The beautiful game has (had) an array of exceptional super stars that lit up the scenes and changed how the game will forever be played.
Some almost got to that exalted height but just slightly fell short of reaching the peak. They are “flops” who weren’t really flops. The real flops just never got it going despite having the potentials and promises.
Here are 10 “flops” who weren’t really flops, but did flatter to deceive when it mattered most at some point in their careers.
The Brazilian was seen as another heir apparent to the Brazilian Ronaldo. And rightly so considering his techniques, finishing abilities, stamina, speed, flicks and tricks. All these assured the watching world he would never go wrong.
Sadly, everything went down the drain and the now-overweight 34-year-old can be found playing for Miami United in the National Premier Soccer League.
Not really a flop verdict : With 11 individual prizes, 7 club honours, 4 national team honours, and 27 goals in 48 appearances for the Samba Boys, it’s safe to say Adriano didn’t completely flop.
9. Alexander Hleb
The former Arsenal midfielder once revealed in an interview, that the biggest regret of his life was leaving Arsenal for Barcelona. Every Arsenal fan wouldn’t disagree with him on that, as he went from hero to zero within the space of 2 seasons after that move.
Not really a flop verdict : His contributions and time at Emirates are a testament to how great a player he was. Besides, he won the treble with Barcelona in 2009.
8. Alexandre Pato
A young Pato tore the tough Serie A defences apart while in his hay days with AC Milan. Although, frequent injuries got the better of the 27-year-old who now plays for Villareal, much more was expected of him.
Not really a flop verdict : 10 goals in 27 national team appearances, 7 individual prizes, 4 national team honours and 6 club honours prove Pato wasn’t really a flop at the end of the day.
7. Andrey Arshavin
His 4 goals in a thrilling draw at Anfield are what comes to mind anytime the Russia winger is mentioned. He was a sort of an EPL Messi back in days due to his stature, dribbles and speed. Arshavin days at Arsenal came to an end after he grew frustrated with life on the bench, and he never did attain his once lofty heights since.
Not really a flop verdict : Despite currently playing for some club called FC Kairat in the Kazakhstan Premier League, the UEFA Cup and Super Cup winner can’t be completely regarded as a flop.
6. Andriy Shevchenko
The Ukrainian legend and the word flop weren’t used in the same sentence until the minute he became a Mourinho charge at Chelsea.
A Champions League winner and Ballon d’Or nominee while at the San Siro, Shevchenko’s record breaking move to the Stamford Bridge was a turning point in what had been a very successful career until then.
Not really a flop verdict : He now coaches Ukraine. And his honours for clubs and self are almost uncountable.
To be continued…