Top Players Who Were Up For Dropping Down

The biggest shock of the transfer window became reality when Craig Bellamy switched to Cardiff.

Bellamy became the centre of attention earlier in August when he completed his loan switch from Manchester City to Championship side Cardiff.

Bellamy was hailed as one of the best players in the Premier League by many last season and impressed with his work ethic for City.

But City boss Roberto Mancini did not want to keep the Welshman at Eastlands and the forward was forced to leave as he was not included in their Premier League squad.

Bellamy reportedly had offers from several clubs, but decided to move back home to Cardiff. The move became a big shock for fans of the game around the world, as no one expected the forward to drop down to the Championship.

He said: “I just wanted to come home. My wife and kids live here. I’ve spent the last six years up and down the road.

“I left home at 15 and I had a feeling I would come back here, but I wanted to come back at the top of my game.

“My family have supported me my whole life and I’ve wanted to reward them. I wanted to say thank you to them for travelling everywhere to watch me play. Now they can watch me right at home.

“I set out in my career to play for Cardiff City. I have always sad that and I believe if I did not take this opportunity now I might not get the chance again.

“That would be too big a regret and hurt me for too long after football. I am at the top of my career, so why not do it?”

There have been some top players in the history of football who were prepared to drop down a division.

Glenn Hoddle left Monaco in 1991 in order to become player-manager in the second tier. Hoddle took charge of Swindon, after the club were stripped of promotion after making illegal payments.

Allan Simonsen made the dramatic move to quit Spanish giants Barcelona and move to the English second division side Charlton Athletic in 1983. Simonsen was named European Football of the Year in 1977, but was forced to quit Barcelona when Diego Maradona arrived in 1983.

Manchester United legend George Best left Old Trafford for the English second division in 1976. Best was past his peak and was no longer needed at United. Best became famous at Fulham for tackling team-mate Rodney Marsh.

Paul Gascoigne ended up moving to Burnley, after reportedly blasting the ’back stabbing’ culture at Everton. New Everton boss David Moyes failed to stopp Gazza from leaving the club.

Kevin Keegan left Southampton in a shock move to Newcastle in 1982. King Kev managed to win promotion in his second season with the Magpies. Keegan impressed alongside players such as Chris Waddle and Peter Beardsley.

This season Bellamy will do like all the other legendary footballers mentioned in this article. He will play for a lower league side and face teams such as Scunthorpe United and Doncaster Rovers in the Championship, while City face Juventus in Europe.