Saturday, March 18, 2006


I guess it is time to say something regarding this and identify the trend that football nowadays is so accustomed to.

You have to understand that rumours of transfer will always be the 'IN' thing when a player have not signed and it is really near the period where he can be transferred at a very cheap price or free at all.

Remember Steven Gerrard goes through that phase when Benitez was pressured to win the Champions League to make him stay. If Liverpool did not win the trophy, the question is would he have stayed on? No doubt he comes out from the youth ranks like Owen but Owen moved on. Arsenal is probably a good example of the only club on earth where loyalty still exists. I guess Wenger's policy of signing the young potentials created such situations where if a player really becomes famous, he will be reluctant to go because he feels in debted to how Wenger had brought him up. The process of growing up at Arsenal created such loyalty.

Although not every player is like that. Remember Nicholas Anelka? Although for this example, I would say Anelka is a special case. He is a nomad by the way so you cannot really point him out. Henry is a case similar to Gerrard. Wenger's situation is the same as Benitez a season ago. He is pressured to win the Champions League to make Henry stay on the club. The question now is not what club is interested in him. Rather if Arsenal wins the Champions League trophy, will he stay on? If they don't win it, will he keep faith in the new generation that Wenger is assembling to be world beaters in 1-2 seasons' time? Can he wait? Will he regret it? All answers will come at the end of the season.

Other clubs lure players like bidding for items at some auctions. Look at Chelsea. They buy players who are benched so that the rivals won't get them. The players are handsomely paid (I am sure of that) and they just are contented to sit on the bench. This is definitely not healthy for the competition but I guess this is what you get to have for being rich. Real Madrid could be the other club in this category, together with Barcelona and AC Milan. Still, I remember last time counting the squad members of each club and having Chelsea to top the list with Juventus, AC Milan and Barcelona. Surprisingly Real Madrid don't have that much players compare to them.

Let's look at some of the world's highest transfer fees above 19 million pounds.

Rank, Player, From, To, Transfer Fee (£), Year
1. Zinedine Zidane, Juventus, Real Madrid, 45.62 million, 2001
2. Luis Figo, Barcelona, Real Madrid, 37.0 million, 2000
3. Hernan Crespo, Parma, Lazio, 35.5 million, 2000
4. Gianluigi Buffon, Parma, Juventus, 32.6 million, 2001
5. Christian Vieri, Lazio, Inter Milan, 32.0 million, 1999
6. Rio Ferdinand, Leeds, Manchester United, 29.1 million, 2002
7. Gaizka Mendieta, Valencia, Lazio, 29.0 million, 2001
8. Ronaldo, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, 28.49 million, 2002
9. Juan Sebastian Veron, Lazio, Manchester United, 28.1 million, 2001
10. Rui Costa, Fiorentina, AC Milan, 28.0 million, 2001
11. Pavel Nedved, Lazio, Juventus, 25.5 million, 2001
12. Mickael Essien, Lyon, Chelsea, 24.43 million, 2005
13. Didier Drogba, Marseille, Chelsea, 24 million, 2004
14. Nicholas Anelka, Arsenal, Real Madrid, 23.5 million, 1999
15. Denilson, Sao Paulo, Real Betis, 22 million, 1998
16. Gabriel Batistuta, Fiorentina, AS Roma, 22 million, 2000
17. Lilian Thuram, Parma, Juventus, 22 million, 2001
18. Claudio Lopez, Valencia, Lazio, 22 million, 2000
19. Marc Overmars, Arsenal, Barcelona, 21.6 million, 2000
20. Ronaldinho, Paris-SG, Barcelona, 21.25 million, 2003
21. Shaun Wright-Philips, Manchester City, Chelsea, 21 million, 2005
22. Nicholas Anelka, Real Madrid, Paris-SG, 20.29 million, 2000
23. Wayne Rooney, Everton, Manchester United, 20 million, 2004

Let's see how much worth each player is to the club that bought them. Zidane should be considered a success for all the trophies he brought to Real Madrid during his early years. So will Luis Figo but I am sad he left because of Beckham! Hernan Crespo was a total flop I would say. Just look at where he is now. Buffon is definitely a success and he is still there at Juventus. Vieri? He is to me an over-rated player. Enough said! Rio Ferdinand can be a failure looking at the trophies Manchester United failed to win after he arrived. Mendieta never quite made it in Italy so it was a total failure, Ronaldo too won nothing in particular, so is Veron, a sad case if you look at his performance for the Red Devils. Rui Costa has been sitting at the bench for Milan for a long time and still feeling contented with it. Nedved is definitely a success to Juventus. Essien is so far very impressive for Chelsea and he should be given more minutes to play to really show his worth.

Drogba to me was overhyped just like Cisse and Rooney. I don't see what is so great about him. Nicholas Anelka? He was really one of the best potential players to be great someday at that time. I guess his pride and ego destroy that potential. He did win the Champions League with Real Madrid! Denilson was a disaster for Betis. Injury was the main cause. Batistuta did make himself a God at Fiorentina but I don't think he achieved much at Roma. Lilian Thuram is again another successful story for Juventus. Claudio Lopez? Not really bringing much impact for all that he could have done. Same like Mendieta. Marc Overmars was great for Barcelona I would say, they were just not lucky for not winning anything when he was there. Correct me if I am wrong! Ronaldinho? Barcelona should praise God for this jewel and talent that they managed to get. Even a dickhead knows how good this dude is after the World Cup. I was tremendously surprised that not many clubs actually chased him to the edge! Wright-Philips? He is wasting his talent at Chelsea! That's all I have to say! Rooney? People say he is the best potential player for this era. I say bullshit, the honour should go to Messi or even Robinho! I don't see any talent in him but his agressiveness in pushing forward and using alot of his strength to get into the penalty box. That is talent to you? He reminds me of Eric Cartman of the South Park.

"I am not fat, I am big boned!"

Well, as a conclusion, you can say that Juventus made 3 of the most important and successful transfers at the top 23. Real Madrid bought the most but only two was successful and giving them very short success because of their age. Fiorentina, Parma, Lazio and Arsenal made good transfer earning selling some of their players at such a good price. Losing Nedved could be the only regretting thing for Lazio.

As for Henry, if I am Wenger, I will be proud of him no matter what decisions he made. He groomed Henry to be what he is today so he has nothing to lose. It is natural for Henry as a world class player to want new challenges in other leagues. I just feel that Henry can be really inconsistent sometimes. He can be so anonymous in some matches you thought he is not even in the starting 11. His national team record is not good as well. He always underperform for France. His scoring is not good. I always see him as a player who needs alot of time to adapt to his new environment. Whatever it is, if he chooses to stay, we hope the youngsters will mature fast to support him. If he chooses to go, I just wish he does not go to Barcelona. Haha!

Let's look at the historical transfers of all time. We look at players whom I know better in this era.

Player's Name,From Club, To Club, Fee, Date
Alf Common, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, £1k, 1905
David Jack, Bolton Wanderers, Arsenal, £10k, 1929
Bernabe Ferreyra, Tigre, River Plate, £23k, 1932
Hans Jepson, (Amateur Club), Napoli, £52k, 1952
Juan Schiaffino, Penarol, AC Milan, £72k, 1954
Enrique Omar Sivori, River Plate, Juventus, £93k, 1957
Luis Suarez, Barcelona, Inter Milan, £142k, 1961
Angelo Sormani, Mantova, AS Roma, £250k, 1963
Pietro Anastasi, Varese, Juventus, £500k, 1968
Johan Cruyff, Ajax Amsterdam, Barcelona, £922k, 1973
Giuseppe Savoldi, Bologna, Napoli, £1.2m, 1975
Paolo Rossi, Juventus, Vicenza, £1.75m, 1978
Diego Maradona, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, £3m, 1982
Diego Maradona, Barcelona, Napoli, £5m, 1984
Ruud Gullit, PSV Eindhoven, AC Milan, £6m, 1987
Roberto Baggio, Fiorentina, Juventus, £8m, 1990
Jean Pierre Papin, Marseille, AC Milan, £10m, 1992
Gianluca Vialli, Sampdoria, Juventus, £12m, 1992
Gianluigi Lentini, Torino, AC Milan, £13m, 1992
Alan Shearer, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, £15m, 1996
Ronaldo, Barcelona, Inter Milan, £18m, 1997
Denilson, Sao Paulo, Real Betis, £22m, 1998
Christian Vieri, Lazio, Inter Milan, £32m, 1999
Hernan Crespo, Parma, Lazio, £35.5m, 2000
Luis Figo, Barcelona, Real Madrid, £37m, 2000
Zinedine Zidane, Juventus, Real Madrid, £45.62m+, 2001

I guess I can only start at Alan Shearer and he is to me one of the most loyal players left on earth. He snubbed Manchester United for guarantees of trophies and opt for Newcastle United. To me, he is the same equivalent of Raul to Real Madrid, Gerrard to Liverpool, Shevchenko to AC Milan and Henry to Arsenal. Ronaldo? He had more affairs than anybody else reported in the football world. What is loyalty? Denilson did stay long at Betis not because of loyalty, but because he underperformed and been injured for a long period of time. Hernan Crespo? He is what I called a roller coaster-ride career. I don't really know how to rate him but I would say he is at the right place at the right time but didn't contribute much to the success of the club/s he is/was in. Luis Figo definitely is one of the most hardworking players in the world and even now for Inter Milan, I see him sweating all out for the club. I will call that loyalty! Gattuso of AC Milan comes to mind, although he is a more rougher player. Barcelona fans will definitely not as they still regard him as their No.1 villain! Zinedine Zidane as I said above is coming of age and looking forward for retirement with Real Madrid.


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