7 Best Footballers To Play For 10 or More Clubs

 
 
Luca Toni of Bayern Munich Legends in action during the friendly match between Liverpool FC Legends and FC Bayern Legends at Anfield on March 24, 2018 in Liverpool, England.

This is a video we recently saw suggested in the comments, and one we quite liked the sound of. Initially, I thought there’d be loads of players who have had 10+ clubs, and that we might have to raise it to 12 or 13 to make things interesting - but as is so often the case, I was wrong.

Take someone like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is 37 now and rarely sticks around at a club for long. Even he has only had 9 clubs, so 10+ is quite an impressive haul.

To make matters clear, it’s 10+ clubs, not 10+ transfers. So if a player has three separate stints at a single club, and eight other clubs, he may have had 10+ transfers, but he hasn’t played for 10+ clubs. We are, however, including loan moves.

Here are the 7 best footballers to have played for 10+ clubs:

7. Luca Toni

A brilliant centre-forward who really came alive in the penalty box, Luca Toni was often described as a bit of a throwback or old school striker. Strong in the air and accurate with both feet, he could hold the ball up well and had a natural goal scoring instinct. Having been most prolific during the mid-2000’s with Fiorentina and Bayern Munich, he enjoyed a remarkable renaissance in his late 30’s with Verona, even becoming Serie A’s top scorer for only the second time in his career. Now aged 41, Toni only hung up his boots two years ago, and Verona were the 2006 World Cup winners 15th club.

6. Chris Waddle

Ex Newcastle player and media pundit Chris Waddle looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James' Park on November 1, 2014 in...Ex Newcastle player and media pundit Chris Waddle looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James' Park on November 1, 2014 in...

A rare free spirit and creative midfield technician within English football during the 1980’s and early 1990’s, Chris Waddle is a seemingly somewhat underrated footballer. A two-time PFA Team of the Year inclusion and one-time Tottenham Player of the Year during his time with Tottenham and Newcastle United, Waddle went on to join that rare group of British footballers to enjoy success overseas. The England international became a big hit in France with Marseille, where he won 3 league titles in 3 seasons, before returning to England with Sheffield Wednesday.

Waddle later turned out for a string of non-league clubs, taking his total list of clubs to 14.

5. Jari Litmanen

A supremely talented footballer who enjoyed his greatest successes early in his career, Jari Litmanen later became something of a journeyman. Finland’s greatest contribution to the world of football, Litmanen was a fantastic technician who scored and created goals prolifically. He played his best football for Ajax in the mid-1990’s, where he won the Champions League and once scored 36 goals in a single season from midfield. He later turned out for Barcelona and Liverpool, but injuries restricted his contribution. He played for exactly 10 clubs.

4. Christian Vieri

Christian Vieri kicks the ball during Andrea Pirlo Farewell Match at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 21, 2018 in Milan, Italy.Christian Vieri kicks the ball during Andrea Pirlo Farewell Match at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 21, 2018 in Milan, Italy.

Subscribers to this channel will most likely know that I am a big fan of Christian Vieri, since I’ve shared my thoughts on him a couple of times before. At his best, Vieri was among the most devastating strikers in my lifetime. He was bullish, powerful and predatorial. You knew you weren’t going to get a moment's rest as a defender up against Christian Vieri. Sadly, however, as with Litmanen, Vieri was very injury prone. Most prolific during his time with Inter Milan and his single season with Atletico Madrid, where he averaged better than a goal a game, Vieri played for a grand total of 14 clubs.

3. Rivaldo

The top three players in this seven all featured in our recent look at the 100 greatest footballers of all time, starting with Brazilian maestro Rivaldo. Another widely underrated footballer, on his day, Rivaldo was perhaps the most unstoppable player on the planet. Capable of changing a game in an instant, the bandy-legged Brazilian had explosive technique, real creativity and a remarkable rate of goal scoring during his peak at Barcelona. In many respects, Rivaldo’s willingness to go on in football, as he tumbled down the footballing pyramid and turned out in nations as far-flung as Uzbekistan and Angola, somewhat detracted from his legacy as a truly world class footballer, and undoubtedly one of the greatest of his generation. He too played for a total of 14 different clubs.

2. George Best

Manchester United player George Best during a match against Northampton Town, UK, 7th February 1970.Manchester United player George Best during a match against Northampton Town, UK, 7th February 1970.

There seems to be a link between extremely talented footballers who are either slight mavericks or injury-prone and have relatively short peaks and players who turn out for a number of clubs, at least if this seven is anything to go by. In terms of peak performance level and an early demise, there is no finer example than the man in second place in this seven. George Best had won it all in his early 20’s, but he was done before he’d even reached his late 20’s. Having been a one-club man in his prime at Manchester United, Best subsequently made 17 transfers in just 10 years. Since he had two spells with the Los Angeles Aztecs, Best played for a total of 17 clubs.

0. Honourable Mentions

The player who probably came closest to making this seven is former Newcastle United, Manchester United and England striker Andy Cole, who played for 12 different clubs and is the third highest scorer in the Premier League since 1992.

Another former Premier League striker, Nicolas Anelka, made our shortlist. A really gifted and complete centre-forward, Anelka had an impressive career, but he was always a bit of a journeyman, also turning out for 12 clubs in total.

Lastly, we’ll give an honourable mention to Frank Worthington, who was a genius at his best, and played for a whopping 24 different clubs.

We’ve no doubt you’ll have your own suggestions, so make sure to let us know in the comments, as well as any future video ideas you may have. Before that though, it is time for top spot...

1. Romario

Brazilian former football star Romario looks on during a charity football match organized by former Brazilian national team player Zico, at Maracana stadium on December 28, 2013 in Rio de...Brazilian former football star Romario looks on during a charity football match organized by former Brazilian national team player Zico, at Maracana stadium on December 28, 2013 in Rio de...

There will no doubt be those in the comments who are outraged by Romario coming in ahead of George Best, but the Brazilian ranked higher than him in our 100 GOAT’s video, so he was hardly not going to today. Romario also had a bit of a playboy lifestyle. He hated training, he was perennially lazy and almost unbearably arrogant.

However, Romario was so good, and his arrogance so justified, that despite all those flaws, he spent the best part of two decades as one of the best players on the planet. Romario spent much of his career playing outside of Europe, but he was absolutely sensational when he did play in the continent for both PSV and Barcelona, as well as being more prolific than Ronaldo for Brazil.

A deserved first place in this seven, Romario played for a total of 10 clubs, retiring for good in 2009, aged 43.

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