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5 players who insulted their clubs after they left

Zlatan Ibrahimovich
Zlatan Ibrahimovich's stint at Barcelona wasn't a happy one.
ANALYST
Modified 10 Sep 2020, 01:02 IST
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Players move from football clubs due to a plethora of reasons that may or may not always be in their control.

Sometimes, the arrival of a new manager sparks a change in a club's playing style that can make some players surplus to requirements because of their failure to adapt to a new system.

It may also happen that a player may regress for want of competition for places. But when new players arrive and compete for his position, the player may fall down the pecking order and may not be able to reclaim his place in the team.

At times, players move on because there may not be anything new to achieve at a club or if they feel that they could have better opportunities or challenges elsewhere.

Alternatively, there may also be situations when a player is suddenly moved out of his preferred position to accommodate another player. He may then be 'unfairly' judged on his performances in his 'new' position and lose the faith of his manager.

Five instances when players insulted their former clubs:

Some players still leave clubs on amiable terms, but there are a lot of instances when players badmouth their former employers. On that note, let us have a look at five such instances when a player spoke poorly about a club he once played for.

#1: Alexis Sanchez (Moved from Manchester United to Inter Milan in 2020)

Alexis Sanchez moved to Inter Milan in 2020.
Alexis Sanchez moved to Inter Milan in 2020.

After a successful three-and-a-half season stint at Arsenal, Alexis Sanchez arrived at Manchester United in the winter of 2018.

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Sanchez, who scored almost a goal every two games during his 166 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners, was expected to hit the ground running at United as he was a proven scorer in the Premier League.

However, that did not happen, and Sanchez struggled to replicate his form at Old Trafford, as was evident in his meagre tally of three goals in 32 Premier League games after scoring 24 for Arsenal in the previous season.

After an unhappy one-and-a-half year stay at Manchester United in which he scored just five times in 45 games, the forward, whose salary of £400,000 a week was the highest of any player at the club, was loaned out to Inter Milan in 2019.

Sanchez's form barely improved in his new surroundings as he scored just four times in 32 games for the Serie A runner-ups. Nevertheless, Inter decided to make the deal permament and bought Sanchez on a three-year deal just a few weeks ago.

Recalling his 'unhappy' spell at United, Sanchez said that he wanted to 'return' to Arsenal after his first training session at Manchester United.

"I want to tell you about my period at United, about many things that have been said which made me look bad. Before going there, I had an agreement with Manchester City, but it didn't work out, and I got the chance to join Manchester United. It was something nice for me. As a kid, I liked the club a lot."
I ended up signing without having a lot of information about what was happening with the move. During the first few days that I was with my new teammates, sometimes there are certain things that you do not realise until you arrive. After the first training, I had realised many things. When I got home, I asked my family and my representative: 'Can my contract be terminated and can I return to Arsenal?'"

Sanchez continued with his rant by saying that Manchester United were not 'united' as a team and bemoaned his lack of game-time:

"We were not united as a team. As players, you need the team to be united, to be a family, and we weren't. And you could see it on the pitch, but because they had to blame someone, they would always blame me. Sometimes, I wouldn't even play or I would play for 20 or 30 minutes, but it would always be my fault."
"I couldn't understand how I had gone from being one of the best players in the Premier League five months ago to not even playing."

#2: Neymar (Moved from Barcelona to Paris St. Germain in 2017)

Neymar
Neymar

The world was at Neymar's feet during his four seasons with Barcelona as he scored 105 goals in 186 appearances for the club in all competitions en route to winning several domestic and continental honours that included the 'treble' in 2014-15.

Along with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, Neymar formed one of the most fearsome attacking triumvirates in world football, which was affectionately nicknamed MSN.

However, during his time at the club, Neymar largely stayed in the shadow of his illustrious teammate Lionel Messi and realised that he would not be able to win individual honours like the Ballon d'Or if he stayed on at Camp Nou.

Paris St. Germain, backed by rich owners from the Gulf, splashed the cash and Neymar became the world's most expensive player after the French club paid €222 million for his services.

Neymar's move sparked outrage among Barcelona fans but the player deflected the blame on to the club's board.

"I don't have anything to say to the Barcelona board. For me... Well, actually I have something to say - That I am disappointed with them."
"I spent four years there and was very happy. I began happy, spent four years happy and left happy. But not with them. For me, they shouldn't be in charge of Barca. Barca deserve much better, and everyone knows this."

As things turned out, though, the player hardly 'shone' in the Parisian capital after having all the limelight on him. Afflicted by injuries, Neymar made only 85 appearances across three seasons but managed to score 70 goals. The Brazilian, however, managed to enrage the club's faithful when he vociferously pushed for a move back to Barcelona last year, but it didn't work out.

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Published 10 Sep 2020, 01:02 IST
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