It’s far too easy to be a cynic in the world of football. Sometimes, it’s nice just to take a step back and appreciate the more uplifting side to our sport. And these lovable players show us just that.
Most weeks, we’re taken aback by a sublime piece of flair or creativity in a football game. Sometimes a player or gaffer drops a wise-crack and we all end up in stitches. And more often than not, we’ll witness a game that thrills and shocks us as its doting audience.
And we love every one of these things.
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But sometimes we find happiness not from the flashy tricksters or witty wordsmiths, but just from those lads who don’t to do anything but still make us smile.
You know the sorts. Those players who you’d quite happily have at your club, if just to make the tea. They don’t take much abuse, don’t rub anyone up the wrong way and are just generally likable men.
You have nothing against these guys and have no reason to do so, either. Not a bad word is said of them down the pub and they’re seldom slagged off on TV.
Often, they’re the ones we don’t notice. They slip under the radar in a nice guy, polite sort of way.
Well, we’re changing that. Below is CLICKON Soccer’s starting XI and subs of lovable players.
It’s time to put a smile on our faces and appreciate those players who we all love and don’t know why.
GK) Jussi Jääskeläinen
The 41-year-old 'keeper has football's most complex name. With 15 years at Bolton under his belt, the fella is unquestionably loyal. Image Source: Twitter
LB) Patrice Evra
A hilarious man. If you haven't already, follow his Instagram. Image Source: Twitter
CB) Mamadou Sakho
Passionate, eccentric and always equipped with a god awful haircut. Image Source: Twitter
CB) Vincent Kompany
Everyone has a bit of room in their heart for poor Vincent Kompany. Riddled with injury, this man was once a commanding and respected captain. Image Source: Twitter
RB) Phlipp Lahm
Our only lovable footballer playing outside of England, this man simply had to be included. Never once sent-off in over 550 games. Image Source: Twitter
LW) Yannick Bolasie
A tricky, fast paced winger with a knack for funny tweets. Image Source: Twitter
CM) Gylfi Sigurðsson
Another tricky name, Gylfi Sigurðsson is a footballer we all wish our club would sign. Don't lie to yourselves. Image Source: Twitter
Noble by name, noble by nature. 'Mr West Ham' is just one of the nice guys. Image Source: Twitter
CM) Joe Allen
Such a nice guy we've even forfeited having a right winger. Image Source: Twitter
FW) Peter Crouch
When asked what he'd be if he weren't a footballer, Peter Crouch quipped back 'a virgin'. One of the funniest men in football and offers one of the finest robot dances going. Image Source: Twitter
FW) Jermain Defoe
Currently enjoying a renaissance at 34, Jermain Defoe is just impossible to dislike. Image Source: Twitter
SUB GK) Ali Al-Habsi
Once helped a lost chicken off the pitch. Need we say more? Image Source: Twitter
SUB CB) Kurt Zouma
We all felt a pang of sorrow for Kurt Zouma when he ruptured his ACL. Image Source: Twitter
SUB LB) Leighton Baines
Unassuming and always helps the fantasy team out. Cheers, Leighton. Image Source: Twitter
SUB CDM) Danny Drinkwater
Whilst undeserving of his England call-up, Drinkwater is a hard worker with a funny name. Hard not to like. Image Source: Twitter
SUB CM) Leon Britton
With Swansea City from League One to the Premier League and no doubt back down again. Image Source: Twitter
SUB CAM) Dele Alli
The friendliest wave and smile known to football. Image Source: Twitter
SUB FW) Yakubu
A personal hero. Image Source: Twitter
Doesn’t that just make you smile? What truly marvellous chaps and generally lovable players.