Some top footballers in the world were less successful in the early years of their professional football career. However, the later years of their careers brought them much success.
Footballers who make up this non - exhaustive list are recognised in the various clubs they played for as one of the greatest. Others left a great impression with their national team and in football.
This list has in it footballers who represented Barcelona, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Bayern Munich . It features record holders at the Fifa World cup, Uefa champions league, Italian Serie a, English premier league, Spanish La liga, and various national teams.
1. Carles Puyol
Carles Puyol was Barcelona's inspirational captain, a "no-nonsense" defender. He led the Barcelona team that won 14 trophies in 4 seasons under Pep Guadiola. The team that many refers to as one of the greatest ever in club football.
He was instrumental in Spain's European Championship and World Cup triumph. He featured at the centre back position alongside Gerrard Pique who was his teammate at Barcelona.
However, before this period of success which he first tasted under Frank Rijkaard, Puyol was less successful.
Puyol rose through Barcelona's famed La Masia academy. He was promoted to the first team in 1999 by Louis Van Gaal at age 21. However, Puyol failed to win a trophy with the team until he turned 27 years.
He bettered this achievement when he led Barcelona to a treble of trophies (League, Copa del Rey and Champions league) in the 2008/2009 season.
In fact, Puyol won zero (0) trophies until he turned 27 but won an amazing 20+ trophies before he resigned at age 36.
2. Didier Drogba
Drogba is amongst the 5 top footballers who did not win a major trophy earlier in their career. Today, his name is mentioned amongst the most successful African footballer ever.
Didier Drogba started his professional career with Le Mans in France (1999). He also represented Guigamp and Marseille in France. A switch to Chelsea at the beginning of the 2004/05 season coincided with his first major trophies( The English premier league and Football league cup).
Just like Puyol, Drogba was already 27 when he won his first major trophy.
The seasons after, Drogba won more league titles, football league cups, Fa Cups, Fa community shield, and the Uefa Champions league trophy.
Also, he won the African footballer of the year award (2) and the BBC African footballer of the year.
In 2012, Drogba was voted as Chelsea's greatest ever player by some fans and in 2013, he won the Golden foot. When Drogba retired from professional football, he had over 15 trophies.
3. Ian Wright
Ian Wright is an Arsenal and Crystal Palace legend but failed to win a major trophy until he turned 28 years. Hence he joins the list of 5 top footballers who did not win a major trophy earlier in their career.
Wright was born in 1963 and made his professional debut in 1985 ( about 22 years old) with Crystal Palace.
Although he won the Full Members' Cup: 1990–91 with Crystal Palace, Wright's major trophy came at Arsenal. His major trophies arrived in the 1992/93 season. He won the Fa cup and the Football league cup trophies in 1993 at about 30 years old.
He won further trophies with Arsenal ( English premier league, Fa Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup) and West Ham United ( Uefa Intertoto Cup) before his retirement from football.
Wright is in the English Football Hall of Fame: 2005 and was voted as Crystal Palace player of the century after his retirement.
4. Miroslav Klose
Klose's is one of the greatest footballers to feature in the Fifa World cup. He holds the record as the player with the most goals in the history of the tournament (16 goals). He is also Germany's all time top scorer.
Klose is one of the great footballer who was less successful in the early years of his professional career. Klose was born on 9th of June 1978. He made his professional debut at the age of 20 at Homburg in the 1998/99 season.
It took him 8 years before he won his first major trophy as a professional while playing for Werder Bremen. The Dfb-Pokal trophy of 2006 opened the way for the inflow of more trophies.
After his move from Werder Bremen to Bayern Munich in 2007, Klose won the German league (2), Dfb-Pokal (2), Dfb-LigaPokal, amongst others. Arguably, the icing on the cake was his 2014 world cup win with the German National team.
That tournament, he surpassed the record held by the Brazilian Ronaldo as the player with the most goals in the history of the tournament. Also, he is the German National team all time top scorer.
5. Luca Toni
One of the 5 top footballers who did not win a major trophy earlier in their career is Luca Toni. The Italian is currently amongst the top 5 highest scoring Italian player of all time.
Luca Toni was born in 1977 and made his professional debut at Modena in 1994 age 17 years. He represented 6 other Italian clubs between 1996 and 2003 but failed to win a single trophy.
In 2004, Toni won the Serie b title with Palermo but his first major trophy arrived in 2006 age 29. Toni was part of the Italian National team that won the 2006 Fifa World cup trophy.
These are few examples of players who were more successful in the later part of their careers. What do you think could be reason for their 'late success'? Were they at the wrong club? Or it was not their time to win?
Content created and supplied by: ClassicJohn (via Opera News )