The biggest player betrayals in world football history
These players "betrayed" their teams and joined the biggest rivals
It is undeniable that in the world of football there were players who became club legends. Ryan Giggs at Manchester United, Francesco Totti at AS Roma, Paolo Maldini at AC Milan, Iniesta or Xavi at FC Barcelona. However, what would have happened if those players changed teams and joined the rival? If Iniesta or Xavi joined Real Madrid, would they still have been loved in Barcelona? If Totti played for Lazio, would Roman love have changed? The answer is not sure, it happened to some players and not to others. Here we will name some players who were considered traitors,
Luis Figo (Barcelona - Real Madrid)
Perhaps one of the most famous cases in history. Figo joined FC Barcelona in 1995 and spent a total of 5 seasons. As 'Culé' he won seven titles, he was captain and had all the affection of the fans, until on July 25, 2000 he was presented as a reinforcement of Real Madrid. According to his statements, the Portuguese admitted that he did not feel valued by the Catalan team and that is why he decided to join the project of the merengue president, Florentino Pérez, to form a team of galacticos.
However, the fans of FC Barcelona did not forgive this betrayal. On October 21, 2000, Figo returned to Camp Nou and received boos, whistles and insults from the entire stadium. It was a very tense game that finally, the Catalan club won 2-0.
Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli - Juventus)
The Argentine player joined Napoli in the 2013-14 season after scoring more than 120 goals for Real Madrid. The "Pipita" had no problem winning the love of the Neapolitan fans and it was all thanks to his goals. 89 goals in 145 games (0.62 average goals) and 2 titles are enough to be a beloved player in Napoli.
"It all started when a sensation came to my body. I had made the record of 36 goals in a season, we had a great team that played great and we couldn't be champions. What else had to be done?" Higuaín declared. His transfer to Juventus was for a record figure, 94 million euros. This change of team was considered a true betrayal by the Neapolitans, who did not hesitate to destroy or even burn that shirt. When Higuaín returned to the Napoli stadium, he received a deafening whistle when the 71 minutes of play were completed. 71 means "the man of s**" in Neapolitan smorphia.
Despite the controversial decision, Higuaín never regretted it. "The hatred, resentment and insults returned to them because in eight games I scored six goals against them. I chose well because the first year we reached the Champions League final. The only time I was able to play it."
Óscar Ruggeri (Boca Juniors-River Plate)
Ruggeri was an Argentine defender who made his professional debut at the age of 18 with Boca Juniors, one of the most important teams in Argentina. With Boca, he played a total of 5 seasons and managed to win one Argentine league title. He was the team's first-choice defender, a member of the Argentine national team and only 23 years old. But everything changed in 1985, when Ruggeri decided to join River Plate, Boca Juniors' biggest rival. At that time, Boca was going through an institutional and economic crisis, one of the worst in its history. Ruggeri left the club simply because he was not being paid and because he was uncomfortable with the problems within the team. However, his decision to leave for the opposing team of the "Superclásico" was very controversial. "The only thing I wanted was to play football in a big team. River opened the doors for me and I left. I am happy for life to have made that decision. I am happy with what I experienced. I was not in a big team. Boca Juniors at that time was not big. Boca was the worst... I played there for six years and I was paid once...".
Today, Ruggeri continues to be accused of being a traitor not only by Boca fans but also by former Boca players. "To traitors, neither forget nor forgive. It is impossible to have a coffee with him. If you take off your Boca shirt and put on the River shirt, you won't have a coffee with me," said a former Boca teammate of Ruggeri.