If Florentino Pérez didn't do a U-turn on his original stance of buying out Samuel Eto'o's rights at Mallorca (Real owned 50 percent), Barcelona wouldn't have signed Eto'o.
What if Ronaldinho had Cristiano Ronaldo's looks? The Brazilian probably would have been signed by Pérez.
Then there's Lionel Messi being Barça's godsend.
These three events saved Joan Laporta's legacy from being as lampooned as Joan Gaspart's term.
Laporta's Worst Transfer Deals
1. Zlatan Ibrahimović, Signed from Inter Milan for €49 million + Samuel Eto'o in 2009
You're probably thinking Massimo Moratti had balls of steel to negotiate this hard. Not, really.
Keep in mind, there was still ill-feeling from Moratti's side that he had broken the transfer fee record to sign Ronaldo from Barcelona yet spent more money rehabbing him from injuries.
Massimo was playing with house money since if Barça didn't play ball, Zlatan would stay with the Nerazzurri, and the Catalonian club would have to find another suitor for Eto'o.
Not only did the transfer deal heavily favour Inter, but Laporta didn't calculate Messi's feelings towards Zlatan.
Guillem Balague told Hawksbee and Jacobs:
Not exactly [Pep Guardiola's] mistake, it was the club that wanted to get rid of Eto'o. Nobody wanted to pay the amount of money Barcelona wanted for Eto'o.
They got an opportunity where they swapped players and Ibrahimović went from Inter and Eto'o went to Inter.
All in all, it was a club decision, more than a Pep decision.
But, he was asked and he said: 'Yer, I tell you what, we'll just have another alternative to our Barcelona. We can play it long. He's [Zlatan] also a deceiving player because he can play the ball well as well as holding it, he can be an assistant.'
What he [Pep] didn't realise, but he did after five months, is that he [Zlatan] was eating away the space that Messi needs to grow.
So there was a moment on the coach [bus] after a game. At the end was Messi sitting with Pinto [backup keeper]. Up the front was Pep Guardiola with Tito [Vilanova].
And Messi sent a text message that said: 'Ibra or me.'
Supposedly Eto'o had personality clashes with Barcelona management. Well, why sign the biggest "my-way-or-the-highway" footballer in Ibrahimović?
2. Dmytro Chygrynskiy, Signed from Shakhtar Donetsk for €25 million in 2009
Made several errors for Shakhtar in high profile games like against AC Milan and Sevilla. Didn't play much for Barça but when he did, he struggled. Lasted a season at the club.
3. Keirrison, Signed from Coritiba for €14 million in 2009
Joan's easy money scheme epically backfired on him. The plan was to sign Keirrison, loan him out to Benfica, let him score 20 plus goals and sell him for a profit.
Except, was he going to get playing time over Óscar Cardozo or Javier Saviola?
Oops. Laporta didn't think about that.
4. Alexander Hleb, Signed from Arsenal for €17 million in 2008
Didn't know sitting on the bench was worth €17 million plus, give or take €100,000 per week.
5. Gianluca Zambrotta, Signed from Juventus for €14 million in 2006
Good signing on paper, but he was a massive liability and consistently missed his defensive assignments. Communication problems?
6. Martín Cáceres, Signed from Villarreal for €16.5 million in 2008
Great motor, very aggressive tackler and has the ability to be an elite defender. Never really given much time to settle in at Barcelona since he was always on loan.
7. Henrique, Signed from Palmeiras for €8 million in 2008
The defenders' version of Keirrison.
Laporta swung and missed a lot in the transfer market.
If he was playing baseball, he'd be well below the Mendoza Line.
Also, Maxi López (signed from River Plate in 2005) and Ricardo Quaresma (signed from Sporting Lisbon in 2003) were calculated risks that failed.