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10 footballers whose greed ruined their career

Not everyone is cut out to live the life of a professional football player.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 24: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (r) and new signing Nicolas Anelka pictured before an FA Carling Premiership match between Arsenal and Wimbledon at Highbury on February 24, 1997 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images)
Nicolas Anelka and Arsene Wenger (L-R) immediately after he was signed

Considering the amount of sacrifice and discipline required to play at the highest level of professional football, it's a wonder why players don’t crash and burn more often. While injuries and unwise transfers claim their fair share of careers, greed plays its part too. Players have been swayed by the glitz and glamour of the sport too often to ignore how easy it is to be led astray by too much money in too little time. 

You may like to believe that the love of money isn’t the root of all evil but try explaining that to these 10 footballers whose greed ruined their career:

#10 Nicolas Anelka 

Nicolas Anelka seemed like he was on the way to greatness when he scored 17 goals in 35 appearances for Arsenal during the 1998-99 season. Acquired from Paris Saint-Germain the year before, the Frenchman became one of the most sought-after young talents in Europe when he was just 20-years-old. He attracted the interest of Real Madrid who offered a whopping £22.3 million to the Gunners for the striker. 

Arsene Wenger made the smart business move and sold Anelka who was already getting too big for his boots. Under the advice of his brother Claude Anelka, the 20-year-old made excessive wage demands at Arsenal before being shipped off. At Madrid, the striker flopped miserably and shunted back and forth between European clubs before reinventing himself late in his career at Chelsea. 

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