Top 10 Local Heroes

In the history of the game, there were many players who never played for more than one team. They only knew one love in the game and they played their whole career wearing a single shirt such as Tony Adams at Arsenal, Aitor Larrazábal at Athletic Bilbao, Sígfrid Gràcia at Barcelona, Sepp Maier at Bayern Munich, Paulo Maldini at Milan, Santiago Bernabeu at Real Madrid and many more. Currently there are still a few players who only sticked to the club they joined since their early days. We will take a look at the top ten of them.

10. Bruno Soriano – Villarreal

Bruno Soriano has lived all his life in Valencia and he joined one of the community’s smallest team back then, Villarreal, and neither of Valencia or Levante. Since the day he joined he had some bad times from playing with the reserve team in 2007 to relegation in 2012 yet he insisted on staying at the club he joined as a young child and he earned promotion with them just last season and his loyalty to the club has not gone unnoticed as he was awarded the captaincy. Today the defensive midfielder at the age of 29 has no reason to leave the club that he always supported.

9. Xabi Prieto – Real Sociedad

Born in San Sebastian, he never thought he’d stay long with his local team, Real Sociedad. There were times when offers came knocking but he found comfort in his own city and stayed there year after year. He joined the club in 1997 and since then he played European football and proved himself as one of La Liga’s best midfielders but yet there were bad times when Real Sociedad got relegated and he didn’t leave the team but rather guided them back up to where they belong.

8. Carlos Gurpegui – Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao currently has over seven players who have only played for this club, but Gurpegui stands out because he joined the club way before any of the current players did. He played for Bilbao’s two reserve teams before making the cut into the first team and once he did, he played in nearly every position on the field as he switched from defender to midfielder and winger on a few occasions. Unlike the previous two, Gurpegui was never tested with relegation but his loyalty cannot be questioned.

7. Claudio Marchisio – Juventus

Although Marchisio left Juventus for a loan spell, it does not deny the fact that he is loyal to his hometown club. His loan spell was only a learning experience for him to return stronger to Juventus. In his early days at the club, he was regarded as one of the hottest prospects but recently the club signed Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo which limited his time on the pitch but he did not lose heart and he sticked to the Bianconeri despite all.

6. Bastian Schweinsteiger – Bayern Munich

Bastian is also another player who joined the local team in his childhood years and although he made many reasons to leave when Bayern were finding it tough in the Bundesliga, he did not stop believing that one day his team will dominate the world and he wanted to be part of that. Despite countless offers from Premier League clubs, Bastian did not hesitate renew his contract at Bayern many times. Despite his loyalty to his team, he is only the vice-captain at the club.

5. Daniele De Rossi – Roma

A few years back it seemed settled that Daniele De Rossi will finish his career at Roma, his only love. Though as the years past and the bust up with Zdenek Zeman, people were predicting that he will accept one of the incoming offers from the Premier League or La Liga. Manchester United and Real Madrid came knocking several times but he knew that his heart only had once choice and that is Roma. His dream to be a Roma captain has been only hindered by the fact that there is someone who is even more loyal than him at the club.

4. Iker Casillas – Real Madrid

Although originally from the Basque Country, Iker was brought up in Madrid and raised as a true Madrilène, he joined Real Madrid when he was only nine years old and since that day things went from good to better for him as he became the club captain and won several domestic titles. When Jose Mourinho arrived at the club, Iker’s status as the starting goalkeeper changed and currently under Carlo Ancelotti the situation has not changed, Iker has many reasons to leave Madrid as he wants to search for first team football but the club means more than playing every week on the pitch for Iker. He snubbed a transfer away twice already and his love for Real Madrid stems from the heart.

3. Xavi Hernandez – Barcelona

Xavi Hernandez joined his local club Barcelona and sticked to his team ever since. Although it took him a while to reach his best form but when he did, he showed the world just how important a midfielder can be to his club. There was never a moment of doubt over his career at Barcelona, he was always destined to stay there and now despite age exacting its toll on him, he is still one of the pillars of the Blaugrana.

2. Steven Gerrard – Liverpool

When someone says Liverpool, he has to say Gerrard, Steven joined in 1987 and made his senior debut in 1998, he won FA Cups, Carling Cups, Community Shields, UEFA Cup, Champions League and a European Super Cup but the Premier League has always evaded him yet there was never a discussion about him leaving. It was taken for granted that Steven and Liverpool go hand in hand and this season Liverpool seem to be close to winning the league title although Chelsea and Manchester City seem to be stronger than the Reds.

1. Francesco Totti – Roma

Roma without Totti is not Roma. It is simple; the man was always destined to become his club’s best ever player. He joined in 1989, 25 years on, he’s still there and he will be next season and the one after at least. He became the captain at a very young age but being at Roma meant that he is highly unlikely to win major trophies yet he rejected any offer that came. He could have been part of Real Madrid’s Galacticos but he opted to stay in his kingdom, a place where he is the one and only king. There were times when injuries challenged him yet he overcame everything and returned stronger than ever.

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