Top 10: 'Judas' transfers in football history

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Football News

Real Madrid legend Roberto Carlos recently made the claim that he could play a vital role in luring Barcelona star and countryman Neymar to the Bernabeu.

Now, whilst the odds of Barcelona's Brazilian star moving to the club's arch nemeses are slight, he certainly wouldn't be the first to make the switch between rival clubs.

Here are ten players to have previously been labelled as 'Judas' following controversial moves.


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10. Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal to Manchester City)

The Togolese's transfer from north London to Manchester for £25 million angered Arsenal fans for the pure fact it seemed Adebayor was chasing money and showing a lack of loyalty.

Fans' frustrations were further compounded in 2009, when the striker sprinted the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of them after scoring in City's 4-2 defeat of Arsenal at the Etihad, provoking the travelling supporters to hurtle whatever they could find at him.

9. Robin van Persie (Arsenal to Manchester United)

Another Arsenal forward to have sought a transfer to Manchester - but this time to the red side of the city.

After several injury-plagued seasons, Van Persie had found his very best form in an Arsenal shirt, winning the Football Writers' Footballer of the Year award and Premier League Golden Boot in the 2011/12 season.

It was perhaps understandable, therefore, when Arsenal fans erupted when their captain spoke about the 'little boy inside of him' wanting to join the Red Devils, prompting a £24 million move. Van Persie won the Premier League title during his first season with United, justifying his move somewhat.

8. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool to Manchester City)

The most recent transfer on the list, Sterling’s summer move from Liverpool had been anticipated following his refusal to sign a new contract at Anfield.

The Englishman's move was viewed by many, perhaps unjustly, as one motivated by money and he received a lot of criticism because of it upon his £49 million transfer to two-time Premier League champions City.

7. Jack Colback (Sunderland to Newcastle United)

The Tyne-Wear rivalry is one of the fiercest in English football, so it's easy to understand the outrage that Colback’s transfer from Sunderland caused amongst the Newcastle faithful.

The 26-year-old was once a Sunderland academy product, which was all the more painful for fans to take knowing one of their own had made the switch to their rivals.

6. Eric Cantona (Leeds United to Manchester United)

Cantona’s move from Leeds to Manchester will be viewed as one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s best pieces of business during his time as manager. In this stunning transfer for a fee of around £1 million, the Scot significantly bolstered his attacking options whilst weakening a side then considered as title challengers.

Leeds had just won the First Division title (1991/92) upon the departure of Cantona, who went on to help United win the inaugural Premier League and become the first player to win back-to-back titles with two different clubs.

5. Paul Ince (West Ham to Manchester United)

United have a history of poaching the best players from rival clubs - and Ince's transfer from West Ham was one of the most controversial of them all.

An East-Londoner and considered a Hammer through and through, his popularity at Upton Park certainly made this transfer a difficult one to take for fans. What will have upset them most was the lack of respect shown by Ince, who was pictured wearing a United shirt before his transfer had even been completed.

4. Ashley Cole (Arsenal to Chelsea)

Perhaps the most bitter departure from Arsenal in their history, fans couldn't have felt more betrayed when Cole left Highbury for the riches of Stamford Bridge. The left-back, at the time, was an England international, a key member of the 'Invincibles' side and regarded by many as one of the best full-backs in the league.

Unlike some who departed north London in search of greater success, Cole’s reason for leaving appeared to be purely monetary at the time, hence the nickname 'Cashley' that he soon inherited.

3. Mo Johnston (Nantes to Rangers)

Although Johnston didn’t move directly from Celtic to Rangers, the level of controversy surrounding this transfer was incredible.

The Scot had played for Celtic between 1984 and 1987 before moving to Nantes in France for two years, but upon his eventual departure from France opted for a move to Rangers instead of his former side.

The fact Johnston was a Roman Catholic served as further controversy given the religious rivalry between the two sides.

2. Sol Campbell (Tottenham to Arsenal)

For once on this list it was the Gunners doing the poaching rather than being poached from.

The north London rivalry between Arsenal and Tottenham is arguably the biggest in the capital, so you can imagine the reaction when Spurs fans saw Campbell complete a move to Highbury on a free transfer.

The move was controversial to the extent that Campbell claimed he saw his own brother hurling abuse at him upon his return to White Hart Lane.

1. Luis Figo (Barcelona to Real Madrid)

El Clasico is widely considered to be the biggest rivalry in football and so naturally, any player who dares to cross the divide between Barcelona and Real Madrid must accept there is going to be a backlash.

Figo would experience exactly this when he completed said move in 2000 for a then world-record fee of £37 million. Hatred for the Portuguese was immense and upon his return to the Camp Nou, one Barca fan threw a blooded pig's head at Figo when he went to take a corner.

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