Being a supporter isn't for the emotionally attached.
Clubs come and go, as even European champions can descend into mediocrity. Managers are always prone to sacking, as the slightest misstep can lead to even the longest-tenured manager being relieved of his duties.
However, there is nothing as heartbreaking as the loss of a player. The connection between supporter and player is always special. Supporters wear their shirts, buy their books and take every word they say as if it were gospel.
Players come and go. It's sad. Arsenal supporters were gutted at the loss of star Robin van Persie. Fernando Torres broke the hearts of Liverpool supporters with his deadline day transfer to Chelsea. Even Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero currently makes his living in Australia after leaving the Turin giants after almost two decades.
With that being said, supporters are quick to point out the lack of loyalty in the modern game. Players are all pawns in a huge money grab. In the world of oil tycoons and million-dollar TV deals, euros and pounds are much more important than something as trivial as a club badge.
However, we have now entered a new era of loyalty, as the idea of staying with a club now goes far beyond just pulling on the shirt and playing. One-club men are all but extinct, but the idea of pure love and admiration for a club remains.
Independiente are one of the most successful clubs in Argentina, having won 16 Primera Division titles. However, a recent decline saw El Rojo relegated.
Seeing his boyhood club decaying is something that bothered Aguero and, despite his superstar status in England, his heart remains in Argentina.
According to ESPN, Aguero offered to not only buy, but also pay the salaries of five transfers that could be used to get the club back to their former glory. However, Independiente snubbed the offer, not even offering a response.
Receently, Aguero went as far as to say that he considered moving to Independiente to lead the charge himself, as the man who delivered Premier League glory to the blue half of Manchester had a desire to make a move to the second division of Argentine soccer (according to ESPN):
I love Independiente and when they were relegated I even thought about moving back there. I wanted to help the club to go up again. I definitely thought about it but my agent told me City would have killed us if we had. I know my job is at City -- I’m just saying the thought passed through my mind when Independiente went down. I’ve been very happy at City since the day I came but I’m definitely going back to Independiente in a few years as I want to finish my career there.
Aguero's effort to help the club where he learned his craft aren't the first, as players all over the world have stepped up for their boyhood clubs.
Myself, Mata and Cazorla have all bought shares, but it would be wrong of me to say how much. We just wanted to try and help save the club we all played for. The economy in Spain is very bad and the club needs around €2m to survive. A lot of people have bought shares and hopefully it will be enough by the closing date of November 17. It’s my local club, a club I love, so I hope it will be enough.
Even the great Lionel Messi has expressed his desire to return to his boyhood club, Newell's Old Boys. "I don't know how long it will take but I will return to Newell's," said the Barcelona star to ESPN's Spanish language channel (h/t Sky Sports). "I want to play Argentine football because I know what it means to my country."
Loyalty in the sport is less clear-cut than before. Players leave for bigger contracts with bigger clubs in bigger countries. The almighty dollar is still king, and the idea of European glory will always outshine wasting away in a player's local league.
However, as evidenced by Aguero, there is still love and devotion that tie player to club. The pride and admiration of representing the club is just as impactful as ever.
Players like Aguero show all of us something important, as a player's love to a club continues long after he takes off the shirt.
Is loyalty dead in soccer, or has it just taken on a different definition? Leave a comment or tweet @R_Tolmich with your opinion!
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