5) Bastian Schweinsteiger
The German world cup winner put curtains on a fine European club career last January, having won several honours with Bayern and a FA Cup with Manchester United. While his time at United came to an end in a rather shameful manner, the German remains one of the most celebrated and beloved figures in the football world. Upon joining MLS, Schweinsteiger faced a huge shock and even publicly claimed that he found it incredibly annoying that the players in the MLS were just not on the same level as those of the European leagues. With him in the side, Chicago Fire had a successful campaign while Basti even made it to the MLS All Star FAN XI.
The 2007 Ballon D’Or winner joined Orlando in 2015 after a hugely successful career in Europe with Milan and Real Madrid. The Brazilian was a menace in his prime which earned him great fan following. His massive stardom was one of the main reasons why Orlando made him MLS’ best paid player, earning 7.2 million dollars a year. Kaka repaid the faith with blistering performances for Orlando, making it to the MLS All Star FAN XI in each of the three seasons. He even won the MVP award in 2015. Kaka retired last month, pulling down curtains on what had been a memorable career both for fans and the player.
3) Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard joined LA Galaxy in 2015, after ending a remarkable 17 year association with Liverpool. Gerrard won a champions league title and scored 120 goals in over 500 appearances for the Merseyside club. So when he was 35 years old and well beyond his best, it was seen as a more of a marketing move than a move made out of sporting perspective. Gerrard failed to cope up with the varying climate that the league had and did not really make the impact everyone expected him to.
2) Andrea Pirlo
The Architect joined the MLS after the 2014 Champions league final defeat to Barcelona in Berlin. He teamed up with Frank Lampard and David Villa at New York City, almost making it a dream XI. But given his age, it was a dream trio well beyond their best barring David Villa, who is still scoring for fun. The 36 year old did not enjoy the most glorious times in the MLS as he, like Gerrard, failed to make a significant impact. He often faced criticism for his work rate. With NYCFC, Pirlo reached two Eastern Conference semi-finals, only to face defeats in both.
One of the most decorated players of all time, David Beckham caused a storm in the MLS when he announced his decision to sign for LA Galaxy. His arrival initiated a massive marketing for LA Galaxy, as the club sold nearly a quarter of a million Beckham jerseys. While Beckham did not win any major title with the club, he certainly made a huge difference as his presence did brilliant marketing business from a sporting aspect. He also played for Milan on loan during his time with the Galaxy. After spending four years, he left for PSG, where he played out his final days of his playing career.