Date: 14th March 2012 at 10:56am
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Loyalty is rare to come by in today’s game.

Players will jump ship at the sound of a bigger cheque being cut, but there are the odd exceptions.

You just have to look at players like Giggs and Scholes who remained at United for their careers, the perfect foil to lets say a Zlatan Ibrahimovich who recently said:

“Football is all about winning. If you don’t win you want to go… If you stay in one place all your life it is easy to play football.

“You are at home, you are in the comfort zone.”

Some players will inevitably get into the comfort zone and find it hard to get out of the rut they created for themselves, players like Carlo Cudicini who could have been #1 at another team but preferred to stay at Chelsea as Petr Cech’s back up for 5 years.

But you also have players that aren’t in a rut and remain at a club because they feel they can still contribute to that team’s efforts.

One such player is Gabriel Batistuta. The Argentine hitman is regarded as one of the finer strikers of his generation and whilst a number of top teams sought his signature, he chose to remain at Fiorentina for 9 years before finally departing for Roma.

In his time at Fiorentina, despite being relegated to Serie B, he would go on to win the Coppa Italia, the Supercoppa and help them reach the Champions League.

Batistuta accepts that he could have done more in his career at another team but was intent on taking Fiorentina to glory as he told France Football:

“I would have won the Ballon d’Or had I played with Barcelona or Manchester United, but I wanted to play at Fiorentina.

“I could have scored more goals and could have won La Liga or the Premier League. I was at Fiorentina, though, because I wanted to stay there.

“I wanted to win the championship with a small team, to make history.”


4 responses to ““I would have won the Ballon d’Or with Manchester United””

  1. Law says:

    A highly debatable choice by Batistuta G.

  2. Adam says:

    An incredible striker in his day and a player that would have helped us win at least one more Champions League during the 90’s. He loyalty to Fiorentina is commendable though and is not seen very often.

    • chatsworth_red says:

      it’s debatable whether we would have won another CL during the 90’s with him as our biggest problem was the limited number of foreign players rule.

  3. kieran says:

    rare to see such loyalty from a south american, even when playing in southern europe. Couldn’t see Higuain staying at Madrid if they were relegated.

    As stated above his loyalty is commendable.