In today's dirty and money driven soccer arena not many players compel our respect and admiration. However, for me two players always seemed to kind of stand out, and just within a fairly short space of time both have dramatically and speedily fallen from their "thrones":
First, I am of course referring to Zinedine Zidane. What an amazing player, complete in every sense of the word. But just one simple howler completely ruined his reputation and mark on history. It even was his final game, for crying out loud!? Everyone knows and will remember Zidane's head butting that rude Italian player. Regardless of circumstance the action was inexcusable. I was, and quite frankly, it still saddens me when I watch it at YouTube. The drop from being the greatest player to "just like everybody else" was devastating.
Second, the other player I've enjoyed watching is, yes, you guessed it, Thierry Henry. Why, oh why, did Henry cheat like that in this important game versus Ireland??! It's so below his well established greatness these past years. What he did is a hundred times worse than losing. It simply is yet another very sad case in the sports arena if you're asking me.