May 16th, 2008

Footie Love: Player Loyalty

image

Mmmm man love.

Wait, what are we talking about again?  Oh yes: footie loyalty.

It’s that time of the season when everyone and their mama is speculating about which player will head off for pastures greener.

We tend to get freaked out by the rumours and try to lay low until it all blows over. 

There are certain players we just can’t imagine seeing in a different jersey – Steven Gerrard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Frank Lampard, to name just a few.  We’re still not over Becks leaving Manchester United 400 years ago, but our therapist is positive we will get past this trauma at some point.

Here’s our question for those die hard baller lusters/lovers/stalkers out there: if your favourite player goes to another team, do they become ‘dead’ to you?  Of course the love of your fav team will never change, but can you separate that loyalty and still secretly (or not so secretly) watch and support the defector?

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100 Responses to “Footie Love: Player Loyalty”

  1. LucyLu says:

    Haha, that’s funny because I always thought of them as the Spanish Man United! Always splashing the cash for the player of the moment – hence the interest in Cristiano! I do like Real though… for more superficial reasons <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/smile.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="smile" style="border:0;" />

  2. Deanna says:

    *sighs* we really need an edit facility here! I meant ‘Exactly’ and not ‘Exactle’!! Sorry for the typo, AJ.

    Thank you, LucyLu, for the reassurance. The only slight problem I see with supporting Real is that I really don’t like them. Probably because they strike me as as a Spanish Chelsea (Sorry, Chelsea fans, please don’t hate me!!), tapping up all the other teams good players. I really don’t understand how Cristiano would want to go there, but I guess money and fame does matter in the end.

  3. RedGirl (Mrs. Casill says:

    Obviously I’m very, very loyal to my team. But when a player that I like leaves, I try to see how he’s doing in his new team. For example, I sometimes watch Atleti because of Luis Garc

  4. LucyLu says:

    There’s nothing wrong with your club love starting with a player Deanna (and *what* a player <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/wink.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="wink" style="border:0;" /> ) It sounds like you’re going to have quite a tough time if Cristiano leaves – but it’s perfectly ok to support both him and United. Real are both aesthetically pleasing and successful so hopefully it shouldn’t be too hard to keep up with his exploits where you are, whilst cheering on United in the EPL <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/grin.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="grin" style="border:0;" />

  5. Deanna says:

    Exactle AJ!! Thank you for confirming my suspicion that it was the reporter who was angling for that soundbyte! I knew that it had to be something like that.

  6. AJ says:

    I’m Man Utd and ONLY Man Utd. But, I generally wish our former players well and tune into their games from time to time. Exception: Gabby Heinze. He broke my heart when he tried/insisted on signing with Liverpool.

    I’m may be in the minority here, but I saw the interview with Cristiano yesterday and I didn’t get the impression he was thinking of leaving this year at all. He was just getting mega annoyed at being asked the same questions and the reporter was trying so hard to pin him down. I think he just got stubborn and didn’t want to give the reporter anything so he kept saying “We’ll see” . I mean he was actually gritting his teeth he was so pissed (it was kinda scary and sexy at the same time. <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/surprise.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="surprised" style="border:0;" />).

    If we win the Champions League, he’ll leave next summer, guaranteed. And yes, I will still lust after him but it will be weird and he better not beat us.
    <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/raspberry.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="raspberry" style="border:0;" />

  7. Deanna says:

    LucyLu, I really wish that I could have fallen for the club before the player. For people like me, we don’t have a football culture around here, so the only way we hear of the clubs is because of the players.

    I always get the feeling that I’m not really loyal to the club, because the only reason I supported them initially was because of Cristiano. Of course, it’s different now, and I couldn’t love them any more, but it does seem such a frivolous reason to start supporting a team.

    And you’re probably right, the crush will wear off when he does leave. So I should enjoy it while it lasts! <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/lol.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="LOL" style="border:0;" />

  8. jayne says:

    Hello Jayne!

  9. LucyLu says:

    Hi all – has been really interesting reading your opinions!

    For me Liverpool always comes first, and I don’t think I’ve ever had that much of an attachment to a player where I’ve considered following them above the team. I did have a big crush on Michael Owen but it wore off before he left <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/smile.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="smile" style="border:0;" /> When those Chelsea rumours were going around about Gerrard, I did get a little panicky, but thankfully he knew what was good for him! There’s no way I’d have supported Chelsea, but I would have liked watching him. And of course with both Michael and Stevie, there’s always England to support.

    My latest favourite is Nando and even though it’d break my heart if he left Liverpool, good luck to him, he’s awesome.

    As for the Ronaldo talk going on – I have to say based on what I’ve seen of him recently, he actually looks bored with all the accolades he’s receiving. He says he’s very proud and happy etc but he doesn’t look it. I reckon he will go to Real(ly Hot) Madrid (sorry C Ron fans)! <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/kiss.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="kiss" style="border:0;" />

  10. Deanna says:

    Also, I forgot to add, that pic is hot!!! The Arsenal boys have always been adorable with their man-love!

    Arsenal fans, what’s the news on Aleks?? I hope he’s staying!

  11. Tammy, I think you are right.  But one of the strengths of SAF is his ability to build team after team, in waves.  If Paul, Ryan and Gary retire next year, and Cris leaves, no way will we repeat next year.  Not with Anderson and Nani so young and still not reaching potential.  And we need to sort out the right back and the striker situ. And if we don’t re-sign Evra?  Left back too. 

    Right about now, I’m ready to pack Cristiano’s bag for him.  He shouldn’t have picked this week to do this.  Jerk. 

    I think 50/50 is about the right odds for next week. With this distraction, and the fatigue factor, and the fact that we dropped a lot of points against poor teams this season.  It will be tough.

  12. Elise says:

    TFO, I read an article somewhere online a while back about how difficult it is to predict whether a great player will make a great manager.  It seems to be a very tough call.  But I do believe John could do it, based on his role within Chelsea.  I’m not a Grant hater, but I still believe that for the most part, it’s been John Terry that has dragged that team through this past season through his absolute determination to keep them together and moving forward.  I believe I’d think this way even if I wasn’t mad for him.  And I think that kind of attitude and belief, while not being the only part of management of course, goes a long way to making a team successful.  Roy, I think, has this attitude as well as the fact that he just scares the crap out of Sunderland!  They’re afraid to *not* try to be as good as he was!
    Oh, and yay for the CocaCola league! LOL I’ll start practicing now!

  13. Deanna says:

    Oh dear, this is really turning into a philosophical thread! But it’s very interesting to hear everyone’s opinion. I think most people expect us ‘fangirls’, so to speak, to not be able to see beyond the hotness of a player. It makes me happy to see that almost everyone here puts club before player. No offense to anyone who loves their player more, it’s just an observation I’m making.

    In fact, I’m probably among those who will continue to follow the player even if he moves, especially in the case of one Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro. Simply because he’s the reason I’m watching football today. Because he’s the one who introduced me to the whole concept of supporting a team. It’s because of him that I fell in love with Manchester United & greedily soaked up the whole history of this club, and learnt to love each and every one of their players. It’s because of him that I stay up late night to see this team play, cry tears of joy when they win, and of sorrow when they lose. For that I will forever be grateful to him. Because if he didn’t play for United, I wouldn’t be so much in love with them today.

    I hate that he’s come out and said this right now. But like Signora Maldini said, I don’t think it is any different from what he has said all his life. Come on, be honest, how many of you really expected him to do a Giggsy, or a Scholesy and stay with United forever? I never did. He could never be satisfied. He’d always want a new challenge, a new experience. He’d always want to prove that he can do it anywhere. That’s the way he is. And I’ve learnt to accept that. It’s not an admirable quality, but then he was never perfect, was he?

    Of course he’s going to leave someday. But it won’t be anytime soon. He owes Sir Alex too much to do that right now. I believe that the day Sir Alex retires will be the last day we’ll see Cristiano at United. I will probably cry then, but I will still have my United, so it won’t be too bad. And I will keep a watch on him, perhaps, rather selfishly, be secretly glad when he doesn’t get the same kind of success over there.

    And please, don’t believe everything you read in the papers. They just want to find something to upset the team and cause a sensation, right before such an important game. There’s only so many times that a reporter can ask you “What do you think about Real Madrid?“ and you can answer indifferently. Especially if you really admire the club since you were a child, like he has. Plus, he’s not exactly the most intelligent footballer out there, so he probably fell for it hook, line and sinker.

    Sorry for the essay girls, it’s just my two cents worth.

  14. TammyV says:

    TFO if you win the CL, Man United will not win the League next year.  I can’t see Giggs, Scholes, The G’Nev staying after that.  They should go out on the high they earned.  It would be the prefect cap to their amazing careers (and I say this as someone who loves to hate ManU).

    There will undoubtly be rebuilding but it is United and as long as crazy as hell Alex is calling the shots and making sure his name is more important then anyone eles’s at the club…y’all be fine.

    And make no mistake if SAF thinks that kid is getting too big for his boot, C-Ron’s ass will be out the door so fast.  He will not tolarate any brat coming in and thinking that he is better then the club.  I am still convienced that the mysterous bruise from a few months ago was Alex reminding C-Ron where he his place is.

  15. Elise, I know, I’m so predictable.  A broken record.

    I had a feeling that Celtic would only be a short time, as Roy was battling his hip problem, and retirement was inevitable.  Plus, he had been taking his coaching badges for a while, so I knew that management was beckoning.  Hopefully, John will transition into management as smoothly, and you too will be able to cheer for his team and watch him on the touchline.  It is very rewarding.  But that being said, not every great player becomes a great (or even good) manager.  And be prepared to watch a lot of Coke league footy when he’s just starting out.  The price you have to pay.  <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/wink.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="wink" style="border:0;" />

  16. Elise says:

    <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/lol.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="LOL" style="border:0;" />
    I meant ‘position’ not ‘positions’, but I *was* talking about John, so I suppose my mind might have been drifting a bit… LOL

  17. Elise says:

    <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/grin.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="grin" style="border:0;" /> @TFO.  As I was typing my last post, I could just *feel* your words of wisdom forthcoming! And I know logically that it is truly the only way to look at things if you want to *not* have a broken heart on a regular basis.  Truly, I expect to be a Chelsea fan for the rest of my life.  When I really think about it, I just cannot see it being any other way.  I have too much of my heart invested with this team, which makes me part of their history- their story- and they part of mine. I don’t think I could be anything BUT ‘blue’ at this point.  But John… I’d love him even if he put on a red jersey (shudders a little bit, but maintains positions on this).  I can only hope for a similar situation as you’ve had with Roy (minus the whole Celtic thing of course).

  18. louisquatorze says:

    It’s all about how they leave. Of course I’m never going to pick a player over Arsenal, but I have been known to favor teams because of certain ex-Arsenal players. It depends on whether they left on good terms or not. For example- I’m pleased for Villareal’s second-place finish because Robert Pires still deserves success (I wish he was still at Arsenal where he belongs), but I’ve already blocked Mathieu Flamini from my memory.

    The debate in my head now is whether to pick Portsmouth or not for the FA Cup- does Diarra overshadow the ex-Arsenals I’d like to see have a last moment of glory (Kanu, Lauren)?

  19. Lil' says:

    I thinkwhen a player leaves my team I tend to support his new team or to follow his career as long as he plays in another championship if he changes for a rival, I feel like he has betrayed us,…
    and I am used too it, each time we have a good player in the French championship he leaves for another country so we are prepared to see them leave sooner or later, how sad is that !!!
    what I hate is when it shows that they leave for money, I mean playing in a Qatar team is not for the love of football

    My posts are always too long
    sorry
    but I was not off topic ?!

  20. one_love=cesc_fabreg says:

    im mere posting for the fact that i saw my cesc in the pic…  <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/lol.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="LOL" style="border:0;" />

    but yes considering that im an arsenal fan.. i dont think i could like hleb and for that matter flamini as much as i did..

    though i’d still lik them to play in a good team where i can get a glimpse of them in champs league..

    security word:both43… flamini & hleb?? hehehe

  21. Bella Donna says:

    Kelly, that link you posted says it perfectly.  I think he should just keep his mouth shut.  Everything he says translates into, “I am going to Spain”.  He could say he wants a sandwich and that could mean I am going to Barca.

    But as a United Fan we didn’t need him to open his big mouth about Spain right before Moscow.  If you want to tick off the players and fans that was the way to do it.  I will be a United Fan forever, but with Cristiano’s attitude lately I am wondering, if he is just a boy who loves money, attention, skanky women, and has no love for his fans at all.

  22. Kelly says:

    Gigi – i 100 % agree with you about the no-name jerseys. it should be an honor for a player to rock a club’s jersey – not the other way around. i think players hold their shirts, peers and club to a higher esteem when they feel like they are a member of something instead of its’ star.

    i think ManU has been a bit of a one-man show as of late and sometimes i think a move for cris would benefit the entire team in different ways. maybe rooney can finally step up and reach his potential? or is it hargreaves turn to take all the PKs and FKs. remember the game where cris wouldn’t let him? and then when he finally took it without cris’s “approval” – it was brialliant!

    we shouldn’t fret yet, ladies, good things could be on the horizon…such as no more naked boobies and bikini contest videos

  23. Pavi says:

    I think it is definitely sad to see one of your fave players leave your team but I don’t think my love for Liverpool would end because of a player leaving.  If it is a player I really love then I will definitely keep up with their career but I wouldn’t change my team loyalty for one player.

  24. Gigi, I don’t know when contracts became superfluous, but they have.  Nowadays, if a player wants to leave, I suppose it’s considered better for the team to sell him on, regardless if he has a contract.  Otherwise, he sits on the bench and pouts.  On the positive side, at least with Cristiano, we’ll get a pot of money (hopefully not repeat the Beckham error of selling too cheap.)  If he leaves this summer, we will not repeat as EPL champions next year – of that, I’m pretty positive.  We would need a season to rebuild and reorganize.  We have been making do without a genuine striker and we have to rethink that one.  But there’s always some new player to come along.  There’s Manucho, who was cheap as hell and is supposed to be excellent.  And don’t we have that Frazier Campbell coming along with Hull?  Who knows?  Maybe he’s our next star forward?  <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/wink.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="wink" style="border:0;" />

  25. FabLove says:

    MM I LOVE THE PICTURE. <3

    Anyways, if my favorite player leaves, I won’t ever support the team that he moved to. Of course I will watch his games and still follow him, but not his team, because no matter what, I will always be with my team forever.

  26. Jayne says:

    Gigi, don’t let anyone question your attraction to Gary! I’m definitely with you on that one.

  27. Jayne says:

    Totally OT, but so exciting that there’s another Jayne above…there are so few of us sporting the “y”.

    Hi Jayne!

  28. Gigi Neville-Brown says:

    Thanks for that Kelly.  Was just thinking that I may actually, under my breath, of course, curse Cristiano on Wednesday.  Yes, I feel that strongly about his lack of care, and class, before one of the biggest matches for us in a long time.  Selfish prick!

  29. Jayne says:

    I have followed Chelsea for quite some time, and I will always stay with them as my team. However when the players seem to show such wavering loyalty these days, it makes it hard sometimes. I would be quite devastated if Lamps left, especially as it seems it would be to La Liga and not anywhere in the EPL.

    That’s one thing the Red Devils have going for them, quite a few one-team men, which I think is quite attractive (figuratively and literally Giggsy and Gaz..yum!), it shows true loyalty in a time when personal gratification seems to rule.

  30. Gigi Neville-Brown says:

    Once again, I agree wholeheartedly with you, Fourth.  It is far more respectable, and enjoyable, for a player to have their swan song at the club that they came up the ranks with, which is one of the reasons that I have such admiration for Gary.  He truly bleeds Red, in every sense of the word.  When people question my attraction and love for him, it is because they don’t understand how important loyalty, and Club loyalty, is.  Changing jerseys every other season is becoming more frequent, and far less attractive, these days.

    That said, if Cristiano leaves at this stage, and let’s not forget that he is contracted to us until 2012, I believe, and for the sum that they are offering, he will be dead to me, and a whore in every sense of the word, much like his beloved.  Trash is trash.  And yes, I am harsh, but loyal to a fault.  This is why I will not put a name on the back of my jersey.  Club first, player second.

  31. Sarah says:

    As everyone else said, it really depends on the player in question…and the team they defect to.  Take Cashley Cole, for instance.  I never liked him when he was at Highbury, and I like him far less now that he is at Chelsea.  Henry I will always love, but I don’t really follow his Barca career.  I watch matches every now and again, but to me, he will always be a Gunner.

    If Cesc ever leaves, I don’t know what I will do with myself.  That’s why I was so happy when he signed his 8 year contract a little while ago.  I’ve got quite a while before I have to worry about that…I hope.

  32. Kelly says:

    chris wilson so eloquently says what i can’t manage to do within one post <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/embarrassed.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="red face" style="border:0;" />

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/2008/05/16/opinion-…

  33. jayne says:

    I agree with Fourth.  My love for Liverpool will never fade, and player hotness aside, you can’t get too attached to one player – transfers happen, and you can’t get bitter about it.

    However, I’ve stored the player hotness and Liverpool love in separate parts of my brain.  In the 2005 Champs final I was like, “soooo nervous, keep the faith, c’mon you reds…oh my God, Maldini is the sex…“.

    Well, it did calm me right down!

  34. Kelly says:

    let me revise my original post slightly and try to make this somewhat relatable.

    i will always support teams and players i admire. to TFO’s point, they grow old and get traded and fade into the abyss. but what i can’t stand is the guys who do it soley for the money. after readying the backstory i think it’s safe to point the finger at someone like ashley cole. i’m new to this, so if i have this wrong someone feel free to correct me.

    reading these CR headlines reminds me of when Johnny Damon (this is baseball, engligh ladies <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/smile.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="smile" style="border:0;" /> ), Mr. Red Sox himself, left the team for NY rivals the Yankees for more money. he had ZERO team loyalty. as a proud season ticket holder of the yankees, i didn’t even want someone like him playing for us!

    it’s all about the integrity – and as much as cris boasts about his family and the support at manutd and his morals- he’s just the same. he’s in it for the moola and real madrid is offering.  <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/downer.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="downer" style="border:0;" />

  35. That was very beautiful actually Fourth. I think that I’m still a bit too immature to feel that thing.

    I do follow them, I read everything, watch as many matches as I possibly can, but every time he gets on that pitch, I get lost for words. But I’m quite sure that I will outgrow that. But for now, I live in my beautiful little bubble where only he exists. <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/smile.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="smile" style="border:0;" />

  36. Moongirl (Mrs Sender says:

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry now Fourth!

    Not sure in my case the bit about the new season bringing fresh rewards is very apt but who knows!!

  37. Can I be philosophical for a sec?  Following a player beyond a team will always end bittersweetly.  Just be prepared.  Because when you’ve been watching as long as I have, you see them all grow older, their skills diminish, their beauty fade, sold to lesser teams, and then sold again, until injury or retirement takes them away permanently.  It’s inevitable.  (God, aren’t I a ray of frickin’ sunshine!?)  But, if you nurture a love for one team that lasts your whole life long, each season starts fresh and brings new rewards.

  38. Moongirl (Mrs Sender says:

    I agree with Tammyv – if thats the right thing for them its not the end of the world if your fav players goes to another club, even if you hate it.
    (Although if its just a case of greed thats a different matter as I said in an earlier post.)

    Perhaps im a bit fickle but all I do to get round the fact that Philippe doesnt play for Man City is watch City v Arsenal games twice.

    The first time to cheer my team on and will them to thrash Arsenal and the second time to admire hubby’s thighs etc <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/wink.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="wink" style="border:0;" />

    Its not perfect and id give my right arm for him to sign for us (as would a lot of Arsenal fans probably <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/lol.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="LOL" style="border:0;" /> ) but its the best I can do!

  39. Kelly says:

    hmm…this is interesting for me since i don’t have a “team” persay..more i support the premiere league. so yes, i will probably hate cristiano if he goes to spain simply because he’s leaving england and one of the best leagues in europe (proof is in the CL final). plus, i despise real madrid since they have a habit of ruining their players and making them into cash cows.

    i think i would hate gerrard even more if he left since he reps england internationally, but i can’t see him going. However, Alex would have stiff wag competition in Milano for sure.

    TFO – i visited your blog for the first time last night and read your news about CR before The Times even had it up! kudos.

  40. Oh my, what a hard one!

    I’ve been through this, but I’m such a girl, and I fell head over heals for Fernando the moment I saw him, like the average crazy fangirl, so for me, it has always been about him. It’s stupid, but so true.

    In the beginning, I had a hard time to like Liverpool, because it was not “my” league, but now they are mine. All of the reds. I think it was easier becaue it was not another spanish team, and because I first fell for him only an not Atl

  41. Erin says:

    Rachel, Stevie isn’t going to Chelsea.  That was several seasons ago.  But I keep reading rumours about Lampard going to europe….probably to join Mourinho wherever he might land.  Again, rumours, so who knows.  But Stevie is staying put. <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/grin.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="grin" style="border:0;" />

  42. Emily (Giggsy's says:

    Ooh, Kickette.  Get you, being all philosophical on a Friday!!!  <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/grin.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="grin" style="border:0;" />

    I would have to say that in terms of transfer rumours, my loyalty would lie with my team.  The new team for which my hypothetical lust would now play for?  I wouldn’t wish ill on them, but I wouldn’t fully support them.  I’d simply watch their match if it happened to be on tv and my lust was on the pitch.  And by that, I mean I would yell things at my tv if they failed to show close-ups of my man.

    Thankfully, I will never have to deal with this problem.  My Ryan is quite possibly the classiest man in the Premier League and is loyal through and through to the Red Devils.  I agree with TFO: players like my Ryan, and Scholesy and Gaz are extremely rare now.  And it’s disheartening to see that more and more professional athletes appear to be in it more for the money and fame than anything else.

    (P.S.: Bella Donna, you make a *brilliant* point about how ungrateful C-Ron would be after all the fan support shown to him after his display at WC 2006!)

  43. Rachel says:

    If steve goes to chealsy – what happens to lamps?

  44. Erin says:

    A collage?  I’m confused….

  45. lmao says:

    having fun <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/lol.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="LOL" style="border:0;" /> these responses…
    security word: enigma: still an enigma! much material to make a collage with.

  46. Elise says:

    As much as I’ve tried to avoid it, I have thought about what it would be like if Frank left.  I’d be heartbroken for one, and perhaps angry as well, but I know I’d still love him and follow his career.  I wouldn’t really have the team loyalty issue since it wouldn’t be another EPL team.  That makes it trickier.  Like Chel-C above, I’ve watched Damien Duff at Newcastle and have finally officially adopted them as my second team.  But when they played Chelsea, I wanted them to be stomped, so I guess no real issues there!!  And I love Eidur Gudjohnsen but I haven’t watched a single Barcelona game.  I know it would be different with Frank, though, because well, it IS different with Frank.  As for my other Chelsea boys, I’d be very sad to see any (well, almost any) of them go, and I’d always have a little soft spot for them, but I’d get over it I suppose.  Because as long as John Terry is there, it’s still Chelsea.  If he left, I honestly don’t know.  I’ve been a Chelsea fan pretty much from the time he was there, so he really IS Chelsea to me. So, I feel pretty sure that if he left, I’d ‘go with him’.  I know that sounds so disloyal to Chelsea, but he’s the reason I’m a Chelsea fan to start with…(and it’s JOHN- the old ‘core group’ here knows how much I love this man) but then I *am* a Chelsea fan- I know how I feel about that team, and I doubt I could ever really just stop supporting them no matter who is or isn’t playing for them.  Aargh.  Tough subject, Kickette.  I feel all conflicted and dirty now.

  47. LoveLamps says:

    Ella, the thought of Steven Gerrard in blue makes me ill as well but for a different reason.  I’ve never liked him – sorry ladies but it’s true – and the thought that my precious Chelsea Blues would take him and his terrible WAG gives me nightmares.

  48. Asma:)CR7 says:

    I wouldn’t hate Cristiano if he moved cos I liked him before I realised who he played for.

    Let’s just see what happens I guess <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/smirk.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="smirk" style="border:0;" />

  49. Erin says:

    I think it might be against Kickette law, but I’m much more about the football and the team than the players.  *hides*  <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/wink.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="wink" style="border:0;" />

    I have a hard time feeling any love for hot guys outside of my own team.  The hotness is really just a happy bonus for me, so I prefer to drool over my own squad.  I can’t really separate the two.

  50. Ella says:

    The mere thought of Steven Gerrard playing for Chelsea or any other team makes me sick…  <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/sick.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="sick" style="border:0;" /> When Michael Owen left, I died a little and now, I won’t even speak of him. Except for when I comment here…  <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/wink.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="wink" style="border:0;" />

    Marry Whoreida? Puh-lease. No way.

  51. Erin says:

    That’s true to an extent, SignoraMaldini, but his comment in today’s BBC article about “We’ll wait until after the Champion’s League final and then we’ll see” is a bit more direct than anything he has said in the past.  Who knows what will happen or why he is playing coy, but that is a bit more of a statement of intent than he has given before.

    I can’t see Ferguson allowing him to go regardless, but who knows.  Given I have no investment in this situation, it’s mostly just entertaining to me!

  52. Princessa says:

    Well my loyalty is to my players. The players are the reason why I started watching soccer in the first place. Yes I know it’s called futbol but here in the U.S. it’s called soccer. Anyways I’ve had to switch teams several times already so it doesn’t really bother me that much unless it’s a team I really hate or they’re a lower table team.

    I guess I’m going to be the only one that’s excited if Cristiano goes to Real Madrid because they’re one of my favorite teams. I really hope he decides to go there. But if he doesn’t that’s ok too.

    Wow you guys are really harsh on Cristiano. I can’t believe you’re going to hate him just because he goes to another team. <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/rolleyes.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="rolleyes" style="border:0;" /> But I guess you guys are loyal to your teams which is cool. <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/grin.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="grin" style="border:0;" />

  53. Asma:)CR7 says:

    I guess we are just going to have to wait until the Champions League to see what is going to happen.

    Hopefully he won’t be moving to Spain, and if we are lucky he will dump Whoreida.  At the end of the day it should be his choice and he shouldn’t let her influence him.

  54. tammyv says:

    Remember ladies United is Rio’s third club…West Ham, Leeds and then United.

    I am ok with my favorite players moving on and I still support them…Nobby Salono moved to West Ham makes me sad but I understand it and I still love him.

    I want my favorite players, irrespective of my team love, to have the best opertunities for them and their lives. Some of my favorite players are not on Newcastle and I can’t stand some of my Toon players.

    Though, I guess it depends on how they left: I can see the Arsenal fans hate of Ashley Cole because of how it happened.

  55. Signora Maldini says:

    Cristiano will marry Whoreida right about the same time as Alex Curran wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

    It just aint going to happen is it?

    He will eventually go to Spain but it will have nothing to do with her.

    People are getting themselves all worked up when he hasn’t said anything different from what he’s ever said : Playing in Spain is a dream for him, the future is unpredictable and he is happy at Utd.

    All of those things are true and none of them mean that he’s got his bags packed at the end of the season.

  56. Moongirl (Mrs Sender says:

    Asma: What you have just said about Whoreida reminds me of a classic comment by Keano about players not signing for Sunderland because their wives said the shopping wasnt good enough up there!!

    Unfortunately WAGS do affect players choices and she may be able to convince him to go to Spain.

    However I would say if she can he obviously thinks a lot about her as its not a decision he would take lightly.

    Whatever happens though Man Utd have been the top team in England for too long to allow the loss of one player – no matter how talented – to wreck their dominance!

  57. LoveLamps says:

    I’m proof that player love never dies.  Adrian Mutu was among my first footie loves and I still TiVo Fiorentina games just for him.  Granted, it’s painful sometimes, but I watch because I love him and he’s beautiful even if the Italian game is not always so.

    If Frank were to leave Chelsea, I’d follow him.  I’d follow that man to the ends of the earth!

    But the BLUES will always be my team, toad manager and idiot owner all.  Heck, I have pulled for the Dallas Cowboys here in the States ALL of my life and their owner is a complete moron.  Why am I attracted to teams with idiot owners?  Ah more deep thoughts. . . .

  58. Asma:)CR7 says:

    I just want to go to OT and slap some sense into him.  He has become what he is now by playing for Manchester United and now he’s considering moving.  He signed a new contract not that long ago.

    As for Whoreida, don’t get me started.  It wouldn’t surprise me if she is influencing him to move to Spain.  That way she doesn’t have to move over to Manchester and so that she can stay where she is.

  59. Bella Donna says:

    I have heard about the “marriage proposal” in several areas over the past few days and seriously if he married that thing I would help him move to Spain.  We don’t need her kind hanging around OT.  The only kind of material I see her as is the kind you use to line the trash bin.

    I would love to have Cesc come to OT, but I would love Cristiano to have a brain too, so we can’t get everything we wish for.  If these rumors screw us up in the CL I will kick his arse.  Between the transfer rumors and Whoreida I have almost thrown in the towel on him altogether.

  60. Erin says:

    Ferguson’s going to blow a red-faced gasket!  lol

  61. bella says:

    Of course nothing changes love and passion for team, the deep appreciation for every move of every player, in every match, who is wearing the shirt well or at least with pride and determination (and I love when the announcers say “tremendous stamina,“ yum), and then taking it off well of course…sigh…

    But I do follow my faves when they depart as well, so long as they depart for an understandable reason and with class, whether its their choice or not. I don’t go out of my way to watch their matches but I keep an eye on how they’re doing, what they’re doing, how they’re looking, what they’re saying…you know, no high octane stalking, but still…

    MY SECURITY WORD IS men91! That may be about as many as I end up keeping track of!

  62. Asma:)CR7 says:

    Oh my god I can’t believe he is considering marrying her. I really hope it is gossip cos I can’t see her as wife material.

    But me on the other hand….

    I found a link on the apparent Spain transfer.

    http://msnsport.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12040…

    Today is not a good day for me <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/downer.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="downer" style="border:0;" />

  63. Erin says:

    Definitely depends on the circumstances.  I will never actively support another team just because one of our players moves, though.  It’s always Liverpool for me and no others.  But if a player is sold, I wish him well and generally like to see him do well—assuming I liked him in the first place (not Diouf or Craig Bellamy) and assuming his team is not playing us! 

    That said, I would not have been a happy Stevie G lover if he had made that move to Chelsea, as that would have been his request AND him moving to a rival team.  I would not have continued to support him in that situation.  Thankfully he came to his senses. <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/wink.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="wink" style="border:0;" />

    Oftentimes players are sold when they don’t want to go (Riise this summer, I imagine) and that’s completely different to me than someone who wants to leave for other reasons, like preferring London or the weather in Spain or more money.  Which is probably unfair because wouldn’t we all change jobs for more money in most cases?!  LOL   Guess I hold my boys to a higher standard. 

    But I will definitely agree with the ladies above who said they hate this part of the season.  It’s so unsettling to talk about players leaving and hoping your squad can bring in new talent.

  64. tiliana says:

    im a liverpool supporter but im hopin sex fabregas will play for them … hopefully soon. it just seems realistic at the moment since arsenal are losin all their players. its only natural cesc to come n play for one of the best teams.

  65. Signora Maldini says:

    It’s obviously a problem that I’ve never had with Paolo <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/lol.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="LOL" style="border:0;" />

    But take the example of Sheva. He’s practically dead to me. I felt a bit sorry for him in the beginning cause he seemed so miserable at Chelsea but now I’m just over it. I really could care less what happens to him.

    Same goes for Henry and Vieira when they left Arsenal.

    But I tend to keep footie crushes and team love separate anyway. I wasn’t devastated when Fer left Atleti – especially not once I saw how happy he was at Liverpool – and the same will probably apply to Cristiano if he leaves Utd.

    But I hate both Barca and Real so the longer he puts off a move to Spain the better it will be.

  66. candace says:

    Well I believe I am going to have to deal with this all too soon when Cristiano decides to leave for Spanish pastures but he will still be hot and when not playing United I can wish him well!  Of course it will take some time for me to stop hating him for leaving us but I’m sure a few more undie pics ought to do the trick! I say F@#k him if he wants to leave (of course that could be the pregnancy hormones talking).

  67. Rachel says:

    I am a man u fan. I am loyal to my team. But i am also an unbiast appreciator of hotness. For example I have always adored theirry henry, though i never have barracked for arsenal

    In regards to man u my player loyalty depends on why they left. If sir alex booted them as a result of a fight, or if they were not getting much on field action, mentally i wish them well when they aren’t facing man u

    When Becks left i cried, and though i never watched all his real games i did watch a bit. But can’t say i felt much for the team, only for Becks.

    If C Ron just packs it in this summer, quite frankly i can’t see myself carng about his reults, though definitely i will still admire his body. I have to say i agree with fourth, it is looking more and more likely that he will go. Also i just found this link:

    http://www.mtv.co.uk/channel/mtvuk/news/15052008/…

    Its just idle gossip, but still i am mentally preparing myself to give cris up

    My prayers are with c9

  68. FootballerChick43 says:

    Would my loyalty to the player change? Absolutely not. I have loved Michael Ballack ever since his Kaiserslautern FC days when I first got to watch him play in person. It was truly amazing. He was, and will always be, my first favorite footballer. I have been a Chelsea fan since like 1998 (age 6) but my favorite player played in a German league, so my loyalty never changed. And I swear he must have seen one of my letters telling him how fab it would be if he ever got to transfer to Chelsea <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/smile.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="smile" style="border:0;" />

    Yes, I was one of those barmy stalkerish children who wrote countless letters to their fave players. Hush, leave me alone.

    Actually, I still have a Ballack poster from Bayern Munich hanging in my room right beside one of him in the Chelsea kit.

    Now for a player thats left one of my favorite clubs to pursue another… goodness, I’d have to go for Ruud van Nistelrooy to Real Madrid. I used to follow Manchester U as well as Chelsea, but only for him. When he left Manchester U, my allegiance to the club left too. I replaced ManU with Real Madrid.

    So, no, my allegiance to a player never changes.

  69. cassie says:

    i was in major love-mode with michael owen when he played for liverpool back in the day…..once he left i stuck with my team and honestly have not followed his career since, probably a good choice since liverpool have lifted a couple trophies, whilst michael owen is always on the injured list.

  70. Bella Donna says:

    I think it depends on the player.  I for one would be very upset if Cristiano left Man Utd.  It would show us that “fan support” after the World Cup meant little to him and that he has been blinded by ego and doesn’t care.

    I’d probably still follow Ronaldo, but my Man Utd stuff featuring him would be taken down.  I would still follow Man Utd, but I think it would be a mistake if he left, I mean look at Beckham?  That turned out so great, um not!

  71. Moongirl (Mrs Sender says:

    Im quite lucky I supose – ive never ‘admired’ a Man city player so can safely support them on a footballing level and watch Arsenal and Liverpool for the hot player factor.

    I do find it hard to feel charitable to players who kiss the badge and claim they are with a club for life only to bail out when times get tough or a bigger club opens their cheque book though. We have suffered this several times in the past (Shaun Wright Phillips is a classic example) and now it looks like Hart might go cos Spurs are offering big money but where were they when he was earning peanuts playing for Shrewsbury!!!!!

    cheska_so_fierce – excellent taste <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/wink.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="wink" style="border:0;" />

  72. rania says:

    that pic is super hot.*wipes drool off chin*
    what was the question at hand??
    oh yeah, loyalty…i am loyal to my club, not any particular player. therefore, out of sight, out of mind. what makes them so hot often is seeing them in your club’s colours – they lose the appeal in a different kit!

  73. chel.C. says:

    It definitely depends on the player.  I wouldn’t say that I support the team they play for, but I find myself more likely to watch the game.  i.e. Eidur Gudjonson at Barca.  Madrid is my Spanish team, but i still like to follow the only blonde on the Catalans.  Also, when i think of Newcastle, I immediately think of my former Chelsea boys Geremi and Damien Duff. 

    Even though I’ll be crushed with Didi Drogba leaves this summer (which i’m sure he will), I might still follow him a bit at his new club.

  74. Asma:)CR7 says:

    I would still follow Ronaldo if he moves but I’m hoping he won’t go.  I read today that he is thinking of going but is not 100%.  I really hope he doesn’t go

  75. cheska_so_fierce says:

    thierry henry was the raison d’etre of my appreciation for footy way back in the 2006 world cup. i learned he played for france and arsenal and all that.
    when he moved to barca, of course i was like omg.
    i still support him as an individual player (coz my fave spanish team is real madrid!) but i found myself 100% loyal to arsenal.

    …coz in there i got theo walcott and phil senderos!!!!!!!! <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/wink.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="wink" style="border:0;" />

  76. DC says:

    ah, Luis is a good example.

    of course, no matter what, I will always support Liverpool but when a player I really like leavers I do miss him. I won’t support his team and become a total fan but i’m still a fan of the player. =]

    I miss Luis! =[

  77. KJ Ronaldo says:

    depends on which player it is. if its a high profile cough cough hot cough cough player then i probably follow him at a distnat

  78. LittleRedTriangle says:

    i have loyalty to the team but i would still have a crush on a hot player who left if he wasn’t a dick about it.

    example, i am not in the habit of kicking luis garcia out of bed.

  79. I saw Cristiano’s interview on Sky Sports News last night and my heart sunk. He just wouldn’t give the ‘guarantee’ for next year.

    It’s going to be really upsetting if he goes. Still, like it’s been said, life will go on and he will be yet another player that we once loved and regarded as our own. (I hope he stays though!!!!!)

  80. Yes, LTG, thankfully.  But I still remember him having lunch with Peter Kenyon in London in the midst of his last contract negotiations.  He’s at United now because they are willing to pay him 125,000 pounds a week.

  81. ljungberglusty says:

    hmmmmmm

  82. Hey TFO, at least Rio will be at United until the end as well.

  83. My loyalty is to my team.  No player is the same for me when he wears another shirt.  The only player I continued to follow and adore was Keano, and I only had to watch about a dozen Celtic matches before he retired for good.  (Thankfully, because Scottish football can be pretty damn dire.) 

    When Cristiano leaves (and it’s inevitable now), he’ll just be another player whose ass we need to kick on the way to the Champions League final. 

    I hate this time of year:  the speculation and the rumours, and the constant reminder that for most players, it’s all about the money now.  Men like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville are few and far between these days.

  84. “IT would”…not ‘I would’—like I said, my brain is already on long weekend time!!

    I wouldn’t hide my support for Hargreaves if he went elsewhere, no way. If people didn’t understand, that’s their problem.

    It’s just been really convenient to have him on United and hopefully, he won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

  85. Kickette, such a toughie for a Friday morning (and a morning before a long weekend here in Canuck-land)…

    If Hargreaves goes elsewhere, he will still be my one and only but I can’t say that I would be cheering for his new team more than I would United. I would just seem so wrong. I would hope that my man did well regardless of where he was at, but United is in my soul and a transfer of my beloved can’t change that.

  86. Emma says:

    Funny you should mention Tina, he was hinting about a future in Spain yesterday.

    But yeah. Player loyalty is a beautiful thing, though sadly, far too rare these days. I hear about every other Chelsea player wanting to leave. *sad*

  87. Gigi Neville-Brown says:

    Yes, sadly money is all that seems to matter.  So in that case, give us the 100 million euros, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Cristiano.  Will gladly take Messi or Diego Buonanotte, along with our lads that are currently on loan or in the reserves.

    Thanks for understanding ladies.  <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/cheese.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="cheese" style="border:0;" />

  88. Bella Donna says:

    Oh yes!!  Lets get a bunch of girls together and go stop him from leaving and put Whoreida in a cave where we won’t have to wake up in the morning and see her naked!

    She is just ew ew ew and more ew!!  Plus I have a picture of her at the Liverpool game and she just gives off attitude.  I sat in the section next to the family stand and could feel her attitude from where I was.

  89. Asma:)CR7 says:

    C9 – us Cris lovers should stick togther to stop him from leaving and banish the hoe they call Whoreida.

  90. klyn312 says:

    My loyalty stays with Manchester United forever, top of the table or banished forever to leauge2 no matter…. Club first, always.

    Besides, I sadly don’t have a HUGE crush on any of the boys on the current squad, my lust is devoted to, of all all people, STEVEN GERRARD..I could be strung up from my new manicure for that in some circles.

    Actually, I’m more prone to stop lusting after a player due to his transfer choice. I’d probably drop Stevie like a cheap knockoff bag if he went to arsenal or Chelsea (no offense gals)…

  91. c9 says:

    There is no “I” in team grin As much as I love my Cris, I would never disown my team! Follow him I will, to the ends of the earth most likely wink As for all the speculation on him moving and supposedly getting engaged, it remains to be seen blank stare

    Loyalty and respect is something that Cris is pondering I suspect. I hope he stays for another year and maybe Coach Scolari can convince him to do that during the Euro. Ah, wishful thinking I know smile

  92. SB (Mrs.MO) says:

    Well, my favourite teams are Real and Toon (and soft spot for AC).I consider myself as a really lucky girl that my MO plays/played my all time favourite teams. When players go I usually think “good luck but could not care less”. I’m far more focused on current players.

    But there’s HUGE 2 exceptions: Owen and Becks.

    They made me a fan of football, really. I used to watch everysingle games of both LFC and MUFC just to watch them. Both were great teams actually; “merseyside mafia” in pool and young becks, nevilles, scholes, giggs, keane etc in ManU. Even though, they were coming to Real, part of me were quite sad coz pool, manu fans/teammates loved them so much. (both moves influenced by Fergie and Rafa, really). I really try to follow David’s LA galaxy career but I just can’t sit through 90 mins of MLS match so I just check in on net once in a while <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/wink.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="wink" style="border:0;" />.

    For MO, I really think he’s able to do better than Toon (:red: ) and I want to see him play in CL! So yea, I’ll love everywhere he goes!

  93. offside2207 says:

    Being one that has had my love being speculated about where he’s going to go…even though time and time again he admits with an iron fist that he’s not going anywhere…I would remain loyal to him if he were to leave…after of course killing all the management for letting him go…but none the less I would still love and support him…hopefully he doesn’t go anywhere but if he does I want him to go to another country where we would only have to verse him at CL’s because he’s that kick ass good.

    Did I mention that I hate transfer windows?

  94. Ciz says:

    AJ’s basically said everything I think about this. Yes, I like Cristiano, and I would hate to see him go, but when someday it happens, it’ll be like Beckham; life goes on, because no player is bigger than the team.

    I’ll go with what my Dad said this morning, “Another slow news day. This is gonna be a long summer.“

  95. freddiegirl says:

    My team loyalty is always with Arsenal but Freddie was the reason I started watching them in the first place.  I watch West Ham for him but have no bones about admitting that I won’t have one interest in them once he leaves or retires.  I loved Henry but haven’t watched to many Barca games….still bitter about them beating us in 2005 I guess…:(

    TFO is right though…it is a sad thing to watch your favorite player fade as I am watching Freddie now…I am not going to say that he hasn’t lost pace because he certainly has.  And it’s painful.  I read horrible things about how West Ham want to pay him to leave and it just makes me want to cry.  There are other ballers I find hot but none like Freddie…..I don’t ever think I can invest myself in one player again like that…it’s too painful.  It’ll just be Arsenal loyalty once Freddie is gone.  Sorry, I know that sounded silly and fangirlish!!!!  LOL!

  96. Deanna says:

    Liverpool was his favorite club, didn’t he have YNWA on his armband even at Atleti? And kudos to him for not going for the money.

    Yeah, well that’s because the ‘old boys’ are quality. It was the oldest of the boys that won us the premiership!

    You wait and see, missy! <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/smirk.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="smirk" style="border:0;" />
    There are some awesome players in our reserves, I have high hopes for them, especially one Rodrigo Possebon! He’s brilliant, very much like Xabi in his style. And he’s really gorgeous too!!  <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/wink.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="wink" style="border:0;" />

  97. Rusty says:

    I haven’t really felt this way in terms of football, but in baseball, I seldom have favorite players on my favorite teams. I purposely choose favorite players who aren’t on said teams, so I have someone else to watch. And in basketball, my favorite players are usually my former most-hated players from my most-hated teams. Try and figure that one out.

    In football, I choose my favorite teams because of my favorite players. I used to watch ManUtd when Becks was playing for them, and then I lost interest. I only started watching Chelsea because of Ballack. I like France because of Monsieur Zidane, Germany for obvious reasons, and England because I like four people who occasionally play for them. And I really don’t have a favorite player on the Revs. I’d like to think I’d be able to follow a player after he left my favorite team, but who knows, because it hasn’t happened yet.

  98. LucyLu says:

    By the way, I am soo just kidding here United ladies! 34 is not old! And they’re probably better looking now than they were 10 years ago <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/cheese.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="cheese" style="border:0;" />

  99. LucyLu says:

    A billion?! Is he out of his mind?? Nando turned down United and Chelsea when they showed an interest just after the last World Cup, because he’s great like that *gushes*

    Yes, yes, United have homegrown talent, this is true… I’m surprised the old boys are still going! <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/lol.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="LOL" style="border:0;" />

  100. Deanna says:

    <img src="http://www.kickette.com/images/smileys/lol.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="LOL" style="border:0;" />

    Ah, come on, we’re not so bad!! We don’t steal anybody’s best player, we just go for the young talents. Otherwise you might have had to worry about keeping hold of Fernando!!!

    Btw, I read an absolutely hilarious story that Roman was willing to pay 1 BILLION pounds for Fernando. Now tell me, have we ever done that?

    And we do have our homegrown talent too, so there!