The growing financial gain in football makes it harder to find players who will stay with a club for more than a few years.
Elsewhere there is almost always an improvement in the offer, and the appeal of playing for bigger clubs turns out to be almost impossible.
The word “legend” has been watered down in recent years as social media tends to spread the word to players who have minimal success.
Nonetheless, there are a handful of players who have met all of the necessary criteria to be classified as true legends. This may be due to their otherworldly accomplishments or unparalleled loyalty, but in general they hold a high standing in the eyes of even rival fans.
It is usually the fans’ desire to see their legendary players in the colors of the club with which they are most connected. This proved itself with modern icons like Paolo Maldini, Ryan Giggs and Francesco Totti.
However, in some select cases, players who achieve legendary status in clubs are often forced to leave when the ovations are loudest after their race.
This is usually understandable, and such players get sent off well worth their spotless position, as was the case with Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and John Terry.
There is another group of legends who would have preferred to stay there but had to leave due to circumstances beyond their control.
These exits came as a gross shock to both the fans of the clubs and the casual observer. Here are the top 5 legends who unexpectedly left their clubs.
Recognitions: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid to Paris Saint-Germain), Victor Valdes (Barcelona to Manchester United)
# 5 Luis Suarez (Barcelona – Atletico Madrid) – 2020
Luis Suarez proved his skills at Ajax at a young age and became a world class player with his successes in Liverpool.
However, the Uruguayan international was never far from controversy. Its shady reputation provided the British tabloids with an endless amount of reports.
He left England in the summer of 2014 and surprisingly cleaned up his game in the Barcelona colors.
Suarez could only focus on football at Camp Nou, and that Blaugrana were ultimately better off. His iconic partnership with Lionel Messi and Neymar was the catalyst for renewed success in the two years together.
Suarez became a true club legend during his six years in Catalonia. However, Ronald Koeman’s appointment as coach in 2020 brought the striker’s Barcelona career to an inglorious end. The Dutch coach stated that the former Liverpool player was not part of his plans.
This came as a complete shock to the club’s fans as Luis Suarez was still a real game changer who could make the difference in front of goal.
He was heavily linked to a move to Juventus before joining Barcelona’s domestic rivals Atletico Madrid.
The 34-year-old came back to pursue his former squad as he took the lead Los Colchoneros to league fame in his debut season at Wanda Metropolitano.
# 4 Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich to Manchester United) – 2015
Bastian Schweinsteiger went through the academy of FC Bayern Munich and became a mainstay of the very successful teams of Bayern Munich and Germany at that time.
He was one of the preeminent midfielders in the world at his peak, with his vision, technique, passing and shooting skills that helped him stand out from his peers.
Schweinsteiger was the symbol of FC Bayern Munich, and few could have imagined it in colors other than Bayern’s.
However, Pep Guardiola apparently wasn’t a fan of the world champion and wasn’t pleased with the amount of pressure he was under to start the midfielder.
Schweinsteiger himself was not satisfied with his reduced reputation in the eyes of his manager. This resulted in the relationship between the two men breaking up in just a year.
A move to Manchester United was considered in the summer of 2015, but few took it seriously until it became official.
Schweinsteiger’s time at Old Trafford was an absolute disaster. In two injury-ridden years in the Premier League, he struggled to reach his previous heights.
See also: Fabrizio Romano’s transfer roundup: Chelsea push for major signings, updates on Lukaku and Kane’s future and more