how one comes upon starting to support a club. A fan puts his whole and soul when he starts supporting a club. He will watch all the possible matches, he will celebrate the successes, he will weep when the club fails, he will praise a player-in-form to the stars and back and he will also criticize and maybe even abuse an underperforming player or manager. Generally, a true-blue football fan will stick to the club he started supporting right till the end no matter what. It is a given that once you start supporting a club, you will remain with it for the long haul. It is like a marriage only without any direct relation between the two parties. It is easy for a fan to remain loyal with a said club. The club doesnai??i??t pay or in some cases underpay the fans, the fans donai??i??t have any role to play except to support the club from a distance and the fans only expect the club to win games and even if they donai??i??t it doesnai??i??t really have much effect on the fanai??i??s life.

The Playersai??i?? Perspective

Imagine working for a company where you donai??i??t get paid enough for your services, where you have to spend more time just watching other people work instead of working yourself, where your career is at a standstill and a bigger and better opportunity is knocking at the door. In the above scenario will any practical person remain loyal and stick to his current job? Not many would. When it comes to football players, going out there on the pitch for their club is only their job. While there are many emotions attached, some players might just look at it as a way to earn money. Cameroon international Assuo-Ekotto is a perfect example of professionalism. The full-back admitted that playing football is just a job for him that he does for the money and football is not his passion. While it may seem strange to hear about a player who is not passionate about the beautiful game, it should not actually come as a surprise. When you are working for a certain entity, you may give your heart and soul to it for the period youai??i??ll be working for it but there is no need or necessity to keep working for that entity for the remaining years of career. The same is true for football players. Many factors come into play when a football player decides to make a move to a different club. Money, ambition and prospects of first team football are just a few of them. While it may be easy for some fans to demean a player citing lack of loyalty, it just seems justified to move on when you look at it from a playerai??i??s perspective.

Famous Players who moved to a rival club

Tevez (Played for Manchester United and Manchester City)

Ronaldo LuAi??s NazA?rio de Lima (Played for AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid)

Luis Figo (Played for Barcelona and Real Madrid)

Ashley Cole (Played for Arsenal and Chelsea)

Ibrahimovic (Played for Inter Milan and AC Milan)

Famous players who remained loyal

Ryan Giggs (Played out his entire career in Manchester United)

Raul (Played for Real Madrid till younger players dethroned him)

Xavi (Played for Barcelona till age took over)

Puyol (Played for Barcelona till his body couldnai??i??t take it anymore)

Scholes (Played out his entire career in Manchester United)

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