Football is a crazy sport. You never know what’s around the corner. One minute you could be supporting your team, and the next, you’re finding yourself having a soft spot for your bitterest rival. The game has a tendency to work its charm, and when it does, all we can do is sit back and enjoy. We shouldn’t blame ourselves for succumbing to the beauty of it all.
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Believe it or not, footballers are no different. They made a choice to become professionals, but as kids, they didn’t know any better. They were intrigued by a team, started supporting it, and swore that they’d remain fans for the rest of their lives. Some of them even fantasized about playing for their club, the one they supported as a child. But, as luck would have it, not everyone who goes pro gets an opportunity to live their dream.
The ultimate heartbreak
Whilst some of these footballers didn’t get an opportunity to play for the sides they loved, a few others have gone on to represent their adversaries. The teams that they would have dreaded supporting as kids. In this list, we’re going to take a look at players who supported their rivals as kids but went on to create a name for themselves with their opponents.
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Roy Keane: The latest surprise
Roy Keane, the Manchester United legend, recently revealed that he was a Spurs fan growing up. It was quite difficult for us to swallow because, in our minds, Roy was a Red Devil. He still is, but the revelation changes everything. The worst part is we don’t know why he chose to root for them. Neither does he.
Jamie Carragher – Workers Bleed Blue
This list isn’t going to be easy on you. For all you Reds fans who didn’t know that Carra was a Blue growing up, now you do. The Liverpool legend, just like the numerous other working-class Scouse lads, was an Everton fan. It’s a pity that they decided to not even give him a chance in their academy.
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Wayne Rooney – A traitor from Merseyside
Choosing to support Man United, let alone play for them, is a cardinal sin in Liverpool. Our man Rooney broke into Everton’s first team as a teenager, but the temptation to go for glory, to succeed, got the better of his rational head (not saying he had one). He made a name for himself with the Devils before returning back to his boyhood club. The damage had already been done, though.
John Terry – Loyalty is a Terryble thing!
John Terry, the most faithful person in all of football, is another former player who used to support Manchester United. We clearly don’t understand the obsession these young boys had with that team. They weren’t even that great back then.
Frank Lampard – Blow Your Bubbles
This is the least surprising entry in this whole list. The entire world knew about Frank Lampard’s allegiance with the Hammers. It was his father’s former club. He started his career with them and moved to Chelsea just before Abramovich took over. Now that he has been sacked by Chelsea (as manager), he could try his luck with West Ham if Moyes decided on accepting a new challenge.
Raúl – A Real legend?
There’s no denying that this man gave his all for the Whites, but did you know that he actually supported Atlético Madrid as a kid? Raúl, a Madridista at heart, grew up as a fan of his beloved club’s crosstown rivals. He even spent two years in their academy before the Whites swooped in. He has completely forgotten all about his past now. That’s what we’re hoping for.
Isco – Disco in Barcelona
Isco, the Disco man, never had good things to say about Real Madrid. He was a cule and could still be one. This midfielder also has a deep admiration for Messi, which begs us to ask the question – Why haven’t Real sold him yet? Heck, why did they even buy him? He is a talented player, but still.
Gareth Bale – Who likes Arse and tiny balls?
Gareth Does. Well, what we meant to say was Gareth Bale used to be an Arsenal fan growing up. The Welshman, however, got to play for their North London rivals before going on to achieve better things in Madrid. The implosion was not a part of the plans, though. The love of tiny balls (golf) could be why.
Andrés Iniesta – The all-white Kit was the dream
Sadly, it was never achieved. Although Andrés Iniesta was a product of La Masia, he was a Madridista as a child. The mild-mannered footballer would have fit right in their setup, but he proved his mettle with the Blaugrana. Tormenting the whites throughout his career, some even say he’s the reason Los Blancos are dishing out exorbitant sums to Brazilian clubs. The hopes of finding the next Iniesta are well alive in the Spanish capital.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær – He used to be a red. The wrong kind of red.
Last but not least on this list is Manchester United’s current boss. Ole Gunnar Solskjær made it to United in the summer of 1996 as Cantona’s backup. But, the Norwegian was obsessed with LFC as a child. Sir Alex took a mighty gamble buying him, and it did pay off.
There are many more players who had supported their rivals when they were younger. But when it came to the job, they put their head down and did what they had to do. That’s a life-lesson there for you people.
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