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7 stars who joined their rival and won the title in the very next season

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10.22K   //    24 Aug 2017, 08:07 IST

Ferdinand followed in the footsteps of Cantona and moved tom Leeds to Man Utd
Ferdinand followed in the footsteps of Cantona and moved from Leeds to Man United

The 2017 summer transfer window is a very good example of how difficult it is to replace one of the biggest stars at a club. Look at Barcelona, they’ve clearly struggled to cope with the departure of Neymar and are being thwarted by Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund in their attempts to sign Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele respectively.

Hence, no fan wants to see the best players leave their beloved club but sometimes it is inevitable and hard to cope with. A quick swing of the eyes towards and we could see Southampton - a club whose fans have been enraged every time a player on the club roster is linked with Liverpool as the Merseyside outfit has poached their best players in all of the last three summer transfer windows.

These situations become even more precarious when the departing player joins a rival club. In most cases, when a player joins a rival club, it is usually not in good terms with their previous employers. There are exceptions, of course, like Nemanja Matic or Juan Mata who were gladly sold to Manchester United by Chelsea (Why? Just why?)

Nevertheless, it is hard to see a player join a rival team and the feeling is worse when they go on to win titles with the new team, especially in the immediate season.

#1 Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand is widely remembered for his 12-year spell with Manchester United between 2002 and 2014.

Back in 2002, Sir Alex Ferguson spent £34 million to secure the coveted English defender from rivals Leeds United and that was a significant figure back then. In fact, it was as big as spending £89 million on Paul Pogba last summer.

The Leeds United and Manchester United rivalry which is also nicknamed the 'Battle of the Roses' - originating from the strong enmity between Lancashire and Yorkshire. During the 1970s, the rivalry extended outside the football field and violent clashes were a common sight.

However, in recent years, Leeds have been languishing in English football’s lower leagues while Manchester United have gone from strength to strength.

Nevertheless, Ferdinand became only the fifth player to directly move from Leeds to Manchester United and the first one since Eric Cantona in 1992. Like Cantona before him, Ferdinand also went on to win the league title with Manchester United in the same season he signed for them.

It also goes without saying that both players now have a long lasting legacy at Old Trafford.

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