Interesting thing about Jimmy Conrad’s list of the biggest all-time busts in soccer signings: two of the men he rightly chooses were absolute stalwarts when they put on the national team shirt.
Andriy Shevchenko was clearly not what everyone around Stamford Bridge wanted when Chelsea signed the Ukrainian sniper back in 2006. But then or now, talk badly about the man around Ukraine and you might not make it out alive. He always seemed to bring the goods when wearing the national colors, finishing with 48 goals in 111 international appearances.
Same for Robbie Keane, whose club career has been pockmarked by disappointing output along some of the various stops. Through it all, however, Keane almost always found ways to score the important goals for his beloved Ireland.
I suppose some men find inspiration for country they simply cannot locate for club. Or, perhaps its more complex. Perhaps a striker who becomes the clear focal point can thrive, whereas the same striker as mere cog amongst cogs just can’t function quite the same.
As for the other three top men of underachievement … well, see for yourself: