When you pay a hefty sum to get the services of a player, there will be high expectations naturally. More often than not, this ends up badly. When so much is expected from a player, no matter how well he performs, he will be underrated. Other than a certain Cristiano Ronaldo or a Wayne Rooney, not many people have lived up to their price tag. Here is a look at the top five big money transfers that went totally wrong.
# 5 – Jonathan Woodgate
From Newcastle United to Real Madrid for $22 Million (2004)
Considering the fact that Woodgate tops the list of most injury prone footballers in England, the transfer was a stupid move by Real Madrid in the first place.
When Real transferred him, Woodgate was obviously injured. He remained injured for a full year before making his debut with the Spanish giants and what a debut it was! The guy scored an own goal and got sent off in that game.
After playing only 14 games with Real, he was offloaded to Middlesbrough for $10 million. So, technically, Real Madrid payed him $12 million dollars for 14 games.
# 4 – Adrian Mutu
From Parma to Chelsea for $26 Million (2003)
With six goals in 27 games, his stint at Chelsea was not a memorable one. But, getting sacked for cocaine use does not make one forget Mutu that easily.
Mutu was supposedly bought to spear head Chelsea’s Russian revolution but he ended up leaving the club in disgrace. He was fined and banned by the FA for six months and later moved to Juventus where he had another poor stint. Overall, he cost Chelsea $4.3 million per goal!
# 3 – Juan Sebastian Veron
From Lazio to Manchester United for $37 Million (2001)
Veron was supposed to bring stability and creativity to the United midfield. Although, he was a class player, he had too much trouble adjusting to the pace of the Premier League. He was outplayed by thundering wingers and strong strikers which made him a major flop at Manchester United.
After two years at Old Trafford, Veron moved to Chelsea in 2003 for $20 million dollars. There, he lived up to his tag of being a Premier League flop as he managed only 14 appearances.
Till date, he remains as the worst transfer flop in the history of Manchester United.
# 2 – Andriy Shevchenko
From AC Milan to Chelsea for $50 Million dollars (2006)
Jose Mourinho was revolutionizing the way Chelsea play in the premier league and he didn’t want Shevchenko but owner Roman Abramovich insisted that he use the Ukrainian. The results were abysmal. Although Shevchenko was a great player at Milan, he never fitted into the Chelsea squad.
With only 22 goals to his name, he created huge friction between Mourinho and Abramovich. He was loaned back to Milan and was eventually released amounting to $2.3 Million per goal. His presence also caused Mourinho to leave the club.
# 1 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
From Inter Milan to Barcelona for $65 Million dollars + Samuel Eto’o (valued at $ 26 Million)
Pep Guardiola didn’t do much wrong during his time at Barcelona but this move was a colossal mistake. Samuel Eto’o had made 200 appearances and had 130 goals to his name at Barcelona. He seamlessly fitted into the system and clubs all over the world were looking for his signature. But, Guardiola went on to exchange him plus paid $ 65 million dollars for a slow, overrated Zlantan Ibrahimovic. Inter Milan must have celebrated the night after this deal went through.
With only 22 goals in 46 appearances at Barcelona, Ibrahimovic proved to be a failure while Eto’o scored 33 goals in his first season at Inter winning the Champions League!
In the end, Ibrahomivic cost Barcelona a staggering $4.1 million per goal.
Honorable Mentions – Robbie Keane, Alberto Aquilani, Ricardo Kaka, Robinho