Best football transfers in the All-Time History

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best transfers in football history

Football is a brutal game, where even the top players can be traded away at any moment. Some of the most influential athletes to ever play in the sport have been sold over the years. Those transfers can and usually greatly impact all aspects of the game. From the game strategy to sports odds and it is easily observed on betting sites that do not require verification such as NonGamStopBets or similar ones that show statistics on how bettors change their preferences. Here are some of the best football transfers in history:

Edinson Cavani from Palermo to Napoli in 2010

From the moment that he arrived at Palermo in 2007, it was clear that Cavani was a special player. In his first season with Palermo, he scored 15 goals in 36 games and won the Serie B Golden Boot award as the top scorer of Italy’s second division. The Uruguayan continued to impress during his time with Palermo scoring 83 goals in 151 matches for the club before being sold to Napoli in 2010 for €20 million (£15 million).

The two became known as “La Bombonera” (The Chocolate Box) because their skills were so similar that they could interchange their positions on the pitch depending on where they wanted to play at any given time during a match (Lavezzi would often play left wing while Cavani would move into more central positions).

Edinson Cavani from Palermo to Napoli in 2010
Edinson Cavani from Palermo to Napoli in 2010 © AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United in 2003

In one of the most expensive transfers in world football history, in 2003 Manchester United signed a teenage Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon for £12 million.

The Portuguese winger had already burst onto the scene at Sporting and was a star player for his country at Euro 2004 after which Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson decided to bring him to Old Trafford.

He went on to win three Premier League titles with United (2007-08, 2008–09 and 2010–11) along with one FA Cup (2004–05), one Football League Cup (2006–07) and one Champions League title (2008).

Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United in 2003
Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United in 2003 © Manchester United

Ronaldinho from Paris Saint-Germain to Barcelona in 2003

The Brazilian player Ronaldinho was born in 1980, and he played for Barcelona from 2003 to 2008. He was a great player and won the FIFA World Player of the Year award twice (2004 and 2005).

In 1999, he moved to Paris Saint-Germain and became one of the most influential players at this club until 2003 when he joined Barcelona.

Ronaldinho from Paris Saint-Germain to Barcelona in 2003
Ronaldinho from Paris Saint-Germain to Barcelona in 2003 © PSG

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Neymar from Santos to Barcelona in 2013

Neymar’s transfer fee was €57 million, making it the highest in history. Neymar’s transfer fee was also the highest for a Brazilian player and the highest for any South American player.

Neymar joined Barcelona from Santos on June 3, 2013, signing a five-year contract after completing his medical tests at the club’s training centre. In January 2014, he became Brazil’s third-youngest scorer when he netted against Japan during FIFA World Cup qualifying at São Paulo’s Morumbi Stadium (19 years 217 days old).

Neymar from Santos to Barcelona in 2013
Neymar from Santos to Barcelona in 2013 © Barcelona Football Team

Alfredo Di Stefano from Millonarios to Real Madrid in 1953

  • Alfredo Di Stefano was the first player to win the European Cup with two different clubs
  • He was the top scorer in the European Cup for five consecutive seasons between 1954 and 1959
  • Di Stefano was a member of Real Madrid’s famous “Galacticos” team that won five consecutive European Cups from 1956-1960
Alfredo Di Stefano from Millonarios to Real Madrid in 1953
Alfredo Di Stefano from Millonarios to Real Madrid in 1953 © AFP

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Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009

In 2009, Ronaldo moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid for a record transfer fee of £80 million. The club was able to allow it because of the gigantic sponsorship deals it has. The deal made him the most expensive player in football history at the time and his transfer was so big that it changed how clubs approach transfers forever.

Prior to Ronaldo’s move, clubs were reluctant to pay large fees for players out of fear that they would fail in their new environment or not live up to expectations. However, after witnessing how well he performed in Spain and earned himself multiple Ballon d’Or awards as well as being named FIFA World Player of the Year four times during his stint with Real Madrid (and once more with Juventus), teams started to become more open about paying large sums of money for players who could potentially help them win titles and trophies during their stay.

Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009
Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 © MUFU – Real Madrid

Diego Maradona from Boca Juniors to Barcelona in 1982

In 1982, Maradona was 21 and on the brink of becoming a legend when he moved from Boca Juniors to Bar

celona for a then-fee of $6 million. The deal made him the most expensive player in the world and one of only three players to have ever been transferred for more than $5 million at the time (Ronaldo – Real Madrid -$9 million; Luis Suarez – Liverpool – $12 million).

Best Football Transfers - Diego Maradona to Barcelona in 1982
Best Football Transfers – Diego Maradona to Barcelona in 1982 © Barcelona Football

Zinedine Zidane from Juventus to Real Madrid in 2001

Zinedine Zidane was named the European Footballer of the Year in 1998 and won two Champions League titles with Juventus. The French midfielder played a huge role in both of these victories.

Zidane left Juventus for Real Madrid in 2001. His transfer fee was $67 million at the time, which made him one of the most expensive players ever bought by an Italian club.

He played for Los Blancos from 2001-2006, winning La Liga twice and being named Player of the Year four times during that period. In addition to his individual awards, he won four Champions League crowns with Real Madrid before retiring from playing football at age 34 in 2006 due to injury concerns

Zinedine Zidane from Juventus to Real Madrid - Best Football Transfers
Zinedine Zidane from Juventus to Real Madrid – Best Football Transfers © Real Madrid

Luis Suarez from Liverpool to Barcelona in 2014

Suarez moved to Barcelona from Liverpool in 2014 for £75 million. He was one of the best strikers in the world, and he won La Liga with Barcelona in 2014 and also won Copa del Rey with Barcelona in 2014.

best transfers in football history - Luis Suarez
One of the Best transfers in football history – Luis Suarez © Barcelona Football

Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Inter Milan to Barcelona in 2009

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a Swedish professional footballer who plays as a striker for LA Galaxy. He is the only player to have won the FIFA Player of the Year award, twice (2009 and 2016). He was also awarded the Golden Ball Award (2009), and the Guldbollen Award (2008) and named man of the match by CNN among other awards. He has played with several teams including Ajax Amsterdam, Juventus FC, FC Internazionale Milano, AC Milan and Manchester United FC.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Inter Milan to Barcelona in 2009
Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Inter Milan to Barcelona in 2009 © Barcelona Football

Conclusion

After reading this article, you will know who are the best football transfers of all time. It is a great chance to discover some amazing facts about them. You might also want to check out our list of 16 best basketball transfers in history and see how they differ from football ones.