Thursday, April 18, 2024

8 star players who reinvented their football careers in 2023/24 season

In the world of football, careers can be a rollercoaster ride, with ups and downs defining the journey of a player. Let us explore the remarkable resurgence of some football players in 2023/24 season, players who have defied the odds and reignited their careers on the grandest stage.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Once a prolific goal scorer, Aubameyang faced challenges in recent years. After his final season with Arsenal where he scored 91 goals in 122 games. Auba as he is fondly called, made a move to Barcelona in a bid to prove naysayers wrong and reignite the spark that made him one of the most sought after strikers in the world.

After scoring 13 goals in 24 games for FC Barca and winning the La LIGA, to the surprise of football fans in England, he made a move to a Chelsea side in desperate need of a proven goal scorer.

That move was the beginning of downward spiral of the career of one of the world’s most prolific strikers. Scoring just 3 goals in 21 games for Chelsea, it looked like the end of the road for the Gabonese marksman.

However, a change of scenery and renewed determination have seen him shine once again, showcasing his lethal striking abilities, this time with Olympic Marseille, the forward has scored 23 goals in 38 games in the 2023/24 season, leading the French team to the knockout phase of the Europa League.

Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley began his career in Everton in 2010 and he was a major hit. The England international scored 27 goals in 179 appearances for the blue side of Merseyside.

Touted as the next frank Lampard, Ross made a move to west London where he joined Chelsea in 2018. With Chelsea, he won the FA cup, the Europa league and the FIFA world club cup. After a poor run of form and a total overhaul of the Chelsea team, He made a season long loan move to Aston villa in 2020 and that was the beginning of the struggle for Barkley. He also had stints with OGC Nice but it was a disastrous move.

After struggling to find his form and injuries, Ross Barkley has experienced resurgence since joining premier league side Luton Town for the 2023/24 season, captivating fans with his creativity and vision on the field, proving that talent never fades away.

Antoine Griezmann

MADRID, SPAIN – DECEMBER 19: Antoine Griezmann of Atletico de Madrid applauds fans at the end of the LaLiga EA Sports match between Atletico Madrid and Getafe CF at Civitas Metropolitano Stadium on December 19, 2023 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Antoine became a household name with the French national team and real Sociedad, where he scored 46 goals in 180 appearances. In 2014, he moved to Atletico Madrid for a club record fee of 30 million euros. 

He won the UEFA Europa league, UEFA super cup, Supercopa De Espana and La Liga best Player. He was nominated for the Balon d’or and best FIFA men’s player in 2016 and 2018.

In 2019, he made a 120 million Euros move to Barcelona, based on his standards, it was a largely disappointing move for Antoine, he was signed to partner Messi in that Barcelona attack but injuries and loss of form hampered that move until he returned to Atletico in 2021.

2023/24 season has been wonderful for Griezmann, as his return to top form has been nothing short of inspirational, as he dazzles audiences with his skills and game-changing performances, solidifying his place among the football elite.

His goals in the champions league have sent the Spanish side to the quarter finals of the 2023/24 season and helped Atletico challenge for the La Liga.

Romelu Menama Lukaku Bolingoli

Lukaku’s return to his prime in the 2023/24 season has been a sight to behold, as he dominates the pitch with his strength and scoring prowess, showing that he is a force to be reckoned with in the football world.

Lukaku began his career with Anderlecht before he made a move to Chelsea in 2011. Limited playing time forced him out on loan to west brom Albion and Everton.

In 2014, Romelu made a full move to Everton where he showed his goal scoring prowess, finishing as the league’s second top goal scorer.

He moved on to Manchester united in 2017 for 75 million pounds but his inability to replicate the Everton form saw him move to inter Milan in 2019. At inter-Milan, the footballing world saw Romelu Lukaku at his best, he won the serie A title and the MVP award in 2019.

In 2021, Lukaku returned to Chelsea for a record fee of 95.7 million pounds, but loss of form, injuries and inconsistency forced him back to Italy with inter Milan, but he couldn’t replicate the form he had in 2019.

Right now, he is with Roma in Italy and the world has seen a resurgent Lukaku in the 2023/24 season, scoring goals after goals and showing why Chelsea spent 95.7 million Pounds to sign him in 2021.

Paulo Exequiel Dybala

Once hailed as a rising star, Dybala’s resurgence has been a true comeback story, as he showcases his flair and finesse, reminding fans of his undeniable talent.

After a goal ridden stint with Palermo and Juventus, Paulo Dybala was a player on the outs. Due to injuries and loss of form and motivation, Juventus decided that the argentine attacker’s contract will not be renewed and he had become redundant in the team.

In stepped AS Roma, a team that gave Paulo Dybala a new lease of life. The attacker joined the Roman team in 2022 and it’s been an uphill projection in his career.

In the summer of 2022, he won the world cup with Argentina; he has also scored 24 goals in 45 matches for AS Roma.

Christian Mate Pulisic

Christian Pulisic began his career with Borussia Dortmund. In 2016/17 he won the DFB – Pokal.

In 2019, he made a move to Chelsea, where he won the UEFA champions league, UEFA super cup and the FIFA club world cup in 2021, scoring 20 goals in 98 games.

After the 2021 season, it was a downward spiral for Pulisic. Loss of form, injuries and not living up to the Hazard role in Chelsea forced him to Italy where he joined AC Milan in 2023.

In Milan, he became a key performer, scoring 10 goals in 27 games and leading the Milan team to compete for the scudetto in the 2023/24 season.

Pulisic’s rejuvenated career has seen him become a key player for both club and country, making him a standout performer on the field.

Memphis Depay

A young prospect that started his career with PSV Eindhoven, Memphis was destined for great things, scoring 49 goals in 124 games and winning Dutch footballer of the year award in 2014.

In 2015, an ill fated move to Manchester united put a blip in his career, he was signed by united to step into the shoes left by Cristiano Ronaldo when the Portuguese moved to Madrid, but it wasn’t to be so.

In Manchester, he could only score 2 goals in 33 appearances, a poor return by his and United’s standard. Depay was shipped off to Lyon where he found his footing and showed why he was one of the most sought after youngsters in world football.

After spells with Lyon, Barcelona, it looked like depay’s career was winding down, but a move to Athletico Madrid and the 2023/24 season has introduced a resurgent Memphis Depay.

Depay’s resurgence has been marked by his flair, creativity and goals as he lights up the pitch with his dazzling footwork and goal-scoring abilities, proving his worth on the biggest stages.

Kai Lukas Havertz

After graduating the Bayer Leverkusen youth academy in 2016, Havertz made his senior debut the same year. He was so prolific that he became a prospect and was later signed by Chelsea in 2020 to so much fanfare and a club record fee of 72 million pounds.

With Chelsea, Havertz won the UEFA champions league, UEFA super cup, and the FIFA club world cup in 2021.

After the 2021 season, Havertz lost his starting position with Chelsea and later became surplus to requirement due to loss of zeal, form and a plague of injuries.

Ignoring the outrage of arsenal fans, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, spent 65 million pounds to bring the German to the emirates and it has been a very successful gamble.

Havertz’s resurgence has seen him emerge as a rising star once again, as he showcases his versatility and intelligence on the field, becoming a linchpin for his team’s success in the premier league and the champions’ league.

Read Also: Iwobi Sets New EPL Goal Record

These players have shown that resilience, hard work, and talent can lead to remarkable comebacks in the world of football. Their stories serve as a reminder that no matter the setbacks, true stars will always find a way to shine brightly once again.

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