The beautiful game has produced a number of exceptional players over the years. Most of these outstanding players have showcased their skills, while playing for the biggest and the best club sides around the world. On the flip side, however, are a select group of footballers, who despite their great talents never got to play for any big club. For some it was loyalty, while for some it never just happened. Here are 5 best footballers who never played for a big club.
1. Alan Shearer
The former England and Newcastle captain was one of the most prolific goal scorers during his heyday. The retired English footballer was a feared and respected goal scorer whose career spanned from the late 1980s to the mid-2000s. In spite of his exceptional goal-scoring prowess, Shearer never got to play for a big club. Alan played for Southampton and Blackburn in the early part of his career, who with the latter, he won the English Premier League. The EPL record goalscorer had a chance to sign for English giants Manchester United, but opted to join his boyhood club Newcastle United with whom he stayed for the rest of his career.
2. Carlos Valderrama
The eccentric former Colombian international was one of the most recognizable footballers during his playing days due to his curly blonde afro hairstyle. Valderrama was also a gifted technical player, who often operated in the attacking midfield position. Despite his exploits with the Colombian national team at various FIFA World Cups between 1990-1998, many big clubs didn’t look his way. Carlos played for various small clubs in France, Spain to mention a few.
3. Roger Milla
The ex-Cameroonian player was one of the greatest African footballers to have played at the FIFA World Cup. His goal-scoring exploits and dancing skills lit up the 1990 Italia World Cup. His performances notwithstanding didn’t earn him any major contract with a big club side. Milla played for French sides Monaco and Montpellier, plus a host of domestic Cameroonian teams during his long career.
4. Matt Le Tissier
Le Tissier was one of the most technically gifted forwards of his generation. The former English footballer was well known for his long-range goals and his efficiency at taking penalty kicks. Surprisingly despite his more than decent goal-scoring record and terrific skills, he never played for a big club. Matt was content to spend his entire career at English club Southampton FC. Le Tissier is also one the best footballers who never won a trophy.
5. Antonio Di Natale
The former Italian international never got to play for any big side, in spite of his immeasurable goal-scoring talents. Most of his prolific years were spent at Italian Serie A club side Udinese. He is one of the greatest footballers who played for only one club.
Some other football legends who never played for major club include:
- Stanley Matthews — Blackpool, Stoke City
- Johnny Haynes — Fulham
- Gareth Southgate — Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough
- Josef Bican
- Jose Luis Chilavert — Velez Sarsfield
- Lars Hogh – Odense.