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Loyalty: the unsung commodity in commercialised sport

The one-club man is rare breed in pro sport's monetised wilderness

Loyalty in the sports is a rare sight in today’s game. It’s like witnessing a white lion in the
wild or finding £5 underneath the sofa; it’s a beauty to behold but will only come
around every once in a while. Within today’s game, players are more concerned about the
amount of money they can earn whilst playing, rather than stay loyal to a team that has
treated them well.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know in some cases it’s not the player’s fault but instead the
manager. For instance, Basketball player Demar DeRozan (San Antonio Spurs) used to play
for the Toronto Raptors; a team he put his life and soul into, as well as starting his
career there. He created a real bond with Toronto. But just like that, as if Thanos snapped
his fingers once more, he was gone. No respect, no remorse. Traded for a great player in
Kawhi Leonard (2014 defensive player of the year) but traded as if he didn’t mean anything
to the team. So, it can be the manager’s and general managers making these decisions in the
hope it’s the best move for the team.

In the football world, you see more evidence of players chasing the money such as PSG pair Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. Two of the world’s greatest footballers and arguably potentially on the road to take down the GOATs themselves Lionel Messi and Ronaldo. However, even at such young
ages, they both want the largest sum in their bank and whoever supplies that will gain their
talent. Rather than choosing say, a boyhood club, they instead choose money over
loyalty, which is sad to see in today’s game. Although, I think the one exception in this case
is if players want to win a championship whenever they can.

To chase the major leagues in the world such as the Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, etc,
that’s when I believe it’s acceptable to float around clubs, as they want to be at the
pinnacle of their career and have the best chance to win the Champions League and even
get selected for the national team.

I do understand that players want to move to a bigger club to win, but that has the be their
main focus. Their main focus can’t be how much money they can make every second,
minute, hour, etc. Their focus needs to be on the love for the game and about winning for the team. Back in the day, players would put their heart and soul into the club, purely for the
love of the sport. But then again, this was before football and the sports world became
commercialised, so it may be harder to combat the money aspect. But my respect goes to
the players who possessed those old school values, the likes of Steven Gerrard and John Terry who only left their clubs when they knew their careers had started to come to an end. Those are the players young people should be posting on their walls, not the money grabbing generation of today.

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