In football there are interesting and boring players. Some don’t catch our interest while others grow up to become legends. Think about players like Beckham, Zola and Bergkamp… In the Premier League we are spoiled with good football players that make our league one of the most interesting in the world.
Here follows 3 legends famous for their exceptional performances on the English pitch. They performed really well in the Premier league, moved to a different country and then made a dramatic comeback to the UK. These are top three football legends that gained the most interest in the UK after returning to their old club. Here they are:
3. José Mourinho
Chelsea has a ‘new’ coach: the special one, José Mourinho. He is considered to be one of the best coaches in the world. Before he moved to Chelsea for the first time he managed Barcelona as an assistant, Benfica, Uniao de Leiria and Porto. After a very successful spell at the Portuguese club Porto winning two Primeira Ligas, the Taça de Portugal, the UEFA Cup, the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira and the UEFA Champions League, he moved to Chelsea. In London, he did not stop winning prizes.
In his first English season he won the League cup and the first Chelsea premier league title in 50 years. His second year at the club was also successful as he retained the Premier League title. In his last year he guided his players to a League Cup and FA Cup double. They ended second in the league. After a difference of opinion with Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich, Mourinho decided to leave the club in September 2007. After two seasons at Inter Milan and three at Real Madrid, he’s back. UK interest for the Portuguese coach was highest in May 2013 when it was announced Mourinho will join Chelsea again.
2. Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry plays for the New York Red Bulls. He is 35 at the moment but is still considered to be one of the best players of the American Major League Soccer (MLS). Before he joined Arsenal for the first time he played for Monaco and Juventus. He played for the London team from 1999 to 2007, scoring 174 goals in 254 matches. He moved on to play for Barcelona and the New York Red Bulls. At the start of 2012 he went on a two month loan to the Gunners. He only played four games but scored the winning goal in the third round of the FA Cup against Leeds United. He hopes to return to his old club for a third spell either as a player or a coach. UK interest in the Frenchman was highest in January 2012 when his loan spell was announced.
1. Jens Lehmann
Jens Lehman is a retired German goalkeeper. He is 43 years old. In the seasons 1996-1997 and 2005-2006 he was voted UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the year. He was part of the famous 2003-2004 ‘Arsenal Invin
sibles’ team. The team played 38 matches in the league of which they won 26, drew 12 and lost none. In the league they remained unbeaten and he kept his goal clean for 10 consecutive Champions League matches which is a record that stands to this very day.
On 14 March, German newspaper Bild reported Lehman was in contact with Arsenal to make a comeback. This caused an enormous increase in interest in the German keeper, as shown below in the graph. An injury crisis at the Gunners left them with only one senior goalkeeper fit enough to defend the goal: Manuel Almunia. Wojciech Szczęsny, Łukasz Fabiański and Vito Mannone were all out with injuries. He therefore signed a three-month contract at his former club on 17 March 2011 until the end of the season. In that season he played one match. On 10 April 2011 Lehmann played in the starting 11 in the away game against Blackpool due to an injury from Almunia. This was his 200th appearance and last game he played for the North London club as they beat Blackpool 3-1. This made him the oldest player ever to play for Arsenal in the League (41). At the end of the season Lehmann decided to retire once again.
About the author: Rens van der Windt is a football enthusiast. His favourite teams are FC Utrecht and the Glasgow Rangers. He works in partnership with Chemist Direct, the largest on-line pharmacist in the United Kingdom.
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