Here are five football players who returned to their former clubs, ranging from Sergio Ramos’ tearful return to Sevilla to Didier Drogba’s second spell success with Chelsea.
Here are five football players who returned to their former teams, ranging from Sergio Ramos’ emotional return to Sevilla to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United rollercoaster to Didier Drogba’s second spell triumph with Chelsea.
Cristiano Ronaldo To Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo surprised everyone by returning to Manchester United at the eleventh hour of the 2021 summer transfer window.
However, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner had a tumultuous spell at Old Trafford. Not only did the Portuguese fail to win a trophy, but he was also unable to contribute to the team as he did when he was under Sir Alex Ferguson’s supervision.
Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances during his first tenure at United, compared to 27 goals in 52 games during his second term. This is by no means a statistic of a poor performer, but one would expect more from a player of Ronaldo’s caliber.
Personal issues, combined with a falling out with current manager Eric Ten Hag, pushed Ronaldo to leave the club and join Saudi Arabia club Al Nassr in the 2022 winter transfer window.
Sergio Ramos To Sevilla
After his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expired, Spain veteran Sergio Ramos was left without a club for some time before signing with La Liga club Sevilla earlier this month.
Despite offers from Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad, Galatasaray, FC Porto, and MLS, Ramos returned to the club where it all began after an 18-year absence.
Sergio entered the Sevilla FC academy at the age of seven after being born in Camas, a few kilometers from Sevilla’s city center, on March 30, 1986.
He worked his way through the ranks before making his reserve-team debut, at the age of 16, in the 2002/03 season, and then his senior squad debut the following season. He made his debut in the 2005/06 season against Racing before joining Real Madrid on deadline day.
Didier Drogba To Chelsea
Didier Drogba is without a doubt one of the most significant figures in Chelsea history, having won ten titles during his decade-long affiliation with the club.
He was also one of the first marquee signings of the Roman Abramovic era, joining Chelsea from Marseille for a then-club record £24 million.
In his first season under Jose Mourinho, the Ivorian scored 16 goals in 41 league appearances and was dubbed an instant success, helping the club win the Premier League and the League Cup.
Drogba was a member of the club that won three league and numerous domestic titles during his first eight years in West London.
Drogba’s time came to an end poetically when he equalized in the UEFA Champions League final against Bayern Munich, which Chelsea won on penalties. Drogba also scored the final penalty to help Chelsea win the Champions League in 2012.
Drogba transferred to Galatasaray in Turkey in 2012, but returned to Stamford Bridge two years later, in the summer transfer window of 2014.
His second spell, however, was brief, as he signed a one-year contract and saw less than 900 minutes of playing time. However, the Premier League inductee scored four goals and helped his team win the league title.
Wayne Rooney to Everton
Although Wayne Rooney‘s name is inscribed in the history of Manchester United, his roots can be traced back to the Merseyside club Everton, where it all began for the Englishman.
Rooney began his professional career at Goodison Park after graduating from Everton’s development program in 2002, making 77 appearances over the course of two seasons before being recruited by United.
In 2017, he left United as a United icon and returned to the Toffees. Despite only remaining with Everton for one season, he managed to score 11 goals in 40 games.
Later, he joined Derby County as a player-coach before taking over full-time management of the Rams and announced his formal retirement from playing in January 2021.
Thierry Henry To Arsenal
Thierry Henry left Arsenal in 2007 after eight years as a member of the club’s team, including the 2003-04 ‘invincible’ season in which the London club went on to win the league title without losing a game.
In 2012, he surprised the Gunners by returning to the Emirates on a two-month loan to replace the injured Marouane Chamackh and Gervinho.
Prior to scoring the game-winning goal in the final seconds of Sunderland’s 2-1 league triumph, Henry scored the game-winning goal against Leeds on his second FA Cup appearance.