Football

Top five: Most controversial transfers of all time

Luis Figo moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid. (©GettyImages)
Luis Figo moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid. (©GettyImages).

Every football fan loves a bit of transfer news to get their teeth into, and this summer promises to bring with it some big moves. 

However, what are the five most controversial transfers of all time? We take a look.

Roberto Baggio | Fiorentina to Juventus

Baggio in the late 80’s was the “poster boy” of Italian football, but with the turn of a new decade in 1990, Baggio was sold to Juventus saying he felt “compelled” to move. 

Fiorentina’s fans responded with full scale riots in which fifty people were injured, and Baggio refused to take a penalty for Juventus against Fiorentina. As he was thrown a Fiorentina scarf by fans he kissed it and later said, “Deep in my heart I am always purple," the colour of Fiorentina.

Johan Cruyff | Ajax to Feyenoord

The maestro and father of “Total Football”, Cruyff returned to Ajax after a spell in America and achieved success winning back to back league titles. 

However, Cruyff was not offered a new contract and instead signed for rivals Feyenoord knowing the anguish this would cause to Ajax’s fans. Nonetheless, this did not stop Cruyff guiding his new side to the league and cup double in his only season there.

Luis Figo | Barcelona to Real Madrid

The once Portugal captain reportedly signed a contract with candidate for Real Madrid’s up and coming Presidential election Florentino Perez  which ensured his move to the Bernebeau on the condition that Perez won the election. 

Figo denied this but as Perez was named President, Figo ended a holiday in Sardinia to board a jet destined for Madrid. Barcelona’s supporters felt betrayed and thereafter despised Figo to the extent that a pig’s head was thrown at him whilst he was taking a corner at the Camp Nou.

Sol Campbell | Tottenham Hotspur to Arsenal

It is never a good idea to make the short journey across North London from Spurs to Arsenal, as the former England centre back found out. With his contract expiring Campbell made several public assurances in which he guaranteed his career at Tottenham was not over. Nevertheless, he rejected a deal which would have made him Spurs’ highest paid player ever, to join bitter rivals Arsenal citing his need for Champions League football as the main factor behind the move; branded “Judas” he was never forgiven by Tottenham’s fans.

Mo Johnston | Nantes to Rangers

Johnston left Celtic for Nantes in 1987 claiming he would never return to Scottish football. However, after a change of heart he announced he would be returning to Celtic, only to join vicious rivals Rangers in a move surely motivated by the big fat pay cheques waiting for him at Ibrox. 

As a Roman Catholic Johnston was much revered by both Celtic and Rangers fans as Rangers fans rejected him down to his religious beliefs, and Celtic fans hated him for obvious reasons. Rangers’ kit-man refused to arrange his kit, and even decided not to offer him chocolate bars which were given to other members of the team.


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Topics:
Sol Campbell
Football
European News
Premier League

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