Though I fell in love with football only recently (circa 2003), it has not taken me long to hate footballers. Generally, of course. There will always be a few shining lustruous pearls amidst an ocean of shite. Now I hate them because most of them now have absolutely no loyalty whatsoever to the club. Those bygone days where footballers were proud of their clubs, even if they didn't win anything, and stayed on year after year in the hope that they did is now becoming the type of ancient history that doesn't make it to the history books. For example, even though I hate Manchester United and think most of their fans are a bunch of twats (except for Art, of course *chuckle*), you gotta respect some of their players like Ryan Giggs who spent his entire career at the club. I don't think we are ever going to see the likes of him anymore. More and more, I see footballers who have one singular good season (despite the earlier ones being shite or mediocre) being proclaimed by the English press as the next Pele or Maradona and then because of all the bloody media attention, they get poached by the Italian or Spanish leagues (read Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Real Madrid or Barcalona, respectively - bunch of non-English speaking twats). To use the Manchester United example again, in the last season 2007/08, Cristiano Ronaldo had by any standards an outstanding year. He won the European Championship and the Premiership Championship this year. He's 23. So he's got a lot of years left and you would think, he would stay with Manchester United which is as much as I hate to admit it the top club in Europe right now. But then as usual those fuckers Real Madrid then screw all these footballers up by indicating that they are 'interested' (I've got beef with them as well because they are making it a yearly habit to declare their love for Fabregas, may you never leave us!) and the worse part is these footballers then become 'unsettled'. How you can have a 4 year contract or whatever with the club, play so well for a few years, get on with everybody and then at the mere mention of an interest become 'unsettled'. These bastards are paid something like upwards of 50,000 pounds a week and they are unsettled. You pay me that kinda money, I settle wherever the fuck you like Mister and I love you long time oso! And of course you be nice to me then I no reason to leave sorta shite.
Sure you get the usual argument like - footballers have a limited earning time period - about 10 years or so, so they have to make the most of it. So we have to understand that even though they signed a 5 year contract, if some other club is willing to pay more and buy out their contract, they should be allowed to leave so that they can have enough for their retirement. What happened to loyalty? What happened to the contract which basically is a promise in exchange for obscene amounts of money that they would stay at the club for the duration of their contract? A footballers contract is now so meaningless - you can sign up for a 10 year contract, but if the player wants to leave and the buying club is willing to fork out the money, they are sold. And what happened to professionalism on the footballers part? Being professional means that you honour your contract instead of (i) claiming you want to play for your childhood club (do it after you finished your contract asshole) and the engineer to leave (ii) try to buy out your own contract (which apparently is now allowed). Professionalism for a footballer should not be limited to the football field, where most of them fail this test too. So often do you see big strapping lads with limbs like timber diving like a happy dolphin on the ground at the merest touch. Then they are usually clutching their legs or face or wherever it was there were last touched and clutching it and rolling around like a shot gun blew it off complete with the agonized looks. And after their supposed offender is shown a yellow card or reprimanded they're up and about like a happy lamb and back to being their usual arsehole selves.
So where does this leave us when more and more footballers adopt such attitudes - an utter lack of professionalism both on the field and in their contracts? I think it will in time turn off 'neutrals', those who just enjoy watching good football. Clubs and football then will be crushed by the financial expectations of men who really are paid obscene amounts of money for kicking the ball around on a field for the display. They do not create food. They do not solve people's problems. They contribute nothing to science (and being a subject for medical/sports science is not a pro-active contribution but a mere passive one). They do not contribute to the intellectual progress (and on the contrary by their very actions tend to hold back this sort of progress). They kick a ball well and make it enjoyable for us. That they are paid so much for so little, (especially in terms of professionalism), really makes me wonder what our priorities are as a human race. It would seem that pure entertainment is our priority instead of encouraging each other to do as good a job as possible and getting along with one another.