Who Are Some Of The Best Soccer Players Of Bajan Heritage?
Most nations have been responsible for some great soccer players over the years. Ronaldo, Neymar, Kaka and Pele in Brazil, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi in Argentina and Miroslav Klose and Franz Beckenbauer for Germany, all have been seen in a high regard for their respective countries. However, it is worth noting that there are plenty of under-represented countries, such as Barbados, who have also been responsible for some rather intriguing soccer players.
Players of Barbadian heritage have ended up playing in all sorts of interesting divisions around the world, such as the likes of Barbados striker Nick Blackman who, whilst born in England, has ended up making the move to play in the Israeli topflight for Maccabi-Tel Aviv. Previously, Blackman could’ve been found plying his trade for Derby County but following his return from a loan at Sporting Gijon in Spain. Derby released him on a free transfer and he was snapped up by one of the most successful clubs in Israel. What this has meant is that Nick Blackman should be given the chance to play in continental competitions such as the Europa League, or with the introduction of the 2021/22 season, the Europa Conference League, which will become the continent’s third-tier competition.
Ashley Cole may well be one of the best players of Bajan heritage, especially given the fact he has won every competition under the sun, including an unbeaten Premier League title with Arsenal in 2003/04.
Cole and Gibbs also share a place in the MLS, with Ashley playing for LA Galaxy several years ago, whilst Kieran Gibbs will be joining David Beckham’s Inter Miami at the end of the 2020/21 season. By doing so, he joins the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi, as well as fellow compatriot Ryan Shawcross in one of the MLS’ newest and fastest-growing teams. This is also reflected in their domestic progress and football betting odds on the MLS that have Inter Miami at 20/1 to win the respective conference and possibly go all the way in the MLS Cup at season’s end, which would be a massive achievement.
There has been a few notable players who have been born out of having Bajan heritage and certainly some that may not originally spring to mind, including Ashley Cole who, as England’s most-capped full-back would appear as one of the best players in the country’s history. The nation of Barbados is arguably therefore a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to players and those with links to the island.