In 2009, a reporter asked Petr Crouch about what he would do if he didn’t become a football player. Crouch replied that he just wanted to be an ordinary person.
Although it sounds simple, the phrase has many meanings. If Francesco Totti is loved for his loyalty, and Lionel Messi is worshiped for his genius, then Peter Crouch only wants to be loved because he is a human being.
Peter Crouch never wanted to have a lot of fans. He plays football just because of his passion. Among the many legendary strikers in the Premier League, the name of Peter Crouch is not remembered because of his sharpness. Although he is one of the few strikers who can score more than 100 goals in the Premier League, he almost rarely becomes a natural killer.
All that is remembered about him is a thin striker with a height of more than two meters, who often jogs slowly waiting for a ball to be sent. He is also popular for his robot-like celebration.
Crouch celebrated when he scored in a trial before the 2006 World Cup. He recounted the origin of the iconic celebration.
It is said that while on vacation in Miami, Florida, he met Mickey Rourke. They then partied in the bar until four in the morning. When they partied, a friend called Crouch a male robot.
After undergoing an extraordinary career, right at the end of the 2018/19 season, Peter Crouch suddenly decided to retire from the gridiron. Crouch, who was so active on social media, announced the news about hanging up his shoes via Twitter.
“After much consideration this summer, I decided to retire from football. This beautiful game of ours has given me everything. Thank you to everyone who helped me to be here for so long, ”
the chirping ends with an ‘X’ sign of hugging.
As a junior, he moved academies three times. From Brentford, QPR, to receiving a professional contract at Tottenham. At this club, he looked like he would not be able to join the first team. So he was lent far to the seventh division to Dulwich Hamlet, and across the sea in the Swedish Third Division with IFK Hassleholm. At clubs in the middle of nowhere, Crouch was always insinuated.
“What can the 30-foot chicken do?”
Hearing the mockery from his peers at the time, Crouch confessed that he cried. He felt inappropriate to play football and thought what everyone said was true.
However, with his modesty, Crouch tried to be strong. As a result, it was at these clubs that he began tasting senior football. Although his head and legs were more than 180cm apart, he began to learn how to make good use of his feet. He believed that his loan period was far more influential than just staying in the academy team.
Crouch learned a lot. At first glance, his body looked frail. His alertness was vulnerable even if it was only swept by the wind. His face tended to seem pale, showing wrinkles when he smiled too often.
Such stereotypes would be applied for tall players without athletic body filling. However, Crouch was a unique player. His endurance competing at the elite level for a long time at the beginning of his career was not easy.
After experiencing a difficult time at Tottenham, the white lilies team decided to transfer him to QPR. At the age of 19, he finally became the main player in Division Two. After his collection of goals reached double digits, at the end of the season, rival club Portsmouth recruited him. He also performed well in this club. The number of his goals was almost getting doubled when the Premier League club, Aston Villa eventually decided to call him.
His time at Villa indeed became the most bitter. He moved to Southampton after the season ended. Although he suffered from relegation at Soton, he began to be regarded as England’s top striker. After Harry Redknapp arrived, he scored 12 goals in the latter half of 2004/05. At the end of the season, he was recruited by Liverpool.
Since then, his journey continued to be a bit colorful. Crouch had fasted a goal in 18 matches so that he was called a flop purchase by several supporters. Another time, he scored at the match against Galatasaray and created a perfect hat-trick against Everton. He also contributed to delivering Liverpool to the 2007 Champions League final.
At Liverpool, Crouch had once made a scene through his silly behavior.
One time, Dirk Kuyt, his colleague in Liverpool, once stated that Crouch almost crashed into him in the karts arena. Kuyt was not making it up. Crouch ‘intentionally’ was about to hit this man from the Netherlands.
“It happened just before the Champions League final (2006-07). We were all in training camps in Portugal and going to karts racecourse, ”
“I was about to pull over to the pit and realized my brake wasn’t working. I saw Xabi Alonso and Dirk Kuyt standing there, [and] knowing that I was going to crash into one of them and I thought, ‘Which of the two was the most valuable?” Crouch said (via daily star)
Of course, at that time Alonso was one of the backbones of the Liverpool squad. Almost no player could replace his role in the midfield. So, in the end, Crouch chose to direct his karts at Kuyt.
In the 2006/07 UCL final itself, Crouch was reserved by Rafael Benitez, where the Reds had to lose from AC Milan with a score of 2-1.
Despite all of those, Crouch likes to score acrobatic goals. His tall and thin-stature did not prevent him from spoiling the eyes of the supporters.
In 2006, as already mentioned, Crouch managed to create a goal against Galatasaray in the Champions League competition. He created the goal through a scissor kick.
Was the goal a coincidence? It was, of course, not. Crouch also did it to Portsmouth, when he met Stoke City in the 2008/09 season.
After leaving Anfield, no one said Crouch failed at Liverpool. But after Fernando Torres came, he realized his time was up. Portsmouth became his place to be back.
Although he was able to score 16 goals throughout the season, the financial crisis that plagued the club made him have to leave. This time, he went to Tottenham Hotspur, for the third time playing under Harry Redknapp.
Redknapp and Crouch created their history. Crouch’s goal in the 2009/10 season ensured Tottenham to make their first appearance in the European Champions League. He then scored a hat trick in the play-off against Young Boys, then continued his journey to the quarter-finals.
In 2011, Tony Pulis brought him to Stoke City. There, he became a popular figure at the club. He was friendly, liked to joke, and became the most recognizable person in the club.
The husband of Abbey Clancy then continued to carve his beautiful story by scoring a spectacular volley. Playing for Stoke City in a match against Manchester City in March 2012, Crouch again created a wonderful moment on his acrobatic kick list.
The end of 2014/15 season became Crouch’s last season to be the first choice. His collection of goals in the Premier League had reached 96. Until being relegated in the 2017/18 season, he had “pursued” goals little by little, until he entered “Club 100”: the one who scored 100 goals or more in the Premier League. His final record in the Premier League is 108 goals in 462 appearances.
After several achievements at club level, and has appeared in two World Cups with a total collection of 22 goals with the national team, Crouch is now enjoying his retirement as a former footballer.
Throughout his career, Crouch has indeed scored more goals in the Premier League than Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Fernando Torres.
The Robot Man also scored more assists than David Ginola, Gianfranco Zola, and Robert Pires. More amazingly, no one can score more header goals than him.
Through a contribution of 22 goals in 42 games with England, Crouch also has a better goal ratio than Alan Shearer, Bobby Charlton, and Wayne Rooney.
There are various things in his life that he never even imagined to happen. And one of them is, of course, his long football career.