10 stars who transferred to rival clubs
Gone are the days when footballers would play for a single team all their life. One-club men like Paolo Maldini or Javier Zanetti, who symbolise everything their respective clubs stand for, have become a rare breed and are hard to come by these days.
With astronomical wages being offered by clubs to get the services of star players, it is only fair for professionals to choose the more lucrative option. However, when a player switches clubs to play for their rivals, it often infuriates fans and they are often branded as traitors. Loyalty, in football, has little place in modern football with the likes of Ronaldo playing for all four teams involved in both the Milan Derby and El Clasico.
Several players over the years have moved to their most bitter enemies over the years. We take a look at the top ten players who completed the controversial move, forever losing the support of fans of the clubs they left:
#10. Johan Cruyff (Ajax to Feyenoord)
Johan Cruyff returned to Ajax in 1981 where he had developed into one of the world’s best players. He had been the most integral part of the Dutch side which had pioneered ‘Total Football’ in the 70s which brought about a revolution in the game. It was almost at the end of his playing career, but his influence on the game was still undiminished.
Therefore, when Ajax decided not to renew his contract in spite of winning the Eredivisie two seasons in a row from 1981 to 1983, an angry Cruyff completed a controversial move to Ajax’s arch-rivals Feyenoord.
It was like rubbing salt on an open wound when the Dutchman exacted revenge on Ajax by scoring in a 4-1 thrashing by Feyenoord. In his only season at the club, he played in all the league matches except one and guided Feyenoord to the Eredivisie title for the first time in a decade.