New developments take place in the world of football from time to time. However, the news of football players returning to their boyhood or ‘home’ clubs never fails to make the headlines. When players transfer from one club to another, it is not just a business transaction. There is significant emotional involvement in transferring clubs too. For a player, there is the familiar feeling of a home with the former club. Sometimes the act of transferring back to their boyhood clubs has proved fruitful for the players, while at other times, it has not. Let us take a look at some of the most significant returns in footballing history.
Football players returning successfully to their clubs
Throughout the history of the sport, there have been several acts of returning to boyhood clubs after exploring greener pastures. Many clubs like Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United accepted former players with open arms. Some of these returns have forged fond memories in the mind of the viewers. These events are also much-awaited in the sports betting markets in online casinos. The online casino markets speculate the next club the big-name players will move to. Following is a list of some successful returns to home clubs –
1. Juan Veron
Juan Veron started with the Argentine club Estudiantes in 1993 before he moved to Boca Junior and thereafter to Europe. Ever since his big move, he enjoyed success with Parma, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Sampdoria. He returned back to his home club in 2006 and since then has won the title of South American football of the year. He also went on to lead the club in getting its first Argentine title in 23 years.
2. Hakan Sukur
Hakan Sukur is a popular Turkish player who started with the Galatasaray club in 1992 and played as a part of it until 2000. Thereafter, he forayed into the football scene of England and Italy. He joined Torino FC briefly in 1995. He played with many international clubs like Inter Milan, Blackburn, and Parma, after which he returned to Istanbul in 2003. After his return to his home club Galatasaray, he helped the team in winning two titles and a UEFA cup.
3. Martin Keown
Martin Keown started with Arsenal and thereafter joined Aston Villa FC and Everton for brief spells in between. He returned to Arsenal in 1993 and helped his home club in winning three league titles and also 3 FA Cups.
Some returns which proved to be unsuccessful
A lot of sports betting takes place on football developments regarding players moving their clubs. It is important to note that sports betting accounts for 30-40 percent of global gambling revenue. Football fans always love seeing their favorite players returning to home clubs. However, these returns do not always have a happy ending. Following are some such instances –
1. Robbie Fowler
Robbie Fowler was a legendary player of the Liverpool football club. He helped the club in winning FA Cup, League Cup, and the UEFA Cup as well. However, he left the club for Leeds FC after a fall out with his manager Gerard Houllier. He eventually returned back to his home club Liverpool in 2006, but his performance has declined since then.
2. Fabio Cannavaro
Fabio Cannavaro is a popular Italian footballer who started his career with Juventus. He was the captain of the Italy team and also helped it in winning a World Cup. He was also the recipient of Ballon d’Or in 2006. He left for Real Madrid in 2006 after a scandal that had relegated the Juventus club to Serie B. He returned to his home club in 2009, after which he was in poor form and also suffered from a number of injuries. He also received a red card in the Europa League, which marked an end to his career.
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan from Manchester United had a very successful career as a footballer for the club. He moved up to the Premier League in 2016. He scored 156 goals in 4 years at Paris Sant-Germain, and was on his way to becoming the “God of Manchester.” However, he suffered a massive knee injury in the Europa League quarter-finals, which ended his successful campaign.
While some players have had successful careers after coming back to their home team, some other players did not have the same luck. However, the fans are always happy in welcoming the players back to their homeland.