The 10 Greatest Transfers of All Time

The 10 Greatest Transfers of All Time

The transfer window.

Three words that fill football fans with a concoction of joy, dread and anticipation. A time in the football calendar where crazy rumours circle, big name players change hands and teams are reshaped ahead of the new season.

A marquee signing can lift an entire club. Fresh blood can reignite belief that a title can be challenged, European cups qualified for, or relegation kept at bay. A big departure can shatter dreams and loyalty, turning club heroes into money-minded-mercenaries. 

There's been some monstrously big signings over the years, some have changed the very fabric of world football. It's these that we want to get our teeth stuck into. 

These transfers broke spending records, they broke expectations and they even broke fans hearts along the way. You might see the word Galactico appear.

We've ranked the 10 greatest transfers of all time, from 10 through to 1. Do you agree with our choices?

10 - SERGIO AGUERO TO MAN CITY 

aguero

The Argentine bulldog, the goal-scoring machine that is Sergio Aguero, one of Man City's truly iconic players. He is the club's all-time top goalscorer and holds the record for most Premier League hat-tricks with 12.

His move from Athletico Madrid in 2011 turned heads, he was one of Europe's hottest young prospects, having won the Don Balon (Golden Boy). With this transfer, City meant business and they've dominated the Premier League ever since. 

[Shop the Man City Collection]
[Shop the Athletico Madrid Collection]


9 - ERIC CANTONA TO MAN UNITED 

cantona

Eric Cantona. A true performer. A maverick, a mystery, a magician with a football. Cantona had it all, power & poise but wrapped in continental elegance. The man defined 90's football.

Cantona was signed from United's arch-rivals Leeds United for £1.2 million in 1992. The Red Devils were desperate to find a player who could score and create and Eric Cantona ensured United started the Premier League era as a dominating force. It all went sour when he drop-kicked a fan but lets save that for another time.

[Shop the Leeds United Collection]
[Shop a named Cantona Man United Shirt - 1992/1993]

8 - THIERRY HENRY TO ARSENAL

henry

Thierry Henry's career was a tour de force, he was an absolute powerhouse at every club he graced. Henry scored 26 goals across all competitions in his debut season at Arsenal. His signature runs in the channel, before sweeping a low curling finish past the keeper, haunted Premier League defenders for years. 

Wenger secured the French striker's services for £11 million from Juventus in 1999. Henry led the Arsenal side through their greatest years, including that infamous Invincibles team. He's irreplaceable, that's why you'll find a statue of him outside The Emirates. 

[Shop Henry's Arsenal Shirt - 2002/2004]
[
Shop Henry's final Juventus Shirt - 1999/2000]

7 - DIEGO MARADONA TO NAPOLI

What's left to be said about Diego Maradona? Heralded as one of the true GOAT's, Diego needs no introduction. His inclusion in this list will surprise some but his transfer from Barcelona for a then record £6.9 million sent shock-waves through the footballing world back in 1984. 

Maradona led Napoli through their most dominant phase in the Italian top-flight. The Partenopei won their first Serie A title and the Coppa Italia in 1987 with Maradona as their main man. They won it again in 1990. Elite tier. 

[Shop the Napoli Collection]
[Shop the Barcelona Collection]

6 - GARETH BALE TO REAL MADRID

bale

A controversial one but Gareth Bale won it all at Madrid. In his 9 years at The Bernabeu he cleaned up 5 Champions Leagues, 4 Club World Cups, 3 La Ligas and more. 

Bale was a true Galactico, pinched from Spurs in the highest of profiles, for a world-record fee of £85 million. At the time it was eye-watering but Bales numbers speak for themselves, despite what the Spanish press think.

[Shop the Real Madrid collection]
[Shop the Tottenham Hotspur collection]

5 - ROBIN VAN PERSIE TO MAN UNITED

van p

From a Spurs legend in Bale, we move to an Arsenal legend... who signed for Manchester United. Robin Van Persie was a serial technician, a master of his craft who could strike a ball sweeter than a nut. He famously broke Arsenal hearts by making the switch up north to the red-half of Manchester.

Van Persie moved to Manchester United in the summer of 2012 for £22.5 million. He wore the number 20 shirt to manifest United's 20th league title, which inevitably they sealed the deal on. A top player and a top transfer. 

[Shop the Arsenal Collection]
[Shop Manchester United Collection]

 

4 - NEYMAR TO PSG

neymar

Now, this one will ruffle some features. The little Brazilian Neymar may have underwhelmed during his time at PSG but his 2017 transfer from Barcelona changed the football market forever so it has to be included.

Neymar's move smashed the transfer fee record, with a whopping €222 million changing hands. Neymar is still waiting for that illusive Champs League trophy haul at PSG. Were his best days at Barca? 

[Shop the Barcelona Collection]
[
Shop the PSG Collection]

 

3 - LUIS FIGO TO REAL MADRID

figo

This transfer broke every single rule in the book, from a fan perspective. Portuguese maestro Figo moved from Barcelona to arch-rivals Real Madrid, in a move that launched the 'Galactico' era. 

Luis Figo was unveiled at Real Madrid on July 24, 2000. He was undoubtedly the best player in the world, set to win the Ballon d'Or. His move from Barcelona to their sworn enemy broke Barca hearts. He went on to be an absolute madness at Madrid, playing 245 times, scoring 57 and assisting 92. He's one of the most legendary midfielders of all time.

[Shop the Barcelona Collection]
[Shop the Real Madrid Collection]

2 - ALAN SHEARER TO NEWCASTLE UNITED

shearer

This is English footballs most ICONIC transfer ever, no debate. It's also English football's most iconic transfer photo, no debate. Alan Shearer is the Premier League's all-time top scorer and took Blackburn Rovers all the way in 1994, bringing home the Prem title. 

On 30 July 1996, Shearer joined his hometown club and league runners-up Newcastle United, managed by his hero Kevin Keegan. The fee was a world-record-breaking £15 million. Shearer went on to seal iconic status with the Magpies, although he never managed to seal the title at St James Park. 

[Shop Shearer's final Blackburn Rovers Shirt - 94/95]
[Shop Shearer's first Newcastle United Shirt - 96/96]


1 - Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid  

ronaldo
Who else could be number one? SIUUU. When you say the word 'transfer' one always rises to the top. Ronaldo's £80 million move epitomised everything that a Galactico transfer needs. A dazzling star, a packed Bernabeu for the reveal and flawless kick-ups with a golden Madrid ball.

CR7's 2009 move to Real Madrid took him to another level, he became the best player on the planet. His physicality and all-round ability went to monster mode and he cleaned up every trophy available. Simply the most iconic transfer ever.

[Shop the Man United Collection]
[Shop the Real Madrid Collection]

10 Greatest Transfers Ever - who comes out on top?

We've ranked 10 of world footballs most influencial transfers. But do you think CR7's 2009 move to Real Madrid was the greatest ever?

Let us know on Twitter:

 

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