From Gareth Bale to John Terry: 5 prominent footballers who supported rival clubs as a kid
Footballers, unlike any other football fan, also grow up as a fan, before taking up the sport as their career and profession. While they grow up supporting their favourite club, it is not necessarily that they are roped in by the very club when it comes to their footballing career.
As far as footballers are concerned, they are just like any other human being, who grow up as a fan, before taking up football as their full-time profession. As a fan, they ought to support their favourite football club for multiple reasons.
Nonetheless, they don't need to be roped in by the club they grew up supporting when it comes to their professional career. In the same light, we take a look at some of the prominent footballers, who grew up supporting their rival club, before going on to play for another.
John Terry (Manchester United): We start the list with an utter shocker. Terry is one of the legendary defenders for Chelsea, who has won five Premier League and a UEFA Champions League (UCL) title. Nonetheless, he had never imagined that he would ever play for the London-based club, as he had always grown up admiring and supporting one of Chelsea's biggest rivals, Manchester United. "I was Man United growing up. You know what it's like when you're a boy, you want to support the team that's winning everything. And, my dad and granddad were Man United fans. But, my first day at Chelsea, I knew that was the club I wanted to be at. I just loved it. But, Man United also approached me. I met Alex Ferguson – great to meet. During the school holidays, I would go up to Manchester and train with their boys for two weeks, play a few games and come home," he once said.
Isco (Barcelona): The Spanish attacking-midfielder is making a name for himself at Real Madrid. However, before being roped in by the Spanish champions, he had confessed that he was never a fan of Los Blancos, as he instead grew up supporting Barcelona and Lionel Messi. At the same time, he even named his dog after the latter.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Liverpool): The current Manchester United manager and legend is having a tough time at his boyhood club. Nonetheless, it is unsure if he ever wanted to play for them, as during his childhood, he grew up admiring and supporting United's arch-rivals Liverpool. He was a fan, following their success in the 80s.
Raul (Atletico Madrid): The former Spanish striker was immensely successful at Real Madrid, winning countless titles, including the UCL. However, he was associated with Madrid's city rivals Atletico Madrid during his childhood days, as he even admired them, before joining Los Blancos. His family too happens to support the Atletico and he still has a special place for the club in his heart.
Andres Iniesta (Madrid): The former Spanish and Barcelona midfielder cum legend, Andres Iniesta won numerous titles with the Catalonians. Nonetheless, during his childhood, he supported Real Madrid throughout. Although he supposedly had a chance to make a move to Madrid, he chose to stay loyal to Barca, as he wrote history with them.
Gareth Bale (Arsenal): The Wales and Tottenham Hotspur striker is making a name for himself, having won numerous titles with Real Madrid, including the UCL. Although his rise began with Spurs, he always had a fascination for Arsenal during his childhood days, while he admired their players, like Thierry Henry and Patrick Viera. Nonetheless, he decided to join their London rivals, which eventually turned out to be the right decision, especially for the player that he is today.