The Most Valuable Free Transfers in Football History

Next year, Kylian Mbappé’s contract expires at PSG. If he doesn’t decide to remain with the Ligue 1 champion, he’ll become one of the free agents with the highest market value in history. How high, you might ask? Well, the Spanish press speculates an asking price of around 300 million euros for him. 

Free transfers of such high-profile players don’t happen too often. The last one was Messi’s departure from Barcelona to PSG. But there were many others in history that, while they were free, were truly valuable for the receiving teams.

Robert Lewandowski from Dortmund to Bayern Munich

One of the most prominent examples is Robert Lewandowski’s move from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich in 2014. The Polish striker joined Bayern on a free transfer and has since become one of the most prolific goal-scorers in the world. Lewandowski’s contribution to Bayern’s success, including numerous domestic titles and a UEFA Champions League triumph, makes him an exceptional value signing. Between 2014 and 2022, he scored 238 league goals for Bayern, becoming not just one of the top goalscorers in Europe but also one of the top picks at all betting sites in Nigeria and beyond.

Andrea Pirlo from AC Milan to Juventus

Another influential free transfer was Andrea Pirlo’s move from AC Milan to Juventus in 2011. Despite being in his early 30s at the time, Pirlo proved to be a transformative figure for Juventus, playing a vital role in their resurgence and dominance in Serie A. His exceptional passing ability, vision, and leadership skills helped Juventus secure multiple league titles during his tenure.

Sol Campbell from Tottenham to Arsenal

Sol Campbell’s transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Arsenal in 2001 remains one of the most memorable and impactful free transfers. Campbell’s move caused a significant stir as he crossed the North London divide, but his impact on Arsenal’s defence cannot be overstated. Campbell played a crucial role in Arsenal’s “Invincibles” season, where the team went unbeaten in the Premier League and secured the league title.

Esteban Cambiasso from Real Madrid to Inter Milan

Esteban Cambiasso’s move to Inter Milan in 2004 on a free transfer proved to be an exceptional piece of business for the Italian club. The Argentine midfielder became a linchpin in Inter’s midfield, playing a vital role in their success under manager Jose Mourinho. Cambiasso was a key figure as Inter won multiple Serie A titles and the UEFA Champions League in the 2009-2010 season.

Gary McAllister from Coventry to Liverpool

Gary McAllister’s free transfer from Coventry City to Liverpool in 2000 had a significant impact on the Merseyside club. Despite being in the twilight of his career, McAllister’s experience and leadership qualities proved invaluable. He played a crucial role in Liverpool’s treble-winning season in 2000-2001, where they won the FA Cup, League Cup, and UEFA Cup.


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