Accolades or admired – how to judge the career of a footballer

The footballing world is filled with different philosophies on how a player can span out his career, I thought I would have a look at two furthest ends of the spectrum.


Firstly, there’s the mantle you would want to adopt. Either a one club man, born and raised at the club and spends every waking moment a player for them. A Matt Le Tissier, perhaps? Or would you want to be a journeyman in your career, travelling from country to country winning titles and earning huge wages, but never being around long enough to become part of the make-up, I.e., Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Obviously, they both have their pros and cons; the one club man achieves infamy within the club and is adorned by its fans but can be accused of not achieving as much as they could have done and stunting their own growth as a player. On the flip side, the more journeyman footballer eradicates the “could he do it in the *insert league name* here” aura which seems to surround foreign players, but they’re accused of being mercenaries and playing for contracts and being self-centred.


I’ll use my two examples once again to explain their accolades as a player; Le Tissier was a one club man in his professional career and with over 443 appearances for Southampton, and actively turned down chances to join bigger club which obviously means Tiss’ didn’t win as much as he probably could of done and finished his career with no major trophies and a handful of personal achievements such as the PFA young player of the year in 1990 and obviously, Southampton player of the year a couple of times. On the other hand, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has 5 Seria A titles, 2 of which have been revoked due to the Calciopoli scandal, but 3 titles are still good enough. Winner of a La Liga with Barcelona, and a Eredivisie title with Ajax there is a feeling that wherever Zlatan goes, Zlatan wins.


I think I’d prefer to be more of a Zlatan kind of player when you reflect on how they will be revered in the future.