I often look back on my life thus far and say to myself, "I've had a great life." Yet, there are other times when I ask myself, "What would have happened if I had stayed in the States when my parents went to Thailand?" or "What would have happened if that girl I had a crush on in middle school had not moved to Germany?" Wait, how'd that get there...
The point is, there's a lot of "what if" or "what would have" questions in life. We all have them. Here's some of the "what would have happened" questions from the world of soccer.
1. What would have happened if David Beckham had never gone to Real Madrid?
David Beckham left for Real Madrid back in 2003, after spending much time on the bench because of injury. Now, imagine if he had not gotten that injury in 2002. Most likely, he would have stayed at United and Cristiano Ronaldo would never have come to Old Trafford and he would have never gone to LA. Instead, Becks would still be at United and Ronaldo would probably be at Sporting Lisbon or some other club.
2. What would have happened if the 1994 World Cup was never held in the USA?
The 1994 FIFA World Cup was one of the most successful World Cups in history. It had world record attendance and Brazil won the World Cup for the 4th time in history. Well, if that never happened in the USA, there might have never been an MLS.
Let's face it, Americans love to play soccer but they hate watching it. In the words of my dad, "What good is a sport where you just kick a ball and almost never score?" If there was no USA 1994, then soccer would not be as big in the USA as it is. Sure, it's not as big as the NFL or NBA, but it's big. I imagine that no USA 1994, no MLS, and soccer in America would be relegated to nonexistence.
3. What would have happened if Roman Abramovich had never bought Chelsea?
Chelsea fans, I am apologizing in advance for saying what I'm about to say.
Before Abramovich bought Chelsea FC in 2003, the club was in a bit of a tangle. Not winning the league, not winning much at all. Sure they had great players and managed to make it into the top 4 of the league, but they could never quite beat off Manchester United and Liverpool.
After the rich Russian took over, Chelsea looked like a new team almost. They started winning and winning and bringing in great players. If he hadn't of done that though, is it fair to say that Chelsea might not be the successful club they are right now? They might have still been that club that only makes it to third or fourth on the league table.
4. What would have happened if Steven Gerrard had decided to join Chelsea?
Mention Liverpool to anyone, and the first thing that comes to their mind is Steven Gerrard. Liverpool fans and Liverpool haters love the guy. However, not many people know how close Gerrard was to signing for Chelsea at the end 2003-2004 season. Liverpool was going through a great change during that time. Houllier had left, Liverpool hadn't won anything, and Gerrard was not happy with the direction the club was going.
During this time, Chelsea declared interest in him. What if he had accepted? Well, Liverpool might not be as good as they are right now. They might not have won the Champions League. Gerrard has been Liverpool's talisman since he came. If Chelsea had him, no Michael Ballack to Chelsea. Chelsea might be winning more than just the FA Cup.
5. What would have happened if Freddy Adu had joined Manchester United?
One of the brightest stars in American soccer is Freddy Adu. After a successful career at DC United, Manchester United gave him a two-week tryout in 2006. Well, ultimately, he didn't prove himself and got sent back to MLS. Now he's fairly successful at AS Monaco.
If Adu had done well in Manchester, could he have been the first American forward to start for them? In 2006, Ruud van Nistelrooy was on his way out and Wayne Rooney was just getting started. Could there have been a partnership between Adu and Rooney? I like to think there could have, but then again, that's just me.
Bonus question: What would have happened if Arsene Wenger had stayed at Monaco?
I was about to publish this article when I realized I forgot a certain club named Arsenal. I can't let that go. I've touched Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, and the USA. I have to get Arsenal in there.
Okay, the guy on the left is a younger Arsene Wenger at AS Monaco. I guess that was back in the days when hair like that was popular. He became manager of Monaco in 1987 and stayed there until the 1994-1995 season when he was fired, headed off to Japan and Nagoya Grampus Eight for two seasons, before arriving at Arsenal. By the way, that's him at Arsenal on the right.
During his stay at Monaco, he won the Coupe de France, Ligue 1, and the French Manager of the Year award. However, after a poor start in the 1994-1995 season, he was fired. Imagine though, if he had not been fired.
He most likely would've made Monaco into a great club who wins trophies. Just look at what he did to Arsenal. He most likely would've done that to Monaco. Also, there might have never become a Thierry Henry in Arsenal. Instead, it might have become a Thierry Henry at Monaco.
Well, there you have it for now. A few "what would have happened if" questions for you to ask yourself. There are a lot more to ask. If you have any more, just let me know with a comment. If I get enough, I might make a part two.