Angel di Maria once moved club for fee of 35 footballs

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Manchester United are about to make Angel di Maria their most expensive player of all time - however he was once transferred for the princely sum of 35 footballs.

The Argentinian has passed his medical at Old Trafford and will be confirmed as a Manchester United player shortly, having put pen to paper on a lucrative five-year contract.


His fee is said to be worth an initial £60 million plus add-ons believed to be in the region of £7 million, making him not only Manchester United's most expensive player, but also the the most expensive player in British football history - surpassing the £50 million Chelsea forked out for Fernando Torres in 2011.

Despite the fact he's about to take his place in the history books Di Maria came from humble beginnings - indeed he once changed teams not for money, but for a job-lot of footballs.


The winger managed to impress scouts from Rosario Central while in his hometown at the start of his career, but he had already agreed to sign for a for local youth club Torito.

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In order to secure the services of the new Manchester United man the top flight Argentinian side offered Torito not a transfer fee, but some equipment to help train their players.

Transfer fee

“They drove a hard bargain to release me,” Di Maria revealed.

“The transfer fee was 35 footballs. That probably puts into perspective where I was and how much it took to get me. Mind you I was very young, about four so I’m not sure it really counts.”

From there Di Maria has been on an upward trajectory to the top of European football, making the move from Argentina in 2007 to join Benfica, before Real Madrid came calling in 2010.

On the move

Despite being Madrid's leading assist provider last season and claiming the man of the match award in their historic Champions League final victory over rivals Atletico Madrid he is now on his way to Manchester United having handed in a transfer request at the Bernabeu. 

His game time with the Spanish giants was likely to be limited following the arrivals of Toni Kroos and Angel di Maria this summer, and now he has passed him medical ahead of his switch to Old Trafford.

His arrival is likely to spark a frantic week in the transfer window for Manchester United bos Louis van Gaal, who reportedly wants to sign three more players before the end of deadline day.

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