A team of misfits, crocks, pensioners and quite possibly, some of the most talented footballers seen in recent years.
It’s that time of year when the demise of superstar names really hits home. When clubs clear out their annual waste for the world to see those big name players on a list consisting of youths, cripples and nobodies.
And it’s also that time of year when people make teams out of those individuals, so here’s mine:
Until David De Gea’s move to United last summer, Gordon held the record British transfer fee for a goalkeeper after his move from Hearts to Sunderland. In truth, the experience has been a complete disaster for him. Though he’s played well when he’s managed to enter the field of play, a return of 88 appearances in 5 years is far from ideal for any player, let alone a goalkeeper.
Top Value: £9 million, summer 2007. http://www.skysports.com/football/player/0,,11695_239702,00.html
At times you’d be forgiven for thinking the former Chelsea right back is a complete and utter joke. After all, his marauding style often leaves him hopelessly exposed at times. However, this is a man who played at centre back against apparently the best team on the planet and didn’t put a foot wrong. He was then a part of the defence which performed so heroically in Munich to win the Champions League. Leaves the club with his head held high.
Top Value: £16.2 million, summer 2008. http://www.skysports.com/football/player/0,,11668_232655,00.html
Could very well retire this summer, and it would be a shame because when fit the Spurs captain has been easily one of the greatest centre backs the country has seen in recent times. Consistently hampered by a chronic knee problem, and unable to train properly for the past few seasons, it’s been a sorry story for such a talented individual. I’ll personally never forget his performance against France at Euro 2004, when he gave such a classy display in difficult circumstances after being drafted in so late.
Top Value: N/A
Used to be the worlds best defender by a country mile, and his partnerships with the likes of Cannavaro and Maldini will go down in legend. At 36 the Italian has lost some of the pace which made him such an accomplished performer, but you can’t take anything away from a man who has won absolutely everything in the game.
Top Value: £21 million, summer 2002. http://www.skysports.com/football/player/0,,11863_101840,00.html
Contract expires at Inter after making 105 appearances for the former Champions League winners. Could yet stay if both parties agree on terms, but it’s thought the Romanian could be assessing other options as he moves deeper into his 30’s. A reliable performer and still at a decent age for a defender.
Top value: £16 million, Summer 2003. http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/en/cristian-chivu/transfers/spieler_4314.html
Oh dear, we’ve been here before haven’t we? After being released at Utd last summer the former England international decided the only way to get fit and attract Premier League clubs was to release a youtube video of himself running, doing kick ups and so on. It worked, but only because Man City really don’t care if they pay a player every week for doing diddly. Made a single league appearance from the bench, emphasising the demise of a man once tipped to become the focal point of a dismal England side after his performances at the World Cup in 2006.
Top Value: £17 million, summer 2007. http://www.skysports.com/football/player/0,19754,11667_205936,00.html
An absolute master of the game, the Dutchman is the first player to win the European cup with three different sides. His passing ability is still second to none whilst his passion for the game cannot be questioned after 10 years at Milan. Still has something to offer.
Top Value: £13.5 Million, Winter 2000. http://www.skysports.com/football/player/0,,11863_25981,00.html
Another player who was summoned from the wilderness under Roberto Di Matteo to contribute hugely to Chelsea’s success at the back end of this season. Is infuriating at times, as he occasionally looks like he’s never played football in his life, but his goal scoring record is exemplary for somebody who has never been a regular in his Chelsea career. A useful addition and by far the youngest in the team.
Top Value: £9 million, summer 2006 http://www.skysports.com/football/player/0,,11668_284892,00.html
In 2006 this man was undisputedly the best player on the planet. He had everything, the world was at his dancing feet. So what went wrong? Well it began in Germany where the player was simply awful in his countries defence of their World Cup crown, and continued at club level as Ron turned to parties, woman and booze, which of course is completely the wrong lifestyle choice. Has since had spells in Italy and his native Brazil, where they now appear to despise him.
Top Value: £21 million, summer 2003. http://www.skysports.com/football/player/0,,11863_199729,00.html
Alessandro Del Piero
Another Italian master, the silky forward is available after nearly 20 years at Juventus. An absolute legend of the game and is rumoured to desire a fresh challenge, perhaps on these shores?
Top Value: N/A
Powerhouse, beast, monster, top Drog, there simply aren’t enough names to describe Chelsea Legend Didier Drogba. Won the Champions League with the last kick of the ball for the side who he spent 8 years of his career with, and has ensured a place in Premier League folklore with some scintillating displays and, of course, antics. Though it looks as though he may be heading east, the Ivorian could still play for pretty much any side on current form.
Top Value: £24 million, summer 2004. http://www.skysports.com/football/player/0,,11668_201686,00.html
TOTAL HIGHEST TEAM VALUE: £146.7 MILLION
Subs: Manuel Almunia, Gianluca Zambrotta, Sulley Muntari, Michael Owen, Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey.
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