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10 greatest football journeymen

1. Marco Borriello (18 clubs)

One of the greatest egos in football, Borriello has turned out for the likes of Roma, Milan, Juventus and countless other Italian sides. But, according to him, could’ve ended up playing for the likes of Real Madrid or Manchester United. He recently signed for Segunda Division B outfit UD Ibiza based in the holiday resort on the Balaeric Islands. The 36-year-old has spent the entirety of his career in Serie A and played for SPAL last season, while he netted 16 league goals the campaign prior with Cagliari.

2. Marcus Bent (17 clubs)

Perhaps not the most star-studded player on this list, but Marcus Bent was seemingly always an option when a club needed someone reliable. Never spending longer than three years at the same club, Bent is one of only a few to have scored for six different Premier League clubs; Birmingham, Charlton, Crystal Palace, Everton, Ipswich and Wigan.

3. Luca Toni (15 clubs)

A late bloomer, Toni didn’t come into recognition until his time at Palermo, which was already his eighth professional club. A prolific spell with Fiorentina in the mid-2000s followed by an awesome campaign in Italy’s victorious 2006 World Cup saw Toni move to German giants Bayern Munich, but he also represented the likes of Roma, Juventus and Genoa after that, before finally bowing out with Verona last season, his 15th club.

4. Rivaldo (14 clubs)

Former Ballon d’Or winner Rivaldo was on top of the world at Barcelona in the late 90s. But he also had notable spells with AC Milan and Olympiacos but the player, who once went down perhaps a little too easy during the 2002 World Cup, actually turned out for 14 different clubs across six countries on four continents during his career.

5. Andy Cole (13 clubs)

One of the most prolific goal scorers to ever grace the English top-flight, Andy Cole’s career saw him top the scoring charts for the likes of Newcastle, Manchester United, Blackburn and Fulham. He represented 13 clubs—Arsenal, Bristol City, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Birmingham, Sunderland, Burnley and Nottingham Forest—during his career, spanning the top-flight and the Football League, but his time at United is the most revered. Famous for his almost telepathic partnership with Dwight Yorke and his treble success in 1999, Cole remains the Premier League’s third all-time top goalscorer.

6. Nicolas Anelka (12 clubs)

Probably the first name that springs to mind when discussing great journeymen, Nicolas Anelka’s CV boasts some of the very best clubs in world football. The perceptually bald Frenchman turned out for the likes of PSG, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea and Juventus during his ridiculously illustrious career, and finally finished off at Mumbai City in India. He also had spells at Bolton Wanderers and West Brom as well as Fenerbahce in Turkey and Shanghai Shenhua in China.

7. Peter Crouch (12 clubs)

The wonderfully skillful big-man upfront, well remembered for his fabulous robot celebration in the colours of England, has represented 12 different clubs, including Liverpool and Tottenham, and is still going strong with current side Stoke City. Crouch became only the 26th player to score 100 goals in the Premier League, and is the oldest player to hit the landmark.

8. Christian Vieri (12 clubs)

Perhaps best remembered for his spell at Inter Milan, the powerful Italian striker played for 12 clubs throughout his career, mainly in Italy, but also in Spain and France. Once considered the finest forward on the continent, Vieri pulled on the shirt for the likes of Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Lazio, but it was Internazionale he remained with for the longest. Six seasons! He almost deserves a medal for such loyalty.

9. Kevin-Prince Boateng (Nine clubs)

The Ghana international left Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt in favour of a return to the Serie A with Sassuolo in June. It marked his third different league in three successive seasons after his 2016/17 spell with Las Palmas in La Liga. The 31-year-old enjoyed two previous spells in Serie A with AC Milan and Sassuolo is his ninth different club during a nomadic career, which has seen him take in spells at Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke.

10. Rafael van der Vaart (Seven clubs)

Former Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart signed for Danish top-flight side Esbjerg last month. The Dutch veteran, 35, was let go by Midtjylland at the end of last season but wanted to stay in Denmark to be with his girlfriend. Van der Vaart spent a little over two seasons at White Hart Lane, scoring 24 times in 63 Premier League games. The Dutchman has also played for Ajax, Hamburg, Real Madrid and Real Betis during his long career.