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Top 5 Most Unexpected Transfers In Football History

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Footballers are traded all over the world for a variety of reasons. In some cases, a club may have to sell their player due to financial difficulties or because they cannot meet that player’s personal terms. In other cases, one club may feel that another team’s player will suit their style of play better and attempt to sign them on. Occasionally, a player is signed simply because their current team cannot afford to keep them any longer. It isn’t easy being a football fan during the transfer season. The struggle, and the heartache, are real. Then again, transfer season is something we can’t live without, especially if there are a few surprises involved. If you are a football fan, we recommend you check out the live betting options on football at


There have been many surprising transfers in football history. However, there are few which have left even the most avid football fans dumbfounded by their unusual nature. This article takes a look at the top 5 most unexpected transfers in football history:

  1. Mario Gotze to Bayern Munich

The story behind this transfer is one that Gotze himself has admitted to regretting. In the summer of 2013, Gotze was attracting attention from all of Europe’s top clubs, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Manchester United. However, Bayern Munich won the race for the young prodigy’s signature. This was not the problem. The problem came when Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola then decided that he no longer wanted Gotze in his team. The young German was left out of the team, and he was forced to watch from the sidelines as his former teammates went on to win the treble that season. However, this was not enough for Guardiola. Bayern Munich decided to sell Gotze to their Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund. There was nothing unusual about one team selling a player to another team in the same league, but what made this deal unexpected was the price that Bayern Munich received for Gotze. Gotze was one of the top young talents in Europe at the time, but to receive over $70 million in transfer fees for a player who they were not even using in the team is quite a lot of money.

2. Diego Costa to Chelsea

One of the strangest transfers in recent years was the case of Chelsea signing Diego Costa in the summer of 2017. The Brazilian-born Spanish international only had one year left on his contract with the Atletico Madrid team, and it was expected that he would leave the club to sign for another team. However, no one expected that team to be Chelsea. People expected Costa to sign for one of the top teams in England such as Manchester United or Arsenal. Instead, Costa signed a deal with Chelsea, a team that had just finished 10th in the Premier League. The reason behind this transfer is that Costa was fed up with the disputes between Atletico Madrid and the Spanish football federation. He was given an ultimatum to either sign a new contract with Atletico or leave the club. Costa chose to leave, and Chelsea snapped him up on a £58 million transfer, which was the most expensive deal in football history for a player who had no contract.

3. Falcao to Chelsea

Although the deal for Diego Costa was certainly unexpected, the transfer which immediately followed it made it look cheap by comparison. The very next day, Chelsea signed another player from Atletico Madrid. This time, it was Radamel Falcao. What made this deal so surprising is that it happened just one week after the team sacked their manager. New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte should have been looking at strengthening his defense and midfield, not bringing in two more forwards. However, the deal was done, and both players were welcomed to the London side. As it turned out, the two new players were not really wanted by Conte. He decided to sell Costa to the Spanish team Real Madrid just six months into his contract. Falcao was less fortunate. He was signed to the club on a one-year contract worth $8 million but was given a very minimal amount of game time. Falcao was then released by the club without receiving any pay, making this perhaps the most expensive free transfer in football history.

5. Eden Hazard to Real Madrid

One of the most exciting players in the world of football at the moment is Belgian international Eden Hazard. He has been the star player of the Chelsea team for a number of years, and it was expected that he would eventually leave the club for one of the top teams in Europe. This is exactly what happened in the summer of 2019 when Hazard signed for Real Madrid. The Spanish team had been looking to sign Hazard for a while and decided that the time was right in the summer. They were very close to signing him in the January transfer window, but Chelsea refused to sell their star player in the middle of the season. However, Chelsea’s new manager, Frank Lampard, was not as stubborn as his predecessor. The former England midfielder decided that he needed to make a few changes to the team and sold Hazard for a record-breaking $150 million transfer fee.

4. James Rodriguez to Real Madrid

The next transfer on the list is one that is more recent than the others. This is the transfer of Colombian international James Rodriguez from his former club FC Bayern Munich to Real Madrid. This was a transfer that shocked football fans around the world. Bayern Munich had just won the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double along with the DFL-Supercup in German football. However, one of the top players in the team, James, left the club to sign for Real Madrid. The only consolation for Bayern Munich fans is that they received a transfer fee of $100 million.


All of these transfers were certainly unexpected. They involved teams and players that were usually kept away from each other. Football fans were left scratching their heads as they tried to work out who would win these transfers. These deals also involved clubs spending millions of dollars on players who they did not really need. As such, they make interesting reading for anyone who is interested in the world of football.


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