Coronavirus has not only jeopardize the football calendar but it also definitely going to have an impact on the transfer market as clubs may face a huge task or an unknown scenario in signing good players when the transfer window finally opens.
Unfortunately, as it stands all the football leagues can’t say when actions will return back in various countries respectively, but then as the summer transfer window approaches clubs across Europe will also be preparing to get their hands on one or two decent players.
As for the fans, it is a thing of joy for their club to sign players, even though it’s going to be on the detriment of other fans, however, most transfers result in an amicable agreement, while some negotiations turn stale, in this period some clubs resort to unscrupulous tactics in other to get the player they want, and sometimes a player believes the club his heading to maybe better path than his current club.
So, today Cheapgoals in this piece will look at the most controversial transfer in football over the years.
Luis Figo – Barcelona/Real Madrid (2000)
Figo is a figure of admiration and a joy to watch amongst the Catalans faithful, he had everything working for him producing scintillating performances that could turn him into one of the world greatest midfielder of all time, being bestowed the captain of the team and helping the Spanish giants to win two successful La Liga titles in 1998 and 1999 couldn’t stop him from leaving.
Despite all of the massive success he achieved with the Catalan giant, Figo did agree to join arch-rivals Real Madrid following his impressive performance with Barcelona for a fee around £37 million which made him the most expensive player signed by a club then.
The Portuguese former captain move angered the Catalan fans, he was immediately targeted by the fans as a betrayal and he was hated by many despite being their captain who had achieved a lot of success for them. Figo’s move to Madrid reached the peak of the controversy in the Clasico when a pig head was thrown at him whilst attempting to take a corner which made the match to be stopped for six minutes due to the abusive words from the heartbroken Barcelona fans which stated “We hate you so much because we loved you so much”
Sol Campbell – Tottenham/Arsenal (2001)
Campbell’s name will definitely go down in the history of English football as one of the finest defenders ever to play the round leather game, during his spell with Tottenham he was one of the greatest players to have ever worn a Tottenham jersey, however, his success at White Hart Lane was quite limited.
In the summer of 2001, his contract with Hotspur expired which brought about several speculation and months of intense contract negotiations between the team and Campbell, despite repeatedly promising the White Hart Lane fans that he would stay put at the club, yet the former Three Lions captain failed to sign a new contract with Tottenham.
Campbell move to Arsenal got the Spurs faithful furious when Arsene Wenger offered an amazing contract offer to Campbell, and despite repeatedly assuring the fans that he would stay back in the club, yet he eventually signed for Arsenal which didn’t go well in the mind of all Tottenham fans for joining their arch-rival.
Roberto Baggio – Fiorentina/Juventus (1990)
Baggio’s time in the city of Florence comes with a lot of adoration when he was with Fiorentina, but that wasn’t enough to prevent the Italian from joining Juventus in 1990, and the move triggered riots in the city which resulted into a lot of injuries to over 50 fans.
Baggio’s brilliant and impressive performance for Fiorentina when the team was pushing for the Italian trophy in the late 1980s is definitely one thing that gives the fans a lot of joy, joining Juventus was more like a stab from behind with a knife in hand.
In his first match for Juventus against Fiorentina, Baggio refused to take a penalty and he substituted, despite stating that he was compelled to accept the transfer by Pontello, who had already agreed to a deal with Gianni Agnelli over the sale of ‘Il Divin Codino’ for a world-record fee at the time.
When he was substituted a Fiorentina scarf was thrown at him which he picked and kissed it, claiming that “Deep in his heart, he is always purple, which is the color of Fiorentina”.
Ashley Cole – Arsenal/Chelsea (2006)
The former Three Lions defender got the Arsenal fans furious when he was caught in the middle of a public feud between Arsenal and Chelsea in the summer of 2005 following his attempt to force a move to Stamford Bridge when he met with Jose Mourinho.
Cole was subsequently fined by the Premier League board for arranging a meeting with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and Chief Executive of the club Peter Kenyon at a hotel to negotiate a transfer that could see him move to the blue part of London, Cole’s agent Barnett was also present at the meeting which resulted into him losing his license for 18 months.
However, a year later Cole’s future found itself under more acrimonious scrutiny, during his negotiation persuasion from the Gunners board, he found out that Arsenal was not willing to offer him a mega pay, compared to what Chelsea will offer him, he went on to make a comment that he has been used as a scapegoat throughout the entire affair, but then Cole eventually left for Chelsea in 2005 for £5 million-plus William Gallas moving over to Arsenal.
Denis Law – Manchester City/Manchester United (1973)
Though this bizarre transfer move actually happened as far back as 1962, then it was one the biggest move that sprung up a lot of controversies in English football, Denis was actually a player of City and without doubt, the burning enmity between the two city club is definitely what water can’t quench, but that alone couldn’t stop him from agreeing with a move to United, although he didn’t join United directly he spent a year with Torino before moving.
Law spent his glory days scoring for United, whilst at United, he scored over 237 goals in 404 games winning two league titles and FA Cup, Law did go on to became the leading strikers in European football and was voted European player of the year in 1964.
His career was plagued with injuries in 1970, and despite netting 12 goals in the following season he was considered surplus to requirement at the Theatre of Dreams, he eventually agreed to join City on a free transfer.
Tevez, Mascherano – West Ham/ Corinthians (2006)
When two of the most exciting young prospects announced they would be moving from Corinthians to the Premier League, not many expected them to end up at West Ham. One of the most ground-breaking football transfers of all time, this deal had controversy written all over it.
The Argentine duo’s rights were owned by third parties MSI and Global Soccer Agencies, their move to Upton Park involved dodgy undisclosed fees which sparked an investigation by the Premier League into the nature of the signing. It was later revealed that West Ham had purchased the players from MSI and owned the registration rights to the players.
The ownership issue was not resolved by the end of the 2006/07 season when West Ham and Tevez’s future club Manchester United sought FIFA’s assistance. Tevez was loaned out to United after MSI released him from his contract.
Johan Cruyff – Ajax/Feyenoord (1983)
Cruyff felt betrayed by his childhood club whom he served painstakingly, he was angered by the refusal of Ajax to offered him a new contract, and as such he opted to join arch-rivals Feyenoord in other to taunt the club and his actions really got the fans furious for joining Feyenoord.
The Dutch legend was known for his total football philosophy, and he was one of the finest football players to ever play during his spell with Ajax even after his illustrious career winning the Eredivisie with Ajax.
Cruyff exploits in football will surely not be erased from the history of football, as a player and as a manager, but then his move down to the arch-rival side is something he could have avoided perhaps if Ajax had offered him a new contract.
DI Stephano – Millonarios – Real Madrid
One of Real Madrid’s greatest ever player, Alfredo Di Stefano could have signed for FC Barcelona back in the 1950s. Los Blancos agreed a separate deal for Di Stefano, resulting in the Spanish Football Federation ruling he should play for both clubs on alternating seasons. The resignation of the Catalan club’s president later signaled the end of Barcelona’s contract with Millonarios, leaving the footballing icon to join Madrid permanently.
Di Stefano left for Colombian club, Millonarios in 1949 from River Plate. The Argentine club had claimed that they still owned the player which meant that Barcelona could strike a deal with them.
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When this was happening in Argentina, Real Madrid agreed on a deal to sign the striker from the Colombian club. Many conspiracy theories emerged after Real announced the signing of Di Stefano.
Spain’s dictator, Francisco Franco forced Barcelona to sell all of their rights to Madrid, Franco’s capital, was one of the theories that were doing the rounds at the time. This political rivalry known as the El Clasico took a whole new meaning after the conflict over the signing of Alfredo Di Stefano.
Robin Van Persie – Arsenal/Manchester United (2012)
What made this move really heartbreaking for the Gunners fans in comparison to some of the previous transfers, is how valuable Van Persie was to the club but looking at their seven years trophyless campaign it’s definitely a pointer to the reason why the Dutch forward had to jump the gun to move down to United for £24 million in 2012.
After many seasons of inconsistency due to a succession of injuries, Van Persie eventually came of age and he went on to scored over 37 goals in all competitions for the Gunners, despite that Arsenal couldn’t tie him down in other for him replicate such form during that season.
No doubt Van Persie’s move to United didn’t really go down well with the Gunners, but then his statement that the lack of ambition from the Arsenal board made him not to sign a new contract and that led to his move to United.
Giuseppe Meazza – Inter Milan/AC Milan (1940)
Meazza was a legend at Inter Milan, he was considered by many to be the greatest Italian footballer of all time, and he is regarded as the only man to have come close to bridging the tension between Milan’s two greatest football clubs in Italy.
During his spell at Inter, Meazza scored 241 goals in 348 games for the Nerazzurri before missing much of the 1938/39 season due to injury, on his return he opted to join the Red side of Milan as opposed to staying with Inter Milan.
His Milan career was short-lived, he only made just 37 appearances for Milan before he left for Juventus. However, his move to Milan will always be remembered as one of the transfer moves that caused controversies despite the love the Nerazzurri fans showered on him.
Mo Johnson – Celtic/Nantes/Rangers (1989)
Celtic and Rangers were known to be bitter rivals and in the world of football, their rivalry is one of the fierce and biggest rivalries in football, the kind of hostilities between the opposing sets of fans of both clubs is something that often comes with violence and racism anytime both team faces.
In 1989 when Johnson joined Rangers, he felt the explosive force of the rivalry and the wrath of the fans when he signed for Rangers from Nantes, prior to his career at Nantes he was fan’s favorite at Celtic Park coupled with the fact that he was a driving force behind their title-winning team in 1986, the season where he scored 52 goals in 140 matches before he left for Nantes.
After two seasons with Nantes, Johnson made his desire known to the public that his move to the Scottish giant is imminent, as such the Glasgow city was shocked when Johnson opted for an unprecedented move to fierce rival and triggered a flurry of violence between the two clubs.
He was called ‘Judas’ and a pie was thrown at his face after he scored against in the Old Firm derby even the Rangers didn’t want a Catholic playing for their team, which led to Ibrox protest even kit men joined and refused to arrange his kit.
7 Of The Most Loyal Football Players
When it comes to loyalty and commitment in the beautiful game, there are few football players who are able to pledge their allegiance and refused to be swayed by big offers. For every Ashley Cole, there’s also a Totti.
There are players who when they reach their potentials, will get easily swayed by money and the probable fame that will follow their transition to other clubs. While other players would simply remain at their current club because of the love they have for the club.
The first set of players who leave the club when bigger clubs come calling are always remembered for their exploits while at the club. But, the second type of football player who ignores the temptations of leaving their ‘most loved’ football club sides is regarded as heroes.
Meanwhile, there are some known players who have showcased utmost loyalty for their respective clubs. For instance, Francesco Totti waved off Real Madrid’s offer in 2006, stating AS Roma as his family and he’s never seen a situation where a child would leave his poor parents to go live with rich strangers.
But what about other unpopular loyal players like Francesco Totti, Stephen Gerrard or even Mark Noble?.
Here’s a list of 7 most loyal football players
- David Zibung (Goalkeeper) – FC Luzern (18 Years +)
The life of this Swiss goalkeeper has been all about his boyhood club, FC Luzern. The +37-year old was born in Hergiswil which is in the Nidwalden region in Switzerland.
He joined the youth team of FC Luzern in 1999 and was there till 2003. Zibung grew in leaps and bounds with the Luzern main team, ever since he broke into the first team, he’s never for once considered leaving the club.
Technically, Zibung would’ve spent eighteen years at Luzern by July 2021. But he’s definitely spent more than eighteen years given that he’s been at the club’s feeder team before 2003.
Zibung remains one of the oldest and longest-serving loyal goalkeepers of the Swiss League.
- Hidekazu Otani (Midfielder) – Kashiwa Reysol (18 Years)
Otani is a midfielder of note, who joined his one and only club in 2000 as a teenager. Now 36 years-old, Okami has been deployed in many parts of the midfield but his natural position is the defensive midfield where he plays comfortably well.
The Japanese veteran midfielder has on numerous occasions been offered to leave his club but his love for the Sun King club has held him back so much so that he’s willing to retire at the club when the time comes.
While some quarters may believe that Hidekazu Okani had been at Kashiwa for eighteen years, the fans of the club see him as an integral part of the club’s history given that he’s won laurels with the club severally.
- Igor Akinfeev (Goalkeeper) – CSKA Moscow (18 Years)
Akinfeev is probably the most popular player we’re x-raying in this Exposé. Akinfeev, Russian, is the Russian National Team goalkeeper and captain, as well as his club side, CSKA Moscow.
History has it that the 34-year old shot-stopper has been at CSKA Moscow since the age of four. His father sent him to the Sports School of CSKA where he began his goalkeeping career and won the Russian Junior Championship in 2002 with the CSKA Moscow team.
Akinfeev would make his debut for CSKA Moscow at sixteen, precisely 2001 where he saved a penalty and also had a clean sheet. He has played over five hundred matches for CSKA Moscow, winning six Russian Cup titles, six Russian Premier League titles as well as the 2005 UEFA Cup with the club.
His incredible rise to stardom is down to his personality and ingenuity as a goalkeeper. He’s arguably the best goalkeeper the Russian nation has ever produced and has been on several international tournaments for the country since he joined the national team.
It may sound bizarre but Akinfeev has spent thirty years at the Red-blues. That is a huge commitment mixed with loyalty.
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- Ismed Sofyan (Defender) – Persita Jakarta (18 Years)
Talking about the most loyal player, Sofyan’s loyalty isn’t about his club alone, it’s for his country and his country’s elite league, The Indonesian Super League – Not that he’s an amateur.
Yes, he may have played for a couple of club sides in the Indonesian league, but his love and unwavering support for his country is immeasurable.
Sofyan currently plays for Persita Jakarta, a club he joined in 2002 that has made him become the longest-serving player in the club until now. The 41year-old right full-back is a free-kick specialist. He was only privileged to play for the Indonesian National Team for just 53 times.
- Dean Lewington (Defender) – Milton Keynes Dons FC (18 Years)
As of July 2020, Lewinton is the longest-serving player for a single club in English League having spent sixteen years with The Dons.
The English left-back joined MK Dons after a successful spell with Wimbledon in 2004. Lewington, 32, has made over seven hundred appearances with more than 250 different team-mates.
He’s witnessed two promotions and relegations as the club’s captain for the years he’s been at MK Dons and he’s grateful for the sort of longevity he’s had.
He told daily mail in 2016 ‘It’s not like the Premier League where you get five-year deals. It is one or two years. When we won promotion to the Championship in 2015, I was out of contract on the final day as we were celebrating.’
- Koji Homa (Goalkeeper) – Mito HollyHock (21 Years)
Undoubtedly a popular figure in the Japanese league, the 43-year-old goalkeeper currently plays for the above-named club in the second tier of the Japanese League, J2.
After graduating from high school, he joined the J1 League side Urawa Reds in 1996 but couldn’t play more often before crossing to Mito HollyHock in 1999 and never looked back.
He’s helped Mito HollyHock achieve some amazing feats since he joined in 1999 with the biggest of them being the promotion of the club to J2 in 2000.
In his twenty-one-year sojourn with the club, Koji Homma holds the record for the player with the highest number of matches played in J2.
- Lee Casciaro (Forward) – Lincoln Red Imps (22 Years)
The 38-year-old Gibraltar striker scored the only goal of the game when his Gibraltarian minnows club (Lincoln Red Imps) shocked Celtic and to a larger extent, the rest of Europe in their Champions League qualifier at the Victoria Stadium in 2016,
Cascario, 39, has been at the club since he was eight years old and has spent twenty-three years as a first-team member.
It should be agreed that Lincoln Red Imps was made for Cascario, given that two of his younger brothers have played for the club as well.
With three international goals, Lee Henry Cascario is currently Gibraltar’s all-time goalscorer since the 33,684 populated nation joined UEFA.
- Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao): 11 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Tarantini (Rio Ave): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Stefan Radu (Lazio): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Vincent Manceau (Angers SCO): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Anthony Lopes (Lyon): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Koke (Atletico Madrid): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Roberto Torres (Osasuna): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Gerard Pique (Barcelona): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow): 12 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Mario Gaspar Perez (Villarreal): 12 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Guilherme (Lokomotiv Moscow): 13 years, 1 month, 3 days
- Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur): 13 years, 1 month, 10 days
- Volodymyr Chesnakov (Vorskla Poltava): 13 years, 2 months, 3 days
- Mahmut Tekdemir (Istanbul Basaksehir): 13 years, 2 months, 3 days
- Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund): 13 years, 2 months, 3 days
- Sergio Busquets (Barcelona): 13 years, 2 months, 3 days
- Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar Donetsk): 13 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow): 13 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Marcelo (Real Madrid): 13 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Sammy Bossut (Zulte Waregem): 14 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid): 15 years, 4 days
- Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus): 15 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Francesco Magnanelli (Sassuolo): 15 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Jessy Moulin (Saint-Etienne): 15 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Oier (Osasuna): 15 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Sergio Alvarez (Celta de Vigo): 16 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Mark Noble (West Ham United): 16 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Lionel Messi: (Barcelona): 16 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Denis Sinyayev(FC Avangard Kursk)18 years
- Ismaeil Matar (Al-Wahda): 19 years
- Petr Literak(Frýdek-Místek): 22 years
Erling Haaland: The Story Behind His Striking Rise
Erling Haaland was always going to become the ultimate striker and probably the best number 9 on the planet. Also, there’s every possibility that one day, he may become a Ballon D’or winner. But, there’s still one mystery, how did he become the cyborg that he is today?
Haaland continues to be a goal machine, becoming the quickest player in history to reach 20 Champions League goals. His goal from the spot in the UCL round-16 second leg tie against Sevilla was his 20th goal in just 14 appearances in the competition, which broke Harry Kane’s previous record of 24 games.
“Of course he’s fast, powerful, good around the goal and he’s got real soccer sense. But it’s more of his energy, it’s his infectious personality that I think is like a magnet; it draws people to him, it makes people want to be around him.” Those are the words of Red Bull Salzburg manager, Jesse Marsch.
Grab a handful of popcorn and sit back as we unfold the story behind the rise of this Norwegian beast, goal machine, and keeper’s nightmare, Erling Braut Haaland.
Haaland’s Salzburg Breakthrough
As at when Jesse Marsch was appointed as Salzburg manager, Haaland had been at the club for about six months and had only played one game. And then he went to the U-20 World Cup where he scored nine goals in one game.
From his Salzburg debut, Haaland, who had already impressed at the Norwegian league with Bryne and Molde left observers with no doubt about the quality he possesses.
He would become one of the best strikers on the planet because the talent in him was very obvious. In a chat with oh-my-goal, Jesse Marsch revealed that Haaland’s personality was the first thing he fell in love with about Haaland.
“The first couple of days I worked with him, what impressed me more than anything else was his personality on the pitch. He was just relentless! He worked harder than anyone.”
But beyond his raw talent in Salzburg, Erling Haaland left his mark on the locker room with his personality. He had a smile on his face and got along incredibly well with his teammates. Therefore, it wasn’t just his talent, it was his overall energy.
Erling in person had a really positive influence on his teammates. Erling the player, was a selfish assassin who scored 29 goals in 27 appearances for the Austrian club.
Meanwhile, he also always talked about making his teammates happy. “The best memory I Had of him was when we were getting penalties in just about every game, and he was giving them to all the other attacking players.“
“And then, after a player missed a penalty, I said Ok, Erling has to take the penalties and I told him he would be taking the penalties”
“It’s incredible to have such a talented player who loves to score goals, be the one that is giving the penalty responsibilities to the others because he wants them to feel the power of success, the power of scoring goals, and the power of confidence. That says a lot to me about the character of Erling.” Marsch revealed.
At 19, when most people think about personal glory, Haaland was already a perfect teammate and a future leader which was unprecedented for a player as good as he was and in his age range.
Without a doubt, Haaland’s personality was great enthusiastic and it did really have a big effect on a lot of people at Salzburg.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Influence
Erling Haaland may owe his incredible rise to his immense talent and his positive leadership qualities. But that’s not all, Cristiano Ronaldo also played a huge role in Haaland’s evolution.
People often say that Erling Haaland is the next Cristiano Ronaldo but is the CR7 comparison justified?
Certainly, Erling is more of a pure striker than Cristiano but from a power football perspective, his ability in the transition to affect games like the Portuguese ace makes the comparison justifiable.
Haaland himself admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo was his role model but if like Cristiano, Erling broke all the goalscoring records, it’s not really the part of football that CR7 has influenced.
Haaland is following in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps in terms of leadership and he even is now a role model to many players just like Ronaldo was to him.
Cristiano Ronaldo has had positive effects on his teammates and in every team, he’s played in which really helped him overtime right from his days at Manchester United and Real Madrid. But for Erling, one could really see that right from his young age that it’s a natural quality he has.
It will be up to Haaland to continue to modify that aspect of himself and mold that in a way that he can become a really strong leader within his teams as he continues to grow older.
Above all, Haaland took inspiration from Cristiano Ronaldo in one essential area, work ethic. Like CR7, he’s always hungry to improve. “He really worked hard a lot. After training, he would stick around to finish, to hit some crosses, to work on his heading.” – Jesse Marsch, RB Salzburg Coach.
Like CR7, Erling Haaland thinks every little detail counts. He would wear special glasses because he felt like when you look at your computer all day long or your cell phone, that your eyes would start to fade and so he had that special glasses he always wears.
And while he has his own personality, Erling is directly inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo especially when it comes to nutrition and work ethic by picking the most hardworking professional football player in history as his role model.
Perfect With BVB
Borussia Dortmund activated his €20 million (£17m/$22m) release clause, beating United and Leipzig to his signature after all three clubs held meetings with the player, his father, and agent Mino Raiola.
Borussia Dortmund already had forward Paco Alcacer on the books, but saw Haaland as such a generational talent, that they were willing to offload the Spain international to give the Norwegian teen an even better chance of success.
CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke says that they had been looking for someone with Haaland’s particular skill set for a long time and could not pass up the opportunity to sign him.
“We always wanted to have a center-forward who has a different way of playing football,” Watzke told Goal and DAZN. “But this guy also had to come onto the market first.
There are not many who are 1.94 meters (6 ft 4 in) tall and that fast. Actually, nobody else comes to mind. It was just an opportunity that you don’t get very often. – Goal.com
Dortmund offered the striker the best chance of regular game time as they promised to make him their first-choice striker, something Alf-Inge Haaland admits is crucial to his development.
Haaland’s Dortmund story got off to the perfect start with the most incredible debut against Augsburg. Trailing 3-1, Lucien Favre sent on the teenager from the bench and was rewarded with a 22-minute hat-trick to help secure a 5-3 win.
Having revealed all the secrets that make Haaland an outstanding striker, in all honesty, the Norwegian striker has no limit because he keeps getting better at Dortmund.
He was incredible at Salzburg. “We were obviously so sad to lose him so quickly because we had a lot of fun and success with him, but we’re also very proud of him and we’re really excited to see him continue to push himself and move forward and show everybody in the world how good he is.”
And today, he’s showing just how good he is in Germany. He used to only be seen as a superpowered and superfast goalscorer. But at Dortmund? He’s also shown his technical advances and his in-game intelligence and influence.
He’s more and more capable of keeping the ball, playing in different positions, taking part in the game, in short, he’s become the ultimate striker.
Giving his unique skill-set and amazing personality, he will definitely sign for a bigger club in years to come. Yes, he may experience some difficulties, but his quality will help him manage whatever challenge that comes his way and in-turn become the best number 9 of not only his generation but in football history.