Most Shocking transfers in football history

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The round leather game called football has seen many odd and shocking transfers over time and some of them will leave you wowed.

From the 90s to date, there have been transfers that would leave you wondering and pondering…“how did this happen?, Wow!” 

Well without further ado let’s dive right straight into the names on our list filled with illustrious, popular and relatively big names during their playing days. 

Diego Armando Maradona – Napoli to Sevilla 

Diego Maradona

A man regarded by many as the greatest player of all time joined Sevilla in the 1992/1993 season in what was the revered Maradona’s last European club before he left for his native Argentina. 

The late Argentine footballer scored 5 goals in 26 appearances for the Nervionenses spending one campaign with the side. 

He was reportedly acquired from Napoli for $7.5 million and he spent just a season before jetting to Newell’s Old boys a year after. 

Raul – Real Madrid to Schalke 04


The Real Madrid legend left the Spanish heavyweights to join Schalke 04 in 2010 on a free transfer. 

In what was a shocking move at the time, it was revealed that he joined the side because they qualified for the 2010 – 11 UEFA Champions League. 

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He spent two years with the German club scoring 28 goals in 66 appearances. 

Nabil Fekir Olympic Lyonnais to Real Betis

Nabil Fekir

Fekir shockingly joined Real Betis from Olympique Lyonnais in July 2019 for an initial fee of €19.7 million and €10 million in add-ons. He signed a four year deal with the club and is currently representing the Spanish team. 

The Frenchman has scored 20 goals in 114 games donning the colours of Betis. 

Joe Hart – Manchester City to Torino

Joe Hart

Many were gobsmacked when the Englishman went on loan to Italian club, Torino in 2017 and he made 36 appearances for the club after he was ostracized out of the city team by Pep Guardiola. 

Frank Ribery – Free transfer to Salernitana

Frank Ribery

A lot of individuals were shocked to find out that Ribery signed for Salernitana in 2020 on a free transfer.

The Frenchman didn’t score any goal in 24 appearances for the team despite spending two seasons with the Italian club.

Tal Ben Haim – Bolton Wanderers to Chelsea

Tal Ben Haim

Making that leap from Bolton Wanderers to Chelsea in the 2007/08 campaign shocked a lot of people, many didn’t believe the transfer and the Israeli center-back spent just one season with the West London side. 

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Igors Stepanovs – Skonto Riga to Arsenal

Igors Stepanovs

His transfer to Arsenal in 2000 was really shocking to many after he joined Arsenal in the early 90s. An injury to Tony Adams made Arsene Wenger sign him for a transfer fee of £1.35 million to deputise in Adam’s stead. 

He spent four years at Arsenal before exiting in 2004.

Julio Dos Santos – Club Cerro Porteno to Bayern Munich

Julio Dos Santos

The Paraguayan football astonishingly moved directly from professional Paraguayan side Club Cerro Porteno in 2005.

He made a direct transfer to the junior side of Bayern Munich for €2.70 million before graduating to the senior team where he made just five appearances from 2006-2008.

Thomas Gravesen – Everton to Real Madrid

Thomas Gravesen

Everton sold the former Danise footballer to Real Madrid in January 2005 for £2.5 million and that transfer really surprised a lot of people because no one saw that coming.

He scored 1 goal in 34 appearances for Real Madrid spending just a year at the club. 

Milan Jovanovic – Standard Liege to Liverpool

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Milan Jovanovic

The former Serbian football was signed by Liverpool in 2010 on a free transfer and he spent just a year with the club making 10 appearances and scoring no goal. 

John Terry – Chelsea to Aston Villa

John Terry

The Chelsea legend signed for Aston Villa in 2017 during the twilight of his career and after several wonderful years with the Blues, the Englishman left for Villa and it was also another shocking transfer. 

He scored 1 goal in 32 appearances for Aston Villa and retired a year later. 

Kevin Constant – Genoa to AC Milan

Kevin Constant

Milan acquired the Guinean footballer for €8.00m in 2013 after he first joined the side on loan a year before. 

The former defender made 40 appearances for AC Milan and he netted no goal. 

Mario Gomez – Bayern Munich to Fiorentina

Mario Gomez

Leaving Bayern Munich for Fiorentina in 2013 was a shocking transfer to many and the German defender scored 7 goals in 29 appearances for the Italian club. 

He reportedly signed for €20 million and he was at the club from 2013 to 2016.

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