10 Footballers Treated as Badly by Their Clubs as Peyton Manning
No one expected the NFL's Indianapolis Colts to let go of the player that rebuilt the franchise from the center of the gridiron.
Peyton Manning was the Colts to many fans. Even through a season where the team capitulated to the bottom of the league with a horrendous 2-14 record, the remaining hope for many fans was the impending return of their play-caller.
However, that was not to be, as he was let go by the Colts. A future Hall of Fame pedigree that holds more records than most groups of quarterbacks combined was not enough to convince his beloved Colts to stay the course with him after a season off due to multiple neck surgeries.
The World of Association Football has had many letdowns as well that compare to Manning's, and there are sure to be plenty more.
Real's Dutch Duo
The Dutch contingent of Real Madrid consisting of Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder were part of a massive forced exodus in the summer of 2009 to make room for the arrivals of Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Arjen Robben was sold to Bayern Munich for €25 million despite not wanting to leave the club according to comments quoted by Goal.com:
I didn't want to go, but the club wanted to sell me.
There have been many lies, but at the end of the day I have to decide what's best for me, because I want to play and to show [everyone] the footballer I am.
On the same day that the sale of Robben was announced so was the sale of Sneijder to Inter Milan.
The Telegraph quoted Sneijder as also regretful over the way he appeared to have been forced out:
I'm going with my head high. I'm going to a great team, there's no doubt about that.
I've been very happy here [Real Madrid] but now I have to look ahead and focus on my new team.
The truth is that I was very happy here, it's something I cannot deny. It makes me sad to go but that's the way it is. That's life. Now the only thing I can say is that I'm happy. I'm changing one great club for another great club.
Bayern Munich Fans
Players aren't the only ones that have clubs mess with their heads, as the fans of Bayern Munich found out in late January of 2012.
After having won the German domestic double in the 2009-10 season and making it all the way to the UEFA Champions League final before being defeated by Inter Milan, the fans of the Bavarian club expected great things for the following season of 2010-11.
However, that was not to be the case, as an early Champions League exit, German Cup exit and a third place league finish was not what was thought to be in the cards for the club.
In the first half of the 2011-12 season, the club has battled to contend for the title with defending champions Borussia Dortmund. With the club's outlook on the season looking strong but uncertain, the news that a major signing was on the verge of being announced was thought to be just the tonic to bring the team to life for the second half.
No one expected that the announcement of a newly signed striker was only a ruse to earn new Facebook fans.
Needless to say that is not a way to endear yourself to your fanbase.
Robbie Keane gets the title of being screwed over not once but twice within his last three years.
His move to Liverpool in 2008 was thought to be the highlight of his career and the chance of a lifetime to be partner with Fernando Torres in the attack.
However, his play never really meshed with the tactical style of Rafael Benitez and with 28 appearances and seven goals in the first half of the season, he was sold back to Tottenham Hotspur at a loss.
But that was not to be the end of his frustrations, as it now appeared that he was no longer good enough for Spurs where they shipped him out on loan to Celtic in 2009 and then West Ham United in 2010 before eventually being sold to the LA Galaxy in 2011.
Keane's loan return to Aston Villa in January and February of 2012 saw him score three goals in seven games to prove he still could hack it in England despite having been practically forced out.
AC Milan legend Filippo "Pippo" Inzaghi was still considered to be vital to the future of his club before the departure of managers Carlo Ancelotti and Leonardo in 2009 and then 2010.
Since the arrival of Massimiliano Allegri, Inzaghi has been left primarily on the bench other than a few times where he has answered the call. Against Real Madrid in the 2010-11 UEFA Champions League he had a brace at the Bernabeu that sunk Los Blonco's at home.
Even at 38, the Italian has managed to keep up his goal threatening ability, but his Milan days could soon be over as it looks likely that he will be further rejected this summer.
Perhaps you can call Phil Neville a victim of circumstance, but the now Everton captain and brother of Manchester United retiree Gary Neville did get the raw end of a deal from the Red Devils.
Neville had to wait his turn to finally secure a permanent place on the left side of United's defense, and even after helping the club to massive success in the late 1990s and early 2000s, he moved away from the "Theater of Dreams," in hope of a more loyal chance at playing time at Everton.
The plight of Phil and Gary Neville now looks to be playing over again at Manchester United with the Brazilian twins Rafael and Fabio da Silva. Rafael has been given much opportunity on the right side while his twin brother Fabio rarely gets to see the pitch on the left behind club captain Patrice Evra.
Real Madrid have a knack for screwing players over.
Michael Owen left Liverpool in 2004 and headed to the Spanish capital much in the mold of former teammate Steve McManaman.
However, Owen never got the time on the ball that McManaman had.
One of the the greatest out and out goal scorers that Liverpool has seen in its history, Owen was thought to have been bought by Madrid to score goals.
That looked to be not the case as the England international became nothing more than a super-sub. Even with his limited playing time he still managed 16 goals in 45, mostly substitute, appearances before returning to England with Newcastle United.
Owen's 16 goals in La Liga are still the most goals ever scored over the period of total time he was on the pitch.
Robbie Fowler was once referred to as, "God," and still is called such by many after he endeared himself to the Merseyside club during two separate spells at the club.
Since leaving English football in 2009, Fowler has spent two seasons in the Australian A-League as well as 13 games as the player/manager of Thai football club Muangthong United.
Fowler had since returned to England in March of 2012 to train with Npower Championship side Blackpool where manager Ian Holloway claimed that Fowler could earn a deal to play with the club till the end of the season.
However, perhaps the biggest offense of Fowler's career was just around the corner, as he was only offered £100-a-week and an additional £5,000 per first team appearance according to the Daily Mirror.
Sebastian Le Toux
However, the Philadelphia Union did just that with 28-year-old forward Sebastian Le Toux despite him being desperate to stay in the navy and gold as said in his Daily Times exclusive:
It had gotten to the point where I said to them, to Nick, to Peter, to everyone, Just give me a contract and I will sign it,
I wanted to stay in Philly. I didn’t care about the money.
The only thing they wanted is the money.
Being with this team and being a guy, not to build around, but to help this team, was what I wanted…They must have wanted to sell me for money because they needed money.
We don’t have a nice practice facility and that is something they promised since I am here, it’s terrible.
That’s why they pushed me to Bolton—money.
Le Toux had a trial with Bolton Wanderers Football Club, but he opted to end it early due to fear of injury in cold weather.
When he came home he was told that he was not cleared for practice and just days later he was informed of being traded to the Vancouver White Caps.
It is not the Steven Gerrard of Liverpool that I discuss in this light but the Steven Gerrard of the English National team.
Gerrard is tied with Chelsea's Frank Lampard on 90 caps for their country, and both are only out capped by Lampard's teammate Ashley Cole.
When John Terry was stripped of the England captaincy there were only a few players thought to be standing in line to take over wearing the armband.
Gerrard not only was thought to be in line for the honor, he also was insistent that he wanted it and was quoted across multiple media outlets including The Sun:
If I get offered it, I'll take it. I'll be delighted and very proud.
But it's not my decision. First of all, it's down to who Stuart Pearce wants to lead the team out and it's also down to him who gets the job full-time. But I want to be England captain.
That is perhaps as calmly a plea of saying I want it than you may ever hear.
Few players have taken the armband more to heart than Gerrard, as he has proven time and again how he can lift his club Liverpool out of the dumps and inspire a victory.
If there has ever been a nation in need of that little bit of extra inspiration it is England, as they go into the UEFA European Championships this summer in need of an impressive showing for once in a long time.
However, rather than going with a national veteran, 11 capped Scott Parker was handed the duties. Don't get me wrong, Parker was a great captain at West Ham, but he just did not seem like he was even in the running much less more deserving than Gerrard.
The greatest goal scorer in the history of the UEFA Champions League—a winner of six La Liga titles, four Spanish Super Cups, three UEFA Champions League titles, one UEFA Super Cup and two intercontinental cups.
He's got more individual awards, club records and European competitive records than you can count on two hands, but still it was not enough for his club to keep their faith.
Raul Gonzalez is the greatest Real Madrid player of a generation. He was a homegrown talent that went on to be the poster child for a club that went through multiple Galactico eras without him ever being thought of as expendable until 2009.
At that point he was not offered a new contract, and at the age of 32, having known only the white shirt of Real Madrid, Raul was left to wonder what was next.
In sixteen seasons with Madrid, his all-time record for appearances stands at 741 with 323 goals scored for a career scoring chance rate of 43 percent.
Raul looked the snub in the eye and moved to Germany where he has made 89 appearances for Schalke 04 scoring 34 goals for a rate of 38 percent at the age of 34.
As stated before, I am sure there will be plenty more major letdowns in World Football.
Put your additional screw overs in the comments section below.