Brits Abroad. The best and worst of British footballers on their travels


It’s always a risk when Brits go abroad. Rarely they are huge success and often fail and return home without anything to show for it. But are things changing?, with the likes of Tammy Abraham and Jude Bellingham  doing well in Europe, maybe the tide will turn and we’ll see more Brits abroad. Let’s have a look at some of the best and worst of British player exports into Europe. 

The Best 

Laurie Cunningham – Real Madrid 1979 The talented winger moved to Real Madrid  and was a huge success. On his debut, he scored a brace and would win the league and cup double in his first year. 

Gary Lineker – Barcelona 1986 to 1989 Lineker spent 3 seasons at Barca scoring 42 goals in 103 league appearances. He helped them lift the Copa Del Rey and European Cup Winners Cup and became a fan favorite.

Gareth Bale- Real Madrid Few could argue (except Zidane) that Bale’s time at the club has been a huge success. In total, he has won 4 Champions Leagues and a league title, scoring one of the greatest Champions League Final goals in the process.

David Beckham- Real Madrid A popular player at the Bernabeu. Beckham won over the fans through his intense work rate in matches and for staying behind after the game to thank the supporters. He also helped Madrid secure their first trophy in 4 years.

The Worst

Jonathan Woodgate- Real Madrid 2004  Woodgate was supposed to reinforce Real’s defence. However, injury forced him onto the sidelines for his first season in Spain and when he did make his debut he had a shocker scoring an own goal and getting sent off. In 2007 he was even voted the leagues worst buy of the century by Spanish newspaper readers!

Gary Neville- Valencia Manager There was a lot of optimism when one of the best pundits on television took the top job at Valencia in 2015. However, it all turned very sour quickly. Neville only won 3 of his 16 games, including a 7-0 thrashing to Barcelona. This resulted in him being sacked just four months into the job and never managing again.

Ian Rush – Juventus Rush moved to Juventus for a British record fee of £3.2 million but failed to settle in Turin. He is famously quoted as saying that living in Italy was ‘like living in a foreign country.’ After a thigh injury and struggling to communicate because of the language barrier, he soon found himself back at Liverpool.

Half  term coming up so if you are travelling around Europe, drop into some local sessions where you are, see how we measure up ? 😁. You might just bring something back to your DADS v DADS sessions 🤣.


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