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3 Footballers who have played for more than 5 different clubs in the top 3 European leagues

Subhadeep Roy
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.98K   //    Timeless

Nicolas Anelka remains the ultimate journeyman of modern football
Nicolas Anelka remains the ultimate journeyman of modern football

Loyalty is not a very common virtue in football as most of the footballers do not mind changing clubs frequently. There have been some exceptional players like Ryan Giggs, Paolo Maldini or Francesco Totti, who have spent their entire career at a single club, but such examples are extremely rare. Most of the footballers usually cannot resist lucrative offers from other clubs and usually do not hesitate to change allegiance.

It is very commonplace for a professional footballer to play in 2-3 top clubs. However, only some footballers have the chance of playing in three or more clubs in the extremely competitive environment of top football leagues. If a player spends even a decade in the top leagues and three years on an average with a single club, he should not be able to play in more than 3-4 clubs in those leagues.

However, there have been some exceptional players who have played for more than five clubs in EPL, La Liga, and Serie A. They changed allegiance frequently in their career and their longevity as a player allowed them to play in more than five top clubs. We would discuss three such footballers in this article:

#1 Nicolas Anelka

Anelka remains the ultimate journeyman of modern day football. In an 18 year long career, he played in eight different clubs across the top 3 leagues. The French striker made his debut as a professional player for French club PSG but soon moved to Arsenal in 1997. He was moderately successful for Arsenal and scored 28 goals in 90 matches for them. Anelka’s stint with Arsenal coincided with compatriot Arsene Wenger’s initial days as their manager and he performed reasonably well for the Gunners. He also won a Premier League title in his inaugural season for the Gunners. He was signed by Real Madrid in 1999 and went on to score only seven goals for them in 31 matches. He won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2000.

Anelka was an opportunistic striker with quick movements and touches inside the penalty box. However, he was a bit temperamental too and often had problems with his managers. He went to Liverpool and then Manchester City from Arsenal. His most successful stint as a player was with City, for whom he scored 45 goals in 103 matches. He also played for Chelsea from 2007 to 2012 and scored 59 goals from 184 matches for them.

In between, he had also spent a couple of seasons with Bolton Wanderers and also appeared for Juventus in two matches in the 2012-13 season. He played a solitary season for West Brom in 2013-14 before hanging up his boots. He also had to play spells in Turkey, China, and India in his eventful career. Anelka ended up with 210 goals in 665 matches in his career and also won two Premier League, one UEFA Champions League and one Serie A title in his illustrious career. 

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