Friday, September 11, 2009

Top Ten Transfer Deals of Summer 2009 in European Club Football

Economic recession has not yet got over fully, but it seems that credit crunch in Europe did not affect the summer 2009 transfer window of European club football. I think, Summer 2009 will be remembered as a transfer window for a long time because of the fact that the record for highest transfer fees was re-written during this period, even though European economy was recovering from recession. Anyway, here I have made a list of top ten transfer deals of Summer 2009 transfer window which includes a number of high-profile transfers between the European clubs.

Real Madrid and Manchester City are the two clubs who dominated in the transfer market in Summer 2009. Thanks to their Arab owner, Manchester City has suddenly got bucket loads of money to spend in the market and the club showed glimpses of their ‘newly-rich’ status. Having taken over as Real Madrid president for the third time, Florentino Pérez started following his ‘spend-big’ approach to transfer market, just the same thing that he did during his first two terms as the president of Real Madrid. In fact, Real Madrid broke the record for highest transfer deal twice during Summer 2009.

Overall, Real Madrid spent €252 million (about €254 million according to other source) in Summer 2009, and most probably it is a record spending by a club in Summer transfer window. Bankrolled by Arab billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Manchester City spent about €120 million, and thus, becoming the highest spending club in English premier league during Summer 2009 transfer window. Barcelona made the only big move by signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic for €69.0 million transfer free (€49 million in cash and the transfer of Samuel Eto'o valued at €20 million), second in the list of all time highest transfer fees.

Now, I would like you to go through the following list that I made on the basis of most important transfer deals of Summer 2009 transfer window:

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo joined Spanish giant Real Madrid from Manchester United for a record-breaking transfer fee of €94 million (£80 million). Before the announcement of Ronaldo’s signing came out, Real Madrid had already broken the record for highest transfer fee by signing Kaka from AC Milan. Ronaldo had been the prime target of Real Madrid for more than a year, and finally, Real officially confirmed the signing of Ronaldo on 1 July 2009. Ronaldo signed a six-year contract with the Spanish club and a €1 billion buy-out clause is also tagged with the contract, which is worth €13 million in a season. Cristiano Ronaldo was handed over the no. 9 jersey by the club’s former great Alfredo di Stéfano.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The €69 million transfer deal was agreed and done by Inter Milan and Barcelona for the Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic who signed a five-year contract with Barcelona. The deal initially included €46 million in cash, transfer of former Barcelona star Samuel Eto'o to Inter Milan (valued at €20 million) and loan of Aleksandra Hleb with an option of permanent acquisition for a fee of €10 million.

However, Barcelona, later on, had to pay €49 million in cash including €3 million compensation as Hleb declined the transfer to Inter Milan and eventually joined VfB Stuttgart on a loan deal. Thus, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s transfer fee finally stands at €69 million.


Brazilian midfielder Kaka was the first major signing of Real Madrid in Summer 2009 transfer window and his €65 million transfer fee eventually became the highest transfer fee, though the record was eventually broken by Ronaldo just few days after Kaka’s arrival at Real Madrid. Kaka’s transfer deal is now the third highest transfer fee after Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic.

After becoming Real Madrid president for third time, Florentino Pérez targeted Kaka as his first major move to bring ‘Galacticos era’ back in Real Madrid. Cash-trapped AC Milan did not hesitate much to sell their biggest star in an attempt to strengthen their financial ground by acquiring €65 million from Real Madrid.

Karim Benzema

Another high-profile summer 2009 signing of Real Madrid is none other than French youngster Karim Benzema. The striker had been in excellent form for Olympique Lyonnais over the last two seasons. Benzema scored 66 goals in his total 150 appearances for the club with whom he started his professional career.

Naturally, Karim Benzema caught the attention of big-spending Real Madrid who eventually signed him for six years for a transfer fee of €35 million including performance-based additional incentives (which could rise as much as €41 million).

Xabi Alonso

The Spaniard was another big-money signing by Real Madrid and there are many who believe that Alonso would be proven the most effective Summer signing at Real Madrid at the end of the season. No doubt, the former Liverpool star was impressive throughout the last season and helped Spain to win Euro 2008 title.

Florentino Pérez did not hesitate to make a bid for the midfielder, stating that Alonso was a ‘key player’ in their project. Initially, Liverpool was not interested to sell an in-form holding midfielder like Alonso and manager Rafael Benitez tried to convince the player not to move away from Liverpool, but Alonso insisted to move to Madrid. Finally, Alonso signed a five-year contract with Real Madrid. However, the exact figure of the transfer deal was confirmed by neither of the clubs.

According to Times Online, Real Madrid paid £30 million to Liverpool for Xabi Alonso with a £5 million performance-based incentive. That means the deal could finally reach £35 million. However, says Real and Liverpool agreed a €32 million transfer fee for Alonso. Daily Mail reported that Alonso moved to Real Madrid for a transfer fee of £30million without mentioning anything about performance-based additional payment. So, it is very tough to say what was the exact fee that the two clubs agreed, but we can assume that the figure could be in the range of £30 million.

Samuel Eto’o

The Cameroonian striker is undoubtedly one of the most successful African players in the history of football. This Summer, he moved to Inter Milan from Barcelona where he spent five season with huge success winning 3 La Liga and 2 Champions League titles. However, his move to Inter Milan happened without creating any buzz in the media.

Eto’o was handed a five-year contract at Inter Milan. His transfer was a swap deal between the two clubs. Barcelona agreed to pay Inter €46 million fee and exchange of Samuel Eto’o in their attempt to get the acquisition of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Here, Eto’o was valued at €20 million. Initially, the deal also included one-year loan spell of Aliaksandr Hleb at Inter Milan, but Barcelona had to pay €3 million of compensation when Hleb refused to join Inter.

Carlos Tevez

Carlos Tevez’s future at Manchester United was the subject of huge speculation since the start of the last season. Many thought that Ferguson would not like to spend £25.5 million for a player whom he used mainly as a substitute player. Manchester United would have to pay £25.5 million to get the service of the Argentina striker permanently and they did not attempt to do that, and thus, Tevez’s two-year loan spell at Manchester United ended at the end of the last season.

Then Manchester City, the arch-rivals of United, moved for the player and paid the required amount to Media Sports Investments (MSI), who held the rights of Tevez, for the permanent acquisition of the striker.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Manchester City signed the former Arsenal striker for a transfer fee of £25 million on 18 July 2009. Adebayor was handed a five-year contract by the club. Emmanuel Adebayor was one of the top performers of English premier league in the previous two seasons and earned interests from other big European clubs too. The Togolese striker also had a good start at City as he scored in his first three appearances for the club in premier league.

Joleon Lescott

Joleon Lescott was the last signing of Manchester City in Summer 2009 transfer window. Former Everton star Lescott was a target of City throughout the summer, but Everton boss David Moyes was reluctant to let the player move away from Merseyside camp. However, after realizing Lescott’s repeated insistent to move to Manchester City, Everton agreed a £24 million transfer fee. This is perhaps the highest transfer fee paid for the signing of a defender in Summer 2009.

Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben was perhaps the top performer of Real Madrid during their frustrating 2009-10 season. However, the Dutch international’s departure looked pretty much certain when Real Madrid started signing some of the big stars like Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso and Benzema.

A number of big clubs were interested to sign Robben, but the midfielder was finally signed by German giant Bayern Munich for a transfer deal worth €25 million. 25-yhear-old Robben scored two goals in his first appearance for the new club against defending league champion Wolfsburg. Reports suggested later on that Real Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini did not want him to leave the club, but it was Robben’s father who wanted Robben to join a new club in order to ensure regular first team football for his son.

Some Other Notable Transfers in Summer 2009

Summer 2009 window saw some other notable transfer deals throughout Europe. In fact, there are few significant transfers which could have made the list of the top ten transfer deals. Here, I am going to mention some of those transfer deals:

Dmytro Chygrynskiy

From Shakhtar Donetsk to Barcelona: Fee €25 million

Yuri Zhirkov

From CSKA Moscow to Chelsea: Fee £18 million

Glen Johnson

From Portsmouth to Liverpool: Fee £17.5m

Roque Santa Cruz

From Blackburn Rovers to Manchester City: Fee £17m

Alberto Aquilani

From Roma to Liverpool: Fee £16.9 million

Darren Bent

From Tottenham Hotspur to Sunderland: Fee £16.5 million

Kolo Toure

From Arsenal to Manchester City: Fee £16 million

Antonio Valencia

From Wigan Athletic to Manchester United: Fee £16 million

Wesley Sneijder

From Real Madrid to Inter Milan: Fee €15 million

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

From Real Madrid to AC Milan: Fee €15 million

Gareth Barry

From Aston Villa to Manchester City: Fee £12 million

Thomas Vermaelen

From Ajax to Arsenal: Fee £10.1 million

Peter Crouch

From Portsmouth to Tottenham Hotspur: Fee £9 million

Mauro Zarate

From Al-Sadd to SS Lazio: Fee €20m

Lucho González

From FC Porto to Olympique Marseille: Fee €18m


  1. I believe that Inter Millan got a very good bargain in the sale of Z. Ibrahimovic in exchange for Eto'o. While Ibrahimovic was sold for €69m, Eto'o was valued and sold for €20m. The truth is that Ibrahimovic is not quite better than Eto'o and one would not have expected such a huge gap in the pricing of the two players. Sina

  2. as sina has proved, many people don't know squat about football and underrates ibrahimovic. etoo on the other hand is actually the one who's overrated... market values don't lie

  3. look at this guys: