Cristiano Ronaldo to Eric Cantona: 10 of the Greatest Transfers Ever

Cronan YuContributor IIIJuly 5, 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo to Eric Cantona: 10 of the Greatest Transfers Ever

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    Let's face it, this summer's transfer window has been quite dull.

    Aside from the Neymar transfer, the only thing that has really gotten our hearts pumping and our brains hurting are those mind-boggling yet unfruitful transfer rumours that have been nonsensical to say the least. 

    Nevertheless, as we move slowly towards the most stressful period of this summer's transfer window, Bleacher Report counts-down the "Top 10 Greatest Transfers of All Time."

    So, without further ado, here are your top 10 transfers! 

10. Mikel Arteta

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    Real Sociedad to Everton; £2 million; 2005

    We begin our countdown with Arteta, one of the most astute transfers of all time.

    The Spaniard started off as a promising youngster from the youth ranks of Barcelona, but failed in his pursuit of first-team football. After a few spells abroad, he secured a loan move at Goodison Park. However, after some promising displays while on loan, he secured a permanent move to Merseyside, making over 200 appearances for the Toffees.

    Since then, his career has progressed seamlessly and, after a £10 million transfer in 2011, now plies his trade at Arsenal. Often underrated, he has proved to be a potent, creative force and is comfortable playing as a "pivot" or as an attacking midfielder. He made a name for himself at the position under former Everton manager David Moyes. 

9. Peter Schmeichel

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    Brøndby to Manchester United; £550,000;1991

    Voted No. 10 in the "World's Best Goalkeeper Poll" back in 1991, and helping Danish club Brøndby win 4 consecutive championships, the "Bargain of the Century," as described by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2000, Schmeichel helped United on their road to success as the Red Devils claimed FA Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup and the UEFA Champions League during his eight year spell at the club.

    He proved to be a giant in between the sticks, solid in the air and great in one-on-ones. Schmeichel ultimately proved to be the man for the job and is now widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of all time. One of the best Danish goalkeepers anyway.

8. Tim Cahill

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    Millwall to Everton; £1.5 million; 2004

    A personal hero of mine, Tim Cahill, comes in at number eight on our list. 

    It was a move that set up an illustrious career. Widely regarded as Australia's most decorated player of all time, attacking midfielder Tim Cahill played a pivotal role in helping Millwall seal a place in their maiden FA Cup final.

    His displays helped him secure a move to Everton in 2004, and he has never looked back. During in eight-year spell at the club he became a fan favourite and the heart of the club. He finished as Everton's top scorer in his first season and the rest is history. His time at the club has helped him become a much more refined player, and he is known for scoring Australia's first-ever goal in the 2006 World Cup. 

    Cahill now plies his trade in the United States, but he is still considered a hero at Merseyside.

7. Diego Forlan

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    Manchester United to Villareal; £2 million; 2004

    After a largely disappointing stint at Manchester United, Diego Forlan went on to join Villareal for £2 million, a sum which, in hindsight, is considered a bargain especially when you consider the impact he made with the Yellow Submarines. 

    Forlan scored 25 goals in 31 starts in his first season in Spain, as he proved to be a lethal force, destroying opposing defences in the process. His goalscoring exploits made him an instant hit, and despite notching only 10 strikes in his second season, his third season proved fruitful, as he scored on 19 separate occasions. 

    After three successful seasons, he proved to be a "big fish in small pond" and moved to Atletico Madrid. He now plies his trade in Internacional in Brazil and has proved decisive on several occasions when called up to represent Uruguay.

6. Petr Cech

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    Rennes to Chelsea; £7 million; 2004 

    With Carlo Cudicini injured, Cech was brought in as his replacement, and he has never looked back. Despite suffering a head injury which threatened to end his career, Cech is still widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Just ask Courtois how tough it is to knock him off his perch.

    Having made close to 300 appearances for Chelsea, Cech holds numerous records, including the Premier League record for fewest appearances required to reach 100 clean sheets, at 180.

5. Frank Lampard

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    West Ham to Chelsea; £11 million; 2001

    A lot of money was spent to bring a man considered to be an underachiever at West Ham to Chelsea, but Lampard has established himself as a club legend at Chelsea. 

    Despite the constant managerial changes throughout his time at West London, Lampard has remained the same hard worker he has always been. He average 20 goals a season and currently holds the club's all-time goalscoring record.

    He never gives less than 100 percent, he is undoubtedly an intelligent footballer and as Lampard strolls towards the end of an illustrious career, there is no doubt that he will be remembered by all fans.

    By all means, Lampard is a legend and a true hero. 

4. Gerard Pique

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    Manchester United to Barcelona; £5 million; 2008

    With Nemanja Vidic's arrival dragging Pique down the pecking order, Pep Guardiola took a massive gamble in bringing the centre-back back to Camp Nou, and it proved to be a masterstroke.

    Super efficient at both ends of the pitch, Pique is regarded as the best defender at this present time. A great tackler, dominant in the air and comfortable with the ball at his feet, his departure from Manchester has allowed him to refine his skills, and at 26 years of age, he still has a good decade of football ahead of him. 

3. Thierry Henry

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    Juventus to Arsenal; £10.5 million; 1999

    Unpopular and unsuccessful at Juventus, a £10 million transfer at the time would've been considered overpriced, but Arsenal got more than their money's worth with Henry.

    Still the club's record goal-scorer, he consistently terrorised English defences, made Arsenal one of the most watched clubs in the world and scored fabulous goals week in week out. He was a brilliant athlete and an outstanding finisher still missed to this day.

    Yes, even Wenger tried to snap him up for a second spell at the club. The lad just had it all didn't he? What a player, and what a bargain!

2. Eric Cantona

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    Leeds United to Manchester United; £1.2 million; 1992

    What a coup this was. Alex Ferguson took a massive risk in signing Cantona, who had earned a reputation as a volatile player at Leeds. I probably don't need to mention what a hit he was at the club, though. In fact, that is an understatement.

    Cantona was a charismatic character, who bonded well with fans. In fact, United's faithful continue to sing his name to this day. On the pitch, United were disappointing until Cantona arrived, regularly falling victim to teams like Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa.

    Cantona added flair to United's game, scored incredible goals and, despite his ban from football, helped United to numerous trophies. An awe-inspiring player still remembered as one of Manchester's greatest players, his name lives on. 

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Lisbon to Manchester United; £12.2 million; 2003

    It's no surprise Manchester United gained a £68 million profit when they sold Ronaldo in 2009. Throughout his time in England he made every match a spectacle for the fans and, more importantly, he brought in much-needed trophies.

    He was a special talent who possessed fantastic dribbling skills, electrifying pace, great ball-striking abilities and skill in the air. He is certainly a complete player, and if it were not for Messi, who knows how many Ballon d'Ors he would've won by now.

    Ronaldo helped the club to EPL titles, Champions League crowns and more. His £12.2 million transfer was well worth it, and Alex Ferguson can take pride in honing one of the most talented individuals of all time. A deserved winner of our "Top 10 Transfers of All Time."

     

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