The modern era of football has given us an abundance of players with style, technical ability, and high entertainment quotient but there has been a dearth of loyalty. When people talk about football clubs they talk about the current crop of players serving their respective clubs, but ten years from now, it is those loyal to the clubs who will be talked about along with the other players then available at the club.
Van persie might go on to win the league with United, Nasri might go on and win the UCL with City and they might even go on to defend those titles successfully the following year, but when people talk about United they will talk about Giggs, Scholes, when they talk about City they will talk about Kompany but certainly not about the ex-gunners. There is always the difference between winners and legends, unfortunately for those ex-gunners they can never be the latter. Persie and Nasri would be celebrated by their fans right now, when the glory days are still on but when all seems done and when they hang up the boots they will be remembered only when people talk of particular seasons, particular victories but had they stayed on with the gunners they would have been synonymous with Arsenal, forever . But that they chose to leave for greener (presumably) pastures, they have also left behind the opportunity to be a legend. You might eventually become winners, but never LEGENDS. Sport never remembers the runners but in a team sport even the winners might be forgotten but not the legends.
Legends are not those players who win it all with or for the club, the term seems to be thrown around easily these days but legends are those who give their all for the club. Legends are the ones who stand along through thick and thin, through relegation and worst defeats, Buffon would always be in the hearts of all Juve fans, present or future alike, not because he was/is one of the best keepers but because he stood along at the time of adversity. Everyone, players or coaches or fans alike have their difference of opinion but LEGENDS are those who put aside those differences for the sake of their team.
The players might be professionals, who by default would look for better monetary rewards but in no other profession do they have fans, 60,000 of them (in the stadium alone) shouting , chanting at the top of their voices, rueing every missed chance, celebrating every brilliant move. One doesn’t have to be an expert to see the love the fans have for their clubs; it would be awesome if the players could also replicate the love. Every team would have a legendary team and every match would be legendary.
On a personal note, I am very happy that Arsenal have Podolski and Arteta , players who know what it means to be loyal, the former having his old club’s name tattooed and the latter taking a pay cut to join Arsenal, he appreciates the fact that it is a privilege to represent Arsenal and it also says loads about his love for the game. Arteta is someone who could never move to other clubs just for money. I believe in a few years’ time Podolski would bear the cannon in his other hand irrespective of the offers or tribunals he is put through, he knows the value of having a club at heart.