Becoming a football player is incredibly hard. A lot of factors come into play. Talent alone is not enough as hard work and diligence need to be aligned with a bit of luck.
Becoming a legend of the game, however, is perhaps even harder. So many players just drift through their careers but there are some who become legends at the club they play for.
However, there aren’t many players who have the distinction of being a legend for more than one clubs – here are five such cases…
5. Xabi Alonso
Xabi Alonso is a proper legend of the game. The Spaniard joined Liverpool under the tutelage of Rafa Benitez and won the Champions League with the Merseyside outfit before joining Real Madrid in 2009.
At the Bernabeu, he became a revered figure and the heartbeat of the system – no matter which manager was in charge. He won the Champions League with Los Blancos as well and cemented himself as a legend in the eyes of the Madridistas.
He played 210 matches for Liverpool and 236 matches for Real, establishing himself a much-loved figure at both places.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo was still a teenager when Manchester United signed him. He impressed them so much in a pre-season game that the players urged then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson to sign him instantly.
In six years at the club, he won numerous accolades that included Premier League titles and one Champions League medal. He also won the Ballon d’Or while at United. After 292 matches and 118 goals for United, he joined Real Madrid for a then-world record £80 million – which turned out to be a bargain.
Ronaldo finished his Real career with four Champions League and four Ballon d’Or trophies to become a true phenomenon of the game. He played 438 matches for the Merengues and scored 450 goals – most by any Madrid player ever.
3. Andrea Pirlo
Andrea Pirlo truly became a cult figure after his move to Juventus. He was like fine wine that got better with age. The truth, however, is that he was a world-class midfielder at Milan and just continued to be legendary at Juventus.
He moved to Juventus in 2011 and helped the Old Lady kick off an era of dominance that still hasn’t ended. He was in his 30s when he joined the club and while almost everyone thought he was washed up, he displayed class that not many could even dream of.
He won the league four times with Juventus in four years and finished with 164 games for the Turin based outfit.
2. Zinedine Zidane
When a list of the finest players to have ever graced the game is compiled, Zinedine Zidane’s name is always there on it. The French maestro came into the spotlight with his excellence for Juventus, where he won the league twice and played 209 matches for them, while also clinching the Ballon d’Or in 1998.
After that, he moved to Madrid and became the most expensive player in the world at the time. He played 225 times for the Galacticos and won the Champions League once.
He ended his career at the Santiago Bernabeu, one of the very few Madrid legends to have been able to do so in this millennium, and is now in his second spell as their coach, after a trophy-laden first stint.
1. Johan Cruyff
He is the ultimate legend of football – a man who changed the complexion of not one but two clubs (and perhaps even football in general). The late Dutch maestro started his career at Ajax and was there for 10 seasons.
He won the European Cup thrice in a row and then left for Barcelona. He might have only won the league once but his influence there changed the course of history for the Catalan giants, who are now one of the biggest clubs in the world thanks to the football principles imprinted on them by the legendary Dutchman.
These 5 players went on to become legends for more than one club