Top 10 bizarre transfers that shook the world of football
Some of these moves came as complete surprises for fans and pundits alike.
Football is one of the most popular sports around the world as it often has the ability to produce moments that leave us stunned. However, these instances are not exclusive to the pitch but on several occasions happen off it as well. As many times businesses that go on behind the scenes can also leave the supporters surprised, especially when a player decides to move from one club to another.
Transfer windows generally generate a huge buzz among the fans due to the possible arrivals of fresh faces. Teams aim to strengthen their squad while players look to either take a step ahead in their careers or revive it. Most of the time, these stories are dominated by big-money moves but every now and then, a transfer occurs which leaves us scratching our heads.
Let’s take a look at some of the most bizarre football transfers that shook the world.
10. Kevin Prince Boateng To FC Barcelona
Barcelona signed Kevin-Price Boateng in January 2019 on loan as the Catalan were in urgent need of a goal-scorer but didn’t have money to spend. The Ghanaian international had played for some of the biggest clubs in the world in AC Milan, FC Schalke and Spurs. Prior to his move to Catalonia, he was playing for Sassuolo in the Serie A and was past his prime, and hence it is one of the most bizarre transfers in history. Boateng failed to make much impression during his short spell at FC Barcelona, failing to score in four appearances and parted ways with the club in the summer.
9. Carlos Tevez To West Ham United
In the summer of 2006, Carlos Tevez was one of the most in-demand young strikers. He had helped Corinthians win the Brasileiro Serie A title the year before. He was linked with a number of European heavyweights, such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus. It was a shock to many when he decided to join English top-flight club West Ham United, who were battling relegation. But the move proved to be a success as the Argentine scored the goal that saw the club avoid relegation.
8. Bojan Krkic To Stoke City
Once termed as the next Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona, La Masia graduate Bojan Krkic’s career left many wanting more. After a brilliant start to his career at the Catalan outfit, the Spanish footballer failed to live up to the expectations and following underwhelming loan spells at AS Roma, AC Milan and Ajax, he eventually joined Premier League outfit Stoke City in 2014. It was one of the most bizarre transfers that very few anticipated or could have foreseen.
7. David Beckham To LA Galaxy
While still being at the top of his career, David Beckham’s move to LA Galaxy came out of the blue as the Englishman had traded one of the biggest clubs in the world to something entirely unknown then. What made the move even more peculiar was that the England international decided to join the Major League Soccer outfit after Real Madrid had offered him a new contract.
6. Fabio Borini To AC Milan
After a disappointing season at Sunderland where he scored just two times in the entire season, Fabio Borini secured a shocking move to one of the biggest clubs in the world, AC Milan. The Italian found himself at the centre of a deal that saw him join Serie A side and Italian giants AC Milan on an initial one-year loan in 2017, to be made permanent in the following summer.
5. Paulinho To FC Barcelona
Paulinho’s transfer to Barcelona in 2017 was one of the biggest shocks of that transfer window. Playing for Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, the Brazilian joined the Catalans for a mammoth transfer fee of €40 million, which was deemed too hefty for a player past his prime and from an unknown league. However, despite the eyebrows raised and the strange nature of the signing, Paulinho helped Barcelona win back-to-back La Liga titles.
4. Yannick Carrasco To Dalian Professional FC
Yannick Carrasco joined Chinese football club Dalian Professional FC on a four-year deal in 2018. This was one of the most bizarre transfers in history. The Belgian played a crucial part in Atletico Madrid’s third-place finish the previous season. He was a key member in Diego Simeone’s plan but preferred a move to China at just 25-years of age.
However, Carrasco returned to the Madrid side in early 2020 after a two-year spell with the Chinese Super League team. He led the Rojiblancos to a La Liga title in 2021, their first since the 2013-14 season.
3. Oscar To Shanghai SIPG
The Brazilian was one of the best players for Chelsea. He led them to Premier League and Europa League glory during his spell. But after five years at the club, he decided that it was time for a change. In December 2016, Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG officially confirmed they had agreed for the transfer of Oscar for a reported £67 million fee, an Asian record. “China has incredible financial power and sometimes makes offers that players can’t refuse,” Oscar said following his signing.
2. Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa
Aston Villa announced the signing of Philippe Coutinho on a six-month loan deal in January 2022 with an option to buy. With the Brazilian struggling for minutes at Barcelona the Catalans were looking to offload the midfielder. But they failed to strike a deal with other clubs. Coutinho’s former team-mate and new Villa manager, Steven Gerrard, pushed for the deal. This was because the Liverpool legend wanted the ‘world-class’ midfielder in his ranks.
1. Nabil Fekir To Real Betis
After playing regular Champions League football with Olympique Lyon and winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup with France, Nabil Fekir’s decision to join Real Betis in 2019 was an odd one. However, despite the odd move, the French international has been instrumental in the Andalusian clubs’ recent rise which has seen them qualify for Europe in the 2020-21 season.
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