3. Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan to Juventus – 2011)
Add a bit of more defensive attributes then arguably the best man in his position, Andrea Pirlo moved from AC Milan to Juventus in 2011. What then happened to both of the clubs shows what really Pirlo is all about. AC Milan, the reigning champions even with the Likes of Zlatan Ibrahimović and Thaigo Silva weren’t able to defend their title whereas out of the blue Juventus went whole season unbeaten. They went on to win back to back Scudetto an now are on top of Serie A table favorites to win it again. The whole of the Juventus team is formed aroun Pirlo, and it ticks when he makes his passes. l’architetto still has a year and two remaining in him, hoping he dazzles us along the way time and again with his delicate free kicks and lifted ball over the top of the defence.
2. Sol Campbell (Tottenham Hotspur to Arsenal – 2001)
Then 26 year old Campbell made the move from Spurs to fierce rivals Arsenal, arguably not so popular among spurs fans then after. The defender received a torrid of abuse from extremely angry Tottenham fans during his time at Highbury.
But three FA cups and two league titles including the ‘Invincibles’ of 2003-04 proves he made the correct decision by crossing the divide to join the Gunners.
1. Esteban Cambiasso (Real Madrid to Inter Milan – 2004)
Real Madrid in their Glacticos Era were going for big names, Beckham, Zidane and Figo palyed the midfield three, balance of team wasn’t really taken in account back then. When someone like Claude Makélélé was leaving, then a guy adapt to play in same role and far more inexperienced at time was by no means getting any chance at the club. In 2004, Cambiasso’s contract at Madrid expired and he joined the Milan side in a free transfer.
A defensive midfielder by trade, he has been a regular for Inter side of Milan and trophies have followed, Serie A for five consecutive seasons starting from 2005-06 season, Uefa Champions League in 2010, Coppa Italia in 2005, 06, 10 and 11, Fifa Club World Cup in 2010, Supercoppa Italiana 2005, 06, 08, 10. He has made more than 375 appearances for Inter scoring 47 goals in the process. The treble of UCL, Serie A, Coppa Italia in 2010 is certain to be highlight of his career along with the goal he scored in San Siro against Chelsea.
Yes, these free transfers cost no penny to the club, yet their contribution to the club will always remain a memory in the history of world football. This list may also become a good way to express some transfer ideas to look for an idea deal when the club is running at low, yet wants to see some world class players in the team. Sometimes, spending nothing is also worth the deal.