By Sean M. Hartnett
Craig Bellamy (photo) has undoubtedly been one of the most unconventional footballers in recent memory so it is no surprise that he turned down the opportunity to play Champions League football with Tottenham for Championship side Cardiff City. The 31 year-old Welshman often spoke of his desire to one day join his local club as he’s wanted to help them gain promotion to the Premier League. He recently told reporters that he turned down higher wages at German club Wolfsburg and wanted to move that would benefit his family. In a past interview, he stated his distaste for modern footballers and showed what really matters in his life, “I don’t feel close to footballers. I don’t go to nightclubs, I don’t go to lounge bars, I don’t spend my days shopping. That doesn’t interest me. I spend a lot of time with my children at home. That’s where I feel good.” Let’s face it, Bellamy could easily walk into most Premier League starting elevens after being one of the best top-flight players last season as he was unfortunate not to be selected in the PFA Team of the Year. He’s turned down higher wages with Wolfsburg and the Champions League opportunity with Spurs to play for his local club. “It has been my dream to play my part in taking my hometown club to the Premier League, which would be fantastic for the football club, the city of Cardiff and Wales,” he told reporters upon joining Cardiff.
It would be easy to say that Bellamy’s taking a major step down in joining the Bluebirds on a season-long loan but he should be applauded for his choice. Spurs manager Harry Redknapp was desperate to bring Bellamy to White Hart Lane, “Craig is a Premier League player in my opinion. No disrespect to Cardiff, he should be playing top Premier League football. Good luck to Cardiff (photo stadium) but it would be a waste of an outstanding player. He should stay in the Premier League, for sure.”
Many will be quick to echo such sentiments but Bellamy is getting the move he wanted and will be desperate to help the Bluebirds attain promotion to the Premier League. The misunderstood forward has had his share of high-profile spats with managers and former teammates but he’s certainly become a much-matured, dare I say quiet family man? Credit to him for getting the move he wanted and his influence at Cardiff will give them a strong chance at making their Premier League dream come true.