Top 20 Soccer Players Who Revived Their Careers

Reviving ones career is easier said than done. It is typically very talented and gifted players who show their class before falling away but ultimately getting back to the top once again. Even very gifted players often fail to revive their careers though; Ravel Morrison, Adel Taarabt and Mario Balotelli are just three enormously talented players who have all made moves (or multiple moves) yet failed to revive their careers in recent years.

Every player on this list has, or had, bags of ability. Their catastrophic downturn in fortunes and fall in stock was never a result of their ability, but typically either a failed transfer which did not suit them or a poor attitude/mentality. As such, it should come as no surprise that there are a large number of attacking and flair players who perhaps aren't what you'd call 'model professionals' who make this list.

Conversely, there are others who were merely the victim of a poor transfer which saw their career spiral downwards. The vast majority had to change clubs in order to revive their careers, although a couple did so at the same club where their form first fell away. Here are the top 20 soccer players who managed to revive their careers:

20 Emmanuel Adebayor


19 Shinji Kagawa

18 Adrian Mutu

17 Javier Hernandez


16 Antonio Cassano


15 Nicolas Anelka


14 Matthew Etherington


13 Gervinho

12 Lukas Podolski

11 Luca Toni


10 Gianfranco Zola

Ben Radford/Allsport

9 Jean-Pierre Papin

Sports / Icon Sport

8 Wesley Sneijder


7 Diego Forlan

6 Robert Huth


Chelsea's Young Player of the Year for three consecutive seasons, the only player to have received the award more than once, Huth was always highly regarded at the Bridge, with Mourinho even turning down approach's from Bayern Munich when he had the likes of Terry, Carvalho and Gallas already within his ranks. After leaving the Bridge, Huth became a key player at Stoke City, winning the clubs Player of the Year award in 2011, but his career seemed to be tailing away as he was benched for the 2013/14 season.

5 Mario Gomez

4 Lassana Diarra

Once touted as the 'new Makelele', Lassana Diarra thrived on being an effective defensive midfielder, and by the age of 25 he could boast the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid among his employers, with a trophy cabinet which included the FA Cup, La Liga and more. A tough last two seasons at the Bernabeu was followed by a two year spell in Russia, with Anzhi and Lokomotiv Moscow, which ended with his contract being terminated, a E10 fine and a 15 month suspension from football.

3 Claudio Pizarro

2 Esteban Cambiasso


Esteban Cambiasso began playing first team football in Argentina at the age of 18, and his talent was immediately recognised. At 20 he made his debut for Argentina and a year later he joined River Plate. When he signed for Real Madrid in 2002, there were few finer midfield prospects in the world. But Cambiasso, like so many great players, became a victim of the 'Bernabeu bite'.

1 Hatem Ben-Arfa


One of the finest examples of a player reviving their career in recent history, both Hatem Ben-Arfa's fall and rise were rapid. In 2011/12, his first full season at Newcastle, Ben-Arfa was superb, and lit up the Premier League. He inspired Newcastle to a fifth-placed finish and was among the league's top performers.

Over the next couple of years the Frenchman fell out with Alan Pardew and Steve Bruce, which saw him sent back from his loan spell at Hull City and released by Newcastle. The former Marseille man headed for the south coast of France, where he joined Nice and his subsequently had a great season in Ligue 1, and will almost certainly join a top European team this summer.

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Top 20 Soccer Players Who Revived Their Careers