With this summer’s transfer window not yet officially open, the amount of business that has already been conducted is staggering. If the transfers of Neymar and Falcao are indicative of what remains to be done, then this year’s window seems set to eclipse any that has gone before it.
Clubs such as PSG, Monaco, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea seem to wield almost infinite amounts of financial clout and are thus signing, or expecting to sign players for almost ridiculous figures. The fact that a club only last year promoted from the French Second Division, are being dubbed as title contenders already, illustrates how money-centric our beautiful game has become.
Yet, huge transfers have always been a part of the world of football. While in the modern era, the size of a transfer is largely dictated by price, in past times, transfers were deemed ‘big’ according to their influence, controversy or unpredictability.
Therefore, in this list I have attempted to compile a series of football transfers that I consider to be ‘big’ based on a series of different criteria.
10. David Beckham – Real Madrid To LA Galaxy (Free)
David Beckham attracts attention wherever he goes. Yet while his move to Real Madrid from Manchester United was huge, his 2007 move to LA Galaxy at just 32 was ground-breaking.
While United States Soccer was once placed firmly on the world map during the Pele, Best and Beckenbauer era, it seems that not even these icons of the game were able to have such a profound impact on US soccer as David Beckham has.
A key difference between Beckham and those who have gone to the United States before him, is that he moved there at a stage of his career at which many believed he could still operate at the top level. While his performances for LA Galaxy have been indifferent – with some Galaxy fans questioning his dedication following successive loan spells at AC Milan during the MLS winter break – his positive influence off it is unquestionable.
Beckham has promoted the game of soccer in the United States to a level that has never before been reached. The League has expanded, and developed, and now boasts a wealth a home grown talent, as well as more recognisable names such as Henry, Cahill, Keane and Nesta.
Whatever critics may say about Beckham’s motives for moving to the USA -some believe it was to enhance his own personal brand rather than for footballing reasons -, nobody can doubt that his move from Los Blancos was not momentous.
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This article was first posted on June 21, 2013