In whatever way you choose to evaluate or measure player’s worth, there is a need to look at the player’s achievements, longevity, and how well the fans love the players, both when active or retired, as such it won’t be out of place to take a look at some of the football players who did had or have a great career with their various clubs.
Some of these players may not or may have won the most coveted UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, or the World Cup, but then they did make a huge mark for their respective clubs as a professional player, in fact, it won’t be out of place to tag them, King of Kings,
Today in our piece, Cheapgoals will look at the football kings who did leave an enormous footprint in their respective clubs.
Martin Palermo – (Boca Junior, La Bombonera Stadium)
There is this perception that if a player does not play for the big club in the big European Leagues such players aren’t good enough, sometimes that assertion or thought isn’t always true.
Not playing in some of the biggest European leagues doesn’t mean such player isn’t good enough, because sometimes when the player gets the opportunity to play in some of the biggest clubs in Europe, some of them find it hard in adapting to the European lifestyle and game.
One player that fell victim to this scenario was a certain Martin Palermo when he had a stint with Villarreal, Real Betis, and Alaves, he failed to settle into all of these teams due to injuries and some other things, perhaps that is why the King of La Bombonera is often overlooked in Europe.
However, at Boca Junior where he was regarded as a King, the case is different, as he turned La Bombonera Stadium to where he scored a large chunk of his career goals.
No matter what some people feel about his catastrophic display at the Copa America in Paraguay in 1999, when he missed three penalties for ‘La Albiceleste‘ of Argentina and lost 3-0 against Colombia, yet his legacy and achievement for Argentine football, most especially Boca Junior isn’t something that could be forgotten.
Palermo scored 249 goals in 592 games across a career spanning 19 years, a decent career that some of the young and upcoming Argentine players would willing to grasp, and perhaps tried to achieve such a feat while playing in the Argentine league.
For all of the success, Palermo achieved at Boca Junior, when putting all of it in a biography it won’t be complete without including how he made ‘La Bombonera‘ his ‘Palace or Hill’ where he is regarded as a true football King.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, Santiago Bernabeu)
It’s a known fact that Ronaldo actually started his professional football career at Sporting Lisbon before he was signed up by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson at age 18 for £12.24 million when he dazzled in a match to give Fergie and his boys an evening to never forget, losing 3-1 to Sporting Lisbon.
The money splashed on Ronaldo was worth every penny in his six years stint with the Red Devils, as the young Portuguese went on to win 9 trophies including 3 Premier League and a Champions League, he also won an individual award ‘Ballon d’Or’ in 2008 as a United player.
Having had a successful six years stint with United, the journey to a more successful career began for Ronaldo when he moved to Real Madrid ahead of the 2009-10 season for a world record transfer fee at the time for £80 million.
In all of the years he spent in the city of Madrid, Ronaldo’s achievements with Los Blancos are so vast that he became the football King of Bernabeu with 450 goals in all competitions as the all-time leading goalscorer.
Although some were of the opinion that Ronaldo his more revered at Manchester United, compared to Real Madrid, however with what he achieved for Los Blancos, then there is no doubt, Cristiano Ronaldo is the King of ‘Santiago Bernabeu’.
Francesco Totti (Roma, Stadio Olimpico)
From King of Rome to King of Kings, that’s how revered Totti was among the Roma faithful, deserved right? Yes to a large extent because of how he started playing for the ‘Giallorossi’, in 1993, although a lot of great players like Chinaglia, Signori, Conti had played for Roma, none of them is been revered and greater than Totti.
Given the nature of Totti’s success with Roma, it won’t be out of place if one label him the greatest player to ever play for Roma, with his great skill, goals, and the leadership skill he brings into the team, then without mincing words the one-club man his definitely the football King of Rome.
Like so many great players, his career was flawed and marred by moments of madness, but his genius lays mainly in his ability to create something from nothing off either foot, his supreme and deadly finishing which brought about over 250 Seria A goals, and the dexterous manner in which he goes about his play on the pitch.
The reason why Totti is been regarded as a god, king, cult figure, and a man who sees the Stadio Olimpico as his palace, even though his 25 years or thereabout in Rome isn’t littered with a lot of silverware, but at least he can boost of 1 Seria A title, and 2 Coppa Italia for the Giallorossi.
It all came to a teary end in the final weeks of the season when Milan fans prepared a banner, saying ‘La Sud Rende Omaggio Al Rivale Francesco Totti‘ (The South End pays homage to our rival, Francesco Totti) a great testament to how great King of Rome was.
Thierry Henry (Arsenal, Highbury Stadium)
Highbury was the historic heart of the ‘Gunners’ date back to 1913, a stadium with a capacity of 38,419 until it closed in 2006 and Arsenal moved to the Emirates Stadium, no football enthusiast, pundits, or the neutral would talk about the Highbury stadium without talking about a man that made the venue his own and a slaughter slab for any opponent that came visiting.
Together, Henry, Wenger, and all symbolized an era at Highbury stadium for English football and specifically for the Gunners. For every football aficionados who did watch Henry play, would testify to how energetic, sleek, and expressive his football was for the Gunners at Highbury stadium with all of his solo goals.
The case of Henry is like many revered players who didn’t win the Champions League for the club they owe so much and loved dearly, although he was able to achieve that elsewhere at Barcelona, then that doesn’t render his legendary status at Arsenal useless especially at Highbury stadium where he roared like a Lion and lived like football king.
His eight-season stint with Arsenal produced overall 228 goals, 174 club record goals, 2 Premier League titles 2002, 2004, and two FA Cup titles in 2002, 2003, the reason why he’s been called ‘Igwe‘ meaning King by the Arsenal faithful in Nigeria.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Camp Nou)
The roar which greeted the Argentine at the Camp Nou on April 6, 2010, by the fans when the Catalan faced the Gunners in the quarter-final of the Champions League was a testament to how brutal he could be when in top gear to face any opponent, and the G.O.A.T is loved at the Camp Nou, “Messi, Messi, Messi” is the name that rang out from the Catalan’s stands.
In many occasions when the sheep are down, Messi has grabbed games by the scruff of the neck and delivered when it matters most for the Blaugrana.
A case in point was the Arsenal game where he scored four-goal, his performance that night at the Camp Nou will perhaps be one of the finest performances in his career as a Barcelona player.
Talking about football king, a player who has spent his entire professional career with the Blaugrana, winning a club-record 34 trophies, 10 La Liga titles, 4 UEFA Champions League titles, and 6 Copa Del Rey scored 694 goals, just 4 goals shy of his 700 goals mark in his career for Barcelona and Argentina, what then can we call the little man, if not the King of Camp Nou.
Luis Roberto Alves (Club America, Estadio Azteca)
Football became a reality to the man that was popularly referred to as ‘Zague‘ when he realized that his height won’t fit well into a Formula 1, so when he decided to opt for football his powerful style was so immense for him when he made his debut for Club America in 1985.
Zague is born to a Brazilian father and Croatian mother, but played professionally for ‘El Tri’ Mexico national team, he was well admired for his physical play, and he was also a very fast striker who is regarded as the best in his prime years for both Club America and Mexico with a good strike partnership with Hugo Sanchez.
He is the 6th highest Mexico goalscorer of all time with 30 goals and 11th in the appearance records with 84 caps, while in the Primera Division de Mexico he is the 7th highest goalscorer with 209 goals which is a testament to how deadly he was in front of goal.
No wonder he’s been regarded as the King of the Estadio Azteca during his stint with Club America, which produced 3 Concacaf Champions Cup and 2 Campeon de Campeones trophies.
Ian Rush (Liverpool, Anfield)
If the goalscoring terrain of the English football in 1906’s was about Messrs Law and Greaves, then the 1980s belonged to a fruitful partnership of Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish two legends that catapulted the Kop to the pinnacle of European competition.
Rush joined the Kop in 1980, and he quickly established himself as the outstanding target man of his generation for Liverpool, he was well respected for his natural speed off the mark and his innate ability to be in the correct place at the right time to score goals.
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Before he left for Juventus in 1996, Rush scored overall career goals of 346, 183 goals for Liverpool, winning the football league division 5 times in 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1985-86, and 1989-90, the FA Cup thrice in 1985-86, 1988-89, and 1991-92, the league cup 5 times, FA Charity Shield thrice, and the European Cup twice, coupled with a lot of individual awards, with all of these achievements no doubt Ian Rush was the King of Anfield in his days.
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City, Etihad Stadium)
The game between City and Queens Park Rangers at the Etihad Stadium will perhaps remain the finest performance of Aguero’s career in City jersey.
May 13, 2012, at exactly 4.53 pm was a historic day for all City fans when the score was still at 2-2 between the two teams, and heading into injury time, then manager Roberto Mancini needed to match United’s result to claim their first-ever Premier League title.
United on the other hand already did their part and left to City to also do theirs, the fans in the stadia were waiting patiently, some were in tears of thinking about how the players would save the day, but fortunately, boom Aguero got the ball, flicked it past the defender, and the rest they say is history, as Aguero saved the day for City and Mancini.
Since his first league title with City under Mancini, he has won more trophies, and scored over 180 goals in 261 appearances for City, and still counting, if you call him King of Etihad, you won’t wrong.
Bobby Charlton (Manchester United, Old Trafford)
Bobby was a man destined for greatness, why? because he defies death in 1958 when football was robbed of great talents as Manchester United’s flight from Belgrade crashed in Munich, where it’s stopped to refuel, many great footballers and young men lost their lives, but Bobby was lucky enough to cheat death.
Charlton was widely regarded as the driving force behind Red Devils success in his days, as his playing career which spanned over three decades is considered to be the number of times he was nominated for the most coveted Ballon d’Or award which he won in 1966, the same year he was instrumental in England’s quest to win the World Cup.
At his very best in the mid to late 1960s, he finished second in each of the two years after he won it, a feat which underlined not his world-class quality.
His consistency at the highest level at that time. Bobby Charlton held the record for the most outfield appearances for the Three Lions with over 106 caps, scoring 49 goals from the middle of the park, and he also stands at second place for the most Manchester United appearances, behind Ryan Giggs.
His name and achievements are synonymous with United, he won a total of 3 First Division now (Premier League) titles.
An FA Cup, four Charity Shields, and a European Cup in his 17 years or thereabout stint at United, in a time when the sport was thought to be more competitive than it is today, reasons why his admired in United as a true legend of the club and pass as a football king.
Henrik Larsson (Celtic, Park Head Stadium)
King of Kings is one name that is synonymous with Celtic legend Henrik Larsson, former Sweden forward is regarded as a god, and a cult hero at the Park Head Stadium.
The Swedish played a central role in the revitalization of the Scottish giant to dominate the league having been in humdrum for a long time.
Larsson broke the domestic scoring records, and he single-handedly took Celtic to the final of the UEFA Cup in 2003, where they lost to Portuguese giant FC Porto 3-2 in extra time scoring the two goals.
More so he will be remembered for his true world-class, and mesmerizing display in the 6-2 demolition of Rangers in the ‘Old Firm Derby’, a match that laid claim to how he meant to the Celtic fans.
During his seven years stay, he won the Scottish Premier League 4 times and the Scottish Cup twice, he scored over 242 goals in his 315 competitive match for Celtic.
Although he may not have won Europe’s most coveted trophy the ‘UEFA Champions League’ with Celtic, he did won it elsewhere with Barcelona at age 33, then that doesn’t take anything away from his legendary status at Celtic where Larsson remains the ‘King of Kings’ or let us say, football king.
Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, disapproving the concept of Super League
President Gianni Infantino has called for respect and dialogue as he expressed FIFA’s strong disapproval of the proposed European Superleague project, and has requested that the concerned parties consider their position in line with respecting the institutions that exist to protect the interest of national, European, and global football.
“FIFA is an organization which is built on values, the true values of sport,” said the FIFA President in his address to the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.
“It is an organization that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove of the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, and a model that he promoted in his 16 years at UEFA:
“FIFA is here, and I am here today as FIFA President, to bring full support to European football, to UEFA, and the 55 member associations of UEFA and of FIFA, to the leagues, clubs, players, and to fans. To all the fans, all over Europe, and actually all over the world as well.”
“We can see that there is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some,” the FIFA President added. “People need to think very carefully, they need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility. They need to think not only of their shareholders, but they need to think about all the people, of all the fans, of all those who have contributed to making European football what it is today. It goes back not only decades, it goes back more than one hundred years. People – with love, with passion, with commitment – have created all this. And we need to protect this. It is our task.”
“FIFA is a democratic organization, an organization that is open,” the FIFA President concluded. “Everyone can bring ideas and proposals, but always with respect for the institutions, leagues, associations, UEFA, and FIFA.
With respect for the history and with the respect for the passion of so many people around the world. I understand as well that on these particular days, emotions are very high, but we need to always keep the line. Football is hope, and it is our responsibility to make hope a reality. So we hope that everything will go back to normal and that everything will be settled, but always with acting responsibly, with respect, with solidarity, and always in the interest of national, European, and global football.”
2 Potential Manager To Replace Hansi Flick
Hansi Flick awesome reign with the Bavarian giant is gradually winding down, as it’s looking likely that he may not further manage the Die Roten next season.
Bayern Munich’s quest to win the Champions League consecutively came to end on Tuesday night, via the UEFA’s away goal rules having lost the first leg at home to Paris Saint Germain in the quarter-finals despite being the better side at home.
The Bavarian giant will now focus on league duty and they’re no doubt the team in pole position to win the Bundesliga, as the 2020-21 campaign is gradually coasting home with fewer games left to be played. In that regard, there is a great need for Die Roten to start preparing for next season administration and coaching wise.
The friction relationship between Hansi Flick and the Sports Director has broken down to such as extent that the manager has decided to terminate his current contract.
Hansi Flick sent shock waves through German football on Saturday after a 3-2 win over Wolfburg which keeps the Bavarian in pole position to retain the league title. Hansi Flick issued a statement about his decision to exit when the current campaign draws to a close.
“I told the team today that I informed the club during the week, after the game in Paris, I would like to terminate my contract at the end of the season.
“It was important to me that the team learn this from me because there was already a lot of hallway rumours going around.
“We’ve done a great job together for almost two years. I’m absolutely impressed with this team, their quality and their attitude.”
He added: “I also want to thank the club that gave me the chance to manage this incredible team.
“This decision was not easy for me. I’m a fan of this club. Gerd Müller, Paul Breitner, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge all were childhood idols for me.
“I’m eternally grateful to the club for the chance they gave me to become head coach here.”
It’s quite evident that a new manager would be appointed to pave way for a new rebuild of the team especially with the looming departure of David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, and Javi Martinez.
Two potential top managers that could succeed Hansi Flick, should he accept Die Mannschaft managerial position.
- Julien Nagelsmann – (RB Leipzig)
Nagelsmann has been rumoured as a possible replacement to succeed not one but many managers in Europe’s top-flight leagues whose future with their respective clubs are not guaranteed. This time around, the 33-year-old has been rumoured to be one of the possible potential managers to succeed Hansi Flick.
It could be argued that Nagelsmann is the tailor-made manager to take over the reins at the Allianz Arena, and there is no doubt RB Leipzig manager would certainly harbour the dream of managing one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Nagelsmann is presently focusing on the job at hand with RB Leipzig, plus the fact that he’s still under contract with his employers until the end of the 2022-23 season.
With RB Leipzig and Nagelsmann flying high in the Bundesliga in terms of team performances, with next season European football spot already secured, the club’s Executive Director Oliver Mintzlaff may consider letting him leave to join their rival.
However, it’s left to be seen how things would shape up at the end of the campaign.
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- Jurgen Klopp – (Liverpool)
The relationship the German tactician has achieved thus far with Liverpool started in 2015 when he joined the Kop from Borussia Dortmund, since then he has achieved quite an incredible success with the Reds winning their first league title after thirty years and a Champions League triumph.
Liverpool were eliminated early in both domestic cup competitions and failed to progress past the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and it’s quite impossible to say that the Kop will defend their title with their current epileptic form in the Premier League especially when it’s looking done and dusted that the cityzen would clinch the title.
Having used close to six years with Liverpool since he joined the Anfield side, this could be the perfect time for the former Borussia Dortmund manager to take up a new challenge. However, despite Liverpool’s unpalatable 2020-21 campaign, the German has often reiterated that he is in no way finished at Liverpool, despite been link to the Bayern Munich and Die Mannschaft managerial position.
Given his incredible success with BVB, it’s quite evident that he would one day go on to manage either Die Roten or Die Mannschaft. Should Bayern secure the service of Klopp, he would certainly be the right and wise choice for the Bavarian giant.
At the end of the campaign, there would be a breath of fresh air in the Bavarian giant camp, with the new CEO Oliver Kahn taking the mantle of leadership from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. In that sense, it’s left to be seen if the incoming leader would sanction the appointment of a new manager or stick with Hansi Flick. Only time would tell.