There are some footballers that it’s almost impossible to dislike - even if they play for one of your team’s fiercest rivals.
We’ve all got a player at a rival club that we secretly like.
One football fan on Twitter - Chelsea supporter @TheotherBlue - has started a thread on Twitter asking people to name a player from another club that ‘you just can’t hate’.
There have been a lot of responses to the tweet, so we thought we’d look at those players who were mentioned most often and what it is about them that makes them so popular.
Let’s take a look…
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Okay, so the thread begins with Manchester United’s Dan James, who gets a couple of mentions.
The Welshman comes across as a hugely likeable and enthusiastic young man. You can tell he’s been brought up the right way.
He’s not flashy or arrogant and is always polite and level-headed in interviews.
Do you know a single person who dislikes N’Golo Kante? We certainly don’t.
The softly-spoken French midfielder has achieved so much in recent years, but fame and fortune have not affected this universally-popular 28-year-old, who always seems to have a smile on his face.
Son Heung-min is a top footballer and also comes across as a top man.
Tottenham’s South Korean forward is always smiling, plays with enthusiasm and energy, and enjoys a laugh and a joke in front of the camera away from the pitch.
His emotional reaction after seeing Andre Gomes’s injury recently only endeared him further to football fans.
Eden Hazard gets a lot of mentions in the Twitter thread.
The Belgian, who joined Real Madrid in the summer with the best wishes of everybody associated with Chelsea, is a funny guy who clearly loves life (as you would in his position!).
Hazard also one of the world’s best footballers, which helps. He’s a joy to watch.
James Maddison is fast cementing his reputation as one of the Premier League’s most exciting and effective attacking midfielders.
Away from the pitch, the 22-year-old Leicester star comes across as a typical young English lad - and this is probably why so many people find him likeable.
‘Jamie Vardy’s having a party!’
How can you not love J-Vardz?
His rise from non-league footballer to Premier League champion has been extraordinary. It’s a fairytale story that we’ve all been able to get behind.
One of the great things about Vardy is he doesn’t give a damn who he’s playing against; he gives all opposing the defenders the same amount of respect: none whatsoever!
Juan Mata would make the ideal son-in-law, wouldn’t he?
He doesn’t have an arrogant bone in his body, he’s polite and he cares about important issues.
The Spaniard created the pledge-based charitable movement Common Goal, which sees various footballers and managers donate 1% of their income to active projects on all continents.
All in all, a top man.
One of the best midfielders of the Premier League era, David Silva oozes class on and off the pitch.
Man City’s Spanish star has been in England for nine years now and hasn’t created a single negative headline.
A quality striker (one of the best in Premier League history) and a genuinely nice guy, too.
Sergio Aguero comes across as a very friendly and down-to-earth person, despite all he’s achieved during his illustrious career.
Fans will always love a player who gives 110% every match - and that’s James Milner in a nutshell.
Rival fans also like him because of his professionalism, but also because of his sense of humour.
His popularity has increased significantly among the wider football community since he got himself on social media, where he’s often excellent value.
Harry Kane lives to score goals and is a model professional. But away from the pitch, the England and Tottenham striker is a family man who steers clear of the limelight.
Kevin De Bruyne
Another world-class footballer, Kevin De Bruyne is a no-nonsense kinda guy.
He comes across as a straight-talker with a dry sense of humour. The Belgian also keeps himself to himself away from the pitch and doesn’t crave attention.
There’s not much to dislike about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, is there?
The Liverpool midfielder is a cracking player but also a very jovial character; always laughing and smiling whenever you see him.
These were the players who popped up most often in the replies to the tweet.
Honourable mentions go to the likes of Lionel Messi, Sadio Mane, Marco Reus, Scott McTominay and Tammy Abraham.News Now - Sport News