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Football legends who played for average clubs

5)Franz Beckenbauer – Hamburg SV

The German is regarded as one of the finest centre back the game has ever seen. His long diagonals and ability to play out from the back was something not very common like it is in today’s game. Beckenbauer went on to win 1972 Euros with Germany and followed it up with the 1974 Fifa World Cup title as well. Domestically Kaiser was equally successful leading Bayern to a hattrick of European titles from 1974 to 1976. Towards the end of his career though, Beckenbauer joined Hamburg. His association with the club was for only a brief period though he still managed to win a league title in that time.

4)Socrates – Fiorentina

Socrates is easily amongst the finest Brazilian to have never won a world cup title. He was one of the most dynamic players of his time. While he spent the majority of his career in his native land, he did get a taste of European football. Against odds though, that experience came through Fiorentina where Socrates spent a solitary season. His time at Viola was nothing extraordinary and in fact didn’t even get a whole lot of attention thanks to Diego Maradona’s exploits across town in Naples.

3) Fernando Hierro – Bolton Wanderers

Ex Spanish defender and manager as well thanks to his brief time with the national side following Lopetugui’s unexpected departure,  Hierro had a hugely successful time with Real Madrid during his playing days. He went on to represent Los Blancos in more than 600 games which speaks for itself. Hierro decided to leave Real Madrid for Qatar putting curtains on what had been a fantastic time. However, he would soon return to European football though his choice of employers shocked everyone. He signed with Bolton Wanderers and quickly became a fan favourite. Though after one season, Hierro decided to call it quits despite Sam Allardyce’s persistent push for contract extension.

2)Johan Cruyff – Levante UD

The Architect of total football, former Barca player and manager, Johan Cryuff had an amazing career. He was pivotal in Ajax’s European titles in the early 70s while was also hugely successful with the national team. After a fruitful time in Europe playing for Ajax and Barca, Cryuff left Europe for USA. He soon returned to Europe only to sign with Levante. At Levante, Cryuff barely had any impact and fell out with the club time and time again. The marriage ended in less than 8 months resulting in Cryuff returning to Ajax.

 

1)Diego Maradona – Sevilla

The former Argentinian great is best known for his hand of god against England which helped Argentina win the World Cup. The majority of fans know that Maradona made his name in Naples, where he helped Napoli end Juve’s dominance by leading them to Serie A title. He also played for Barca but there is little known about his time with Sevilla, who he had joined after his ban was lifted. He spent just one season with Sevilla before returning to his homeland.

 

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