5 footballers no one hates

N'Golo Kante
N'Golo Kante
Shambhu Ajith

Football is the most widely followed sport in the world and it's rare for a footballer to be loved by everyone.

When all the cameras are on you, it's easy to get conscious. But that's just the reality of life that footballers have to get accustomed to. Every micro-reaction could get picked up and every interview could get dissected and speculated upon.

As such, it is really difficult for any footballer to hold a clean rap sheet. In fact, it is quite easy for football stars to make people hate them. There are plenty of divisive figures in football. There are players who are absolutely adored by fans of their club but hated by everyone else.

There are also players who are hated on for being unapologetic or playing dirty. Amid all this, there are a select few who are adored by everyone. Today, we take a look at five footballers who no one hates.

#5 Erling Haaland - Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund v 1. FC Union Berlin - Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund v 1. FC Union Berlin - Bundesliga

Quite unlike the rest of the players on the list, Erling Haaland has no haters purely because he is a youngster who has been absolutely unstoppable and has made being a striker look like the most fun profession on the planet.

Just as endearing are Erling Haaland's interviews, which are quite candid and capture him at his awkward best. He has the footballing world at his feet now and it hasn't looked for a second like he takes any of it for granted.

The fact that he plays for a much admired club like Borussia Dortmund also helps and he might become more of a divisive figure in the years to come when he decides to move on. But until then, he will remain one of the footballers who has no haters.

#4 Son Heung-Min - Tottenham Hotspur

LASK v Tottenham Hotspur: Group J - UEFA Europa League
LASK v Tottenham Hotspur: Group J - UEFA Europa League

Whether it be protecting a mascot's head from the rain in the build-up to a match or breaking down at the sight of the damage he's done through a reckless tackle on Andre Gomes, there is simply no hating Tottenham Hotspur attacker Son Heung-Min.

One of the nicest guys in football, Son is often seen goofing about with a smile on his face. The fact that he is a top footballer definitely helps his case and it's nearly impossible to find someone who doesn't wish well for Son Heung-Min.

#3 Andres Iniesta - Vissel Kobe

Vissel Kobe v Shanghai SIPG - AFC Champions League Round of 16
Vissel Kobe v Shanghai SIPG - AFC Champions League Round of 16

It's been a couple of years since Andres Iniesta left Barcelona to join Japanese side Vissel Kobe. He is still tearing it up at the age of 36 but unfortunately, fans of European football miss him dearly.

Iniesta weaves magic on the football pitch with his delicate touches and incredible passing range. Alongside Xavi and Sergio Busquets, he formed a midfield trio that dominated club and international football for several years.

Iniesta was also one of the nicest guys around. He was soft-spoken and it was easy to take to him. Iniesta is one of the very few Barcelona players to have received a standing ovation at the Santiago Bernabeu. And that is quite a feat when you factor in the depth of the rivalry and bitterness between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Iniesta has also won the lot. He has won one World Cup, two Euros, four UEFA Champions League titles, nine La Liga titles and six Copa Del Reys among others. It is impossible to hate someone who has accomplished so much and yet stays so humble.

#2 Juan Mata - Manchester United

Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League
Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

Manchester United are one among, if not the most admired clubs in the world. They have fans all over the world but consequently, they have no shortage of detractors either. Under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United were cut from a different cloth and they were arrogant about it and that has earned them a lot of haters.

Naturally, after Fergie stepped down and United started to struggle, their haters were having a ball taking shots at the side. Into that team stepped Juan Mata. The bearded midfield maestro from Spain who is often seen with a grin on his face, looking like he's about to deliver a pat on the back to someone who is going through a tough day.

Mata has been an endearing presence at Manchester United since day one. His blog is popular and he signs off every post with the words 'Hugs, Juan' and it goes to show what kind of a man he is. His Common Goal initiative that urges footballers to donate 1% of their wages to charity, has gathered much momentum.

Even away from all that, Mata has been a tremendous sportsman on the pitch. He rarely ever loses his cool but manages to stay at his competitive best throughout.

#1 N'Golo Kante - Chelsea

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League
Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League

Apart from being the champion footballer that he is, N'Golo Kante is also football's most endearing personality. A man whose love for the game is exemplified by his hunger to relentlessly chase the ball down and make things happen for his side, Kante stays modest and humble even when he has the world at his feet.

He won two back-to-back Premier League titles, played a starring role in France's World Cup triumph in 2018 and yet his stardom seems to have not touched him. Kante remained shy, happy to wait in line to take a photo with the World Cup and smiling in embarrassment as his teammates sang their favourite chant of him.

Ask any football fan in the world about Kante and they will only say nice things about the Chelsea midfielder.

Edited by Shambhu Ajith
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