Once Legends, Now Forgotten? Top 10 Footballers Who Are Still Playing Professional Football But Hardly Noticed

The fans once worshiped them but now the world hardly knows where they are and how they are doing. Yes, i got this idea after watching last nights friendly between England and Brazil when the likes of Ronaldinho and co were recalled for Brazil. So here is a list of 10 footballers who had a few amazing seasons but now play in lesser known leagues.

10. Luis Fabiano 

72 goals in 149 appearances for Sevilla. Fabiano came under spotlight when he scored a goal in the finals of the UEFA Cup in May 2006. His form continued next year when he was the second highest scorer in La Liga and was instrumental in Sevilla’s good performance in the league and in Europe.

He now plays for São Paulo, his second spell at the club after playing for them between 2002-04. His move in 2011 cost the Brazilian club  €7.6 million and he has scored 23 goals since. He also became the 7th highest goalscorer of São Paulo History.

His consistent performance for the club has earned him a call up for the Brazil team for the friendly against England but it will take a lot more effort from him if he wants to be included in the 23 man squad for the World Cup.

9. David Trezeguet

A legend at Monaco initially and then Juventus, Trezeguet also has a World Cup winners medal to his name. After scoring 138 goals for Juve in a spell which lasted for 11 years, Trezeguet finally moved to newly promoted La Liga team Hércules.

Despite scoring 12 goals for the club, he was unable to prevent them from relegation and after another unsuccessful spell at UAE pro league side Baniyas, he now plays for Argentina’s River Plate and scored 14 goals in 29 appearances.

8. Diego Forlán

59 goals for Villareal and 96 goals for Athletico Madrid has made Forlan one of the most respected and loved footballers in Spain. Winner of 2010 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, Forlan was a key member of the Uruguay National team that reached the Semi Finals of the world cup against all odds. He was also heavily influential in Uruguay’s triumph in the 2011 Copa America.

Also having played for European Giants Manchester United and Inter Milan, Forlan signed a three-year deal with Brazilian club Internacional in  July 2012 where he currently plays.

7. Deco 

Winner of leagues and National Cups in Portugal,Spain and England, Deco also has 2 Champions League medals. Having won 11 different titles with Porto, 5 with Barcelona and 4 with Chelsea, Deco won almost every competition he played in his club career.He has also won a number of individual awards including FIFA Golden Ball in 2006,UEFA club footballer of the year in 2004 and Ballon D’Or Silver Ball in 2004.

On 6 August 2010, Deco signed a two-year contract with Brazilian club Fluminense on a free transfer, joining former Chelsea and Barcelona player Juliano Balletti. He still plays for the Brazilian club and his love for titles is still alive as he helped the club win the league in 2010 and 2012..

6. Clarence Seedorf

Arguably the most decorated footballer on the list, Seedorf has won over 20 titles for his clubs. The only person to win 3 Champions League with 3 different clubs, Seedorf has won leagues and cups with Ajax,Real Madrid and AC Milan. He also played for Inter and Sampdoria before joining Milan.


After 10 years in Milan, Seedorf signed a two-year contract with Botafogo in June 2012. Though playing as a defensive midfielder, Seedorf already has 12 goals in 24 appearances for the Brazilian outfit including a hat-trick against Macaé Esporte Clube, on his first game as a starter player this year.

5. Thierry Henry 

A legend at Arsenal, Henry was literally worshiped by the fans. Winner of 2 EPL’s and 3 FA Cups, Henry also won the EPL Golden Boot on 4 occasion. His departure to Barcelona hurt the Arsenal fans but it also had an impact on his career.


He was deployed on the wing throughout his spell at Barcelona and was unable to reproduce the goal-scoring form he achieved with Arsenal. He expressed dissatisfaction with the move to Barcelona in the initial year too. But after being content with his position the following year, he went on to achieve an unprecedented sextuple for the club.

In July 2010, Henry signed a multi-year contract with MLS club New York Red Bulls. He has been one of their important players having scored  31 gaols in 62 appearances.

4. Alessandro Del Piero

19 years in Juventus!! The versatile footballer was known for the famous trequartista position. The football media refer to a “Del Piero Zone” (“Gol alla Del Piero” in Italian language), a style of scoring involving approaching from the left flank and curling a precise curled lob into the far top corner of the goal.The “Del Piero Zone” has been used to describe the goals of other players who scored in this way.


He was one of the loyal few footballers who stuck with Juventus during the clubs hardest times when they were demoted to Serie B. He scored 290 goals for Juventus making him the clubs all time highest goals scorer. With 6 Serie A title, a Champions League and a FIFA World Cup, Del Piero has won them all.

On 5 September 2012, Alessandro Del Piero signed a two-year deal with Sydney FC. He will be paid $2 million for each year and become the highest-paid footballer to ever play in the A-League.

3. Didier Drogba 

Probably the greatest African player to play the game of football, Drogba had a fairy tale end to his career at Chelsea. Winner of 3 EPL’s,2 League Cups and 4 FA Cups, Drogba finally completed his and Chelsea’s ultimate dream of lifting the UEFA Champions League last year.

He was called Mr. Wembley for a reason. Having scored 7 goals in the famous stadium, Drogba was always the big match performer.

drogba UCL

Having gone close to the Champions League on numerous occasions, Drogba admitted before the finals of Champions League last year that if Chelsea did not win the trophy, he’d feel incomplete. He departed as a legend as his last touch of the football for the club resulted in Chelsea winning the famous trophy.

On May 2012, Drogba joined Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua. Despite scoring 8 goals in 11 appearances for the Chinese club, Drogba joined Turkish giants Galatasaray on 28 January 2013.

2. Ronaldinho 

12 club titles, 7 international titles, 1 Ballon D’Or, 2 Don Balón Awards and 2 Fifa World Player of the year awards!! Enough Said?

After a good spell in PSG, he found real love in Barcelona. Having played there in his prime, Ronaldinho won the bulk of his awards and improved drastically as a player. He was also compared to Pele,Maradona and Zidane in his prime and many pundits pipped him to become the games all time greats had he continued there.


A descent spell at AC Milan was overshadowed by his performance for Barcelona. After playing 2 seasons for the Serie A giants, he had another satisfactory spell at Flamengo in 2011-12.

But Ronaldinho surprised everyone when he moved to Atlético Mineiro in June 2012 where he currently plays.

1. Raul 

Arguably the greatest player in the history of Spain, Raul is also one of the greatest players NEVER to have won either a continental trophy or the world cup for his nation.

He holds a vast number of records. His 323 goals for Real Madrid is a club record. He is also the record holder for maximum goals in La Liga,Champions League and maximum appearances for his club among others.

He won 6 La Liga’s and 3 Champions League winners medals along with a large number of individual honors.


After playing for Real Madrid almost all his life, Raul transferred to German club Schalke 04. He immediately became a fan favorite even there and scored 40 goals in 2 seasons for the club.

On 12 May 2012, it was announced that Raúl had signed a deal with Qatari side Al Sadd. He scored 9 goals in 20 appearances so far for the club.

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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