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5 of the best transfer bargains in the history of modern football

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Esteban Cambiasso Inter Milan
Esteban Cambiasso helped Inter Milan win the Champions League

In a world of inflated transfer fees, it is rather rare to find players moving to different clubs for just the right price. It gets even rarer to see them go for an absolute bargain.

The business of world football has seen an exponential rise, with money flowing in from multiple revenue streams like never before. Here's a look at five of the best ever transfer bargains.

#5 Esteban Cambiasso to Internazionale

Esteban Cambiasso was a part of the Real Madrid squad that won the UEFA Super Cup in 2002 and he also helped Los Blancos reach the semi-finals of the Champions League the next season.

However, after racking up just nine starts in La Liga during the 2003/04 season, he was looking for a move away to better pastures.

The Bosman ruling kicked in and he was on his way to Italy to sign for Internazionale - for free.

Upon retirement in 2017, he revealed the reasoning behind his departure. "I understood clearly why I was going: I wasn't part of the sporting and economic model. It was unsustainable to have 6-7 of the best-paid players in the world and some had to leave."

A Coppa Italia during his first season with the club cemented his place within the squad. He soon became a regular in the defensive midfield position and was one of Roberto Mancini's best players. In his heyday, he was often regarded to be on the same level as AC Milan's Kaka.

In 2008, the enigmatic Jose Mourinho was appointed as the head coach of the Italian club. Cambiasso eventually became on his midfield generals, staring games with purpose as Mourinho's philosophy kicked into top-gear.

The 2009/2010 season was historic for the Italian club as they became only the sixth European club to complete the treble and the only Italian club to ever achieve this feat.


Cambiasso was crucial during the run-up and marked his presence by scoring a crucial goal in the run-up to the Champions League final.

His strike proved to be the difference, as Inter just brushed past Chelsea with a 2-1 victory in the semi-final.

He went on to make 315 league appearances and win 15 major trophies for the Italian side until he moved to Leicester City in 2014.

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