Top 5 players who went from hopeless to hero
When we see the countless legends the beautiful game has churned out, we always fall for their stardom. However, there is just a handful of us that try to delve into their past and learn about the hurdles they have overcome before earning a name for themselves.
Also, their fame and limelight come at a heavy price. As much as they are adored during their best days, they receive equally brutal criticism while not performing to the expected standards.
It takes a strong gut to swallow the criticism that players are often subject to, and not everyone succeeds in fighting and proving their haters wrong. It takes a combination of hard work, courage and a never-say-die attitude to silence your critics and that's what earns you loads of respect.
Here are 5 such footballers who went to become indispensable for their respective clubs after being branded as failures in the early stages of their respective careers:
#5 Jamie Vardy
The tale of Jamie Vardy's rise as a footballer is the closest you can get to a fairytale in the sport. Who in their wildest dreams could have imagined a factory worker and a non-league player to be the spearhead of a title-winning team in England?
To start with, the Englishman was released by Sheffield United when he was sixteen in 2006. The club deemed him as a below-par player and he went on to choose a more traditional line of work, functioning as a technician who made medical splints in a factory.
His days turned around when he scored 31 goals in his only season with Fleetwood Town, a third-tier club. Leicester City came calling and snatched the player for £1 million in 2012.
Four years later, Vardy's rampant run of form saw him become the kingpin for the Foxes as they clinched their first ever Premier League title in season 2015-16. He netted 24 goals that season in all competitions and also broke Ruud Van Nistelrooy's long-standing record of scoring in consecutive league games, netting 11 times in a row.
Since then, the Englishman has been a top target for clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal. If that ain't a fairytale, what is?