The Brazilian was the star of Frank Rijkaard’s Champions league conquering side in 2004. His magical dribbling skills made him a delight to watch. Such were the level of his performances that he received a standing ovation at Santiago Bernabeu after he singlehandedly destroyed Real Madrid. Nevertheless, he looked for a change of scenery and was sold to AC Milan for 16.7 million Euros. At Milan, Ronaldinho showed signs of brilliance; however, failed to reach the expected levels. He left the club for Flamengo in 2011, before eventually retiring in 2015. Get all our betting tips.
9) Samuel Eto’o
After scoring in the Champions league final of 2009, Eto’o left the club for Inter Milan. He was a part of the swap deal that saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic move the other way. With Inter, Eto’o enjoyed unprecedented success. He was a part of the treble winning squad of 2010 under Jose Mourinho. As Eto’o enjoyed a fruitful season with Inter, Zlatan fell out with Pep Guardiola eventually leaving the club after a solitary season. Eto’oplayed for another season with Inter before completing a move to Anzi Makhachkala. He has since had brief spells with Chelsea, Everton, Sampdoria and now plies his trade in Turkey with Antalyaspor.
Ronaldo defined a generation of modern strikers, scoring all types of goals. His ability to combine exquisite pace with incredible strength made him a defender’s nightmare. He played a solitary season with the Catalan club, scoring 34 goals in just 37 games. Nevertheless, when Inter came calling, Ronaldo agreed with a move to Italy. With Inter, Ronaldo won the UEFA Cup in ’98. He moved to Real Madrid in the summer of ’02 after scoring a brace in the final of the World Cup against Germany. While Ronaldo struggled to keep with injuries taking their toll, he remains one of the greatest forwards of all time.
7) Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan joined Barca in a swap deal, which saw Samuel Eto’o move to Inter Milan. However, soon after his transfer, he fell out with Pep Guardiola. Zlatan’s style of play was supposed to add another dimension to Barca’s free flowing game. However, Guardiola’s reluctance to use him saw his time at Barcelona end after just one season. He was sold to AC Milan, where he won the Serie A title.
Pedro was a prominent figure in the Barcelona side that won two trebles under Pep Guardiola in 2009 and 2015. As he spent the most part of the 2014-15 season playing second fiddle to MSN, Pedro decided to move on. He joined Chelsea in 21 million euros deal. While his first season in England was an utter disaster, the second season was by far the opposite. Pedro was a part of the attacking trio of Hazard, Costa as Chelsea won the premier league last season.
5) Thiago Alcantara
Tipped to replace the ageing Xavi at Barcelona eventually, the La Masia youth product instead moved to Bayern Munich in 2013. He was one of the players Bayern signed on Pep Guardiola’s request. At Bayern, Thiago constantly struggled with injuries, still showed signs of brilliance. As Pep moved on, rumours were suggesting Thiago might follow him to England. Nevertheless, Thiago stayed at Bayern and had his best season for Bayern.
4) Yaya Toure
Toure’s transfer from Barcelona to Manchester City attracted great criticism from football pundits, who dismissed the idea behind bringing an overpriced midfielder to the club. However, a year later, Toure was a crucial part of the City squad that won their first Premier league title. He has since become a legend at Manchester City and will go down as one of the best to ever grace the English football.
3) Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas signed for Barcelona, completing his return to his boyhood club after the world cup of 2010. He failed to flourish at the Catalan club, playing as a squad player rather than a first team player. He moved to Chelsea before the beginning of the world cup in Brazil. At Chelsea, Fabregas has won two league titles in three years and is one of the fans’ favourite.
Another player who failed to reach heights at Barcelona, Alexis Sanchez joined the club from Udinese in 2011. While Sanchez had his moments at Barca, he failed to fulfil his potential. He moved to Arsenal in 2014, becoming the club’s most expensive signing of that time. Three seasons later, Sanchez is now Arsenal’s most important player and is being courted by some of Europe’s top clubs.
1) Luis Figo
Perhaps the most treacherous transfer of all time, Luis Figo moved to Real Madrid from Barcelona in a then a world-record deal of 37 million Euros. The fact that he was Barca captain only aggravated the situation. He was the first Galactico for Real Madrid under Florentino Perez as the club soon brought in Zidane, Ronaldo. He won the Champions league title with Real and was always given hostile reception upon his return to Barca.