Transfers are of course an integral part of the game, more so now than ever before, with many teams changing almost their entire squad in as little as three or four years. Transfers can define seasons, and make or break the careers of both managers and players. We all know the great transfers, we all know the terrible transfers, but what about the really weird transfers? These transfers raised a few eyebrows and shocked the world of soccer.
Transfers tend to be the movement of a player who has performed well to a club in a better position than their current one, or a player who is now out of favor moving to another one. In the modern game, finances also play a major role in most players movements. Sometimes though, there are transfers which are slightly more difficult to understand, bizarre deals which often have fascinating back-stories.
Many of the players upon this list are stars of the beautiful game who have joined relative minnows. Whilst in some cases, it is the other way round, soccer powerhouses signing relatively unknown talents for no good reason. The list includes traditional transfers as well as loan deals and Bosman signings. Here are the top 25 weirdest transfers in soccer history:
25 25. Tyrone Mears to Marseille
24 24. Kevin Keegan to Southampton
23 23. Nicklas Bendtner to Juventus
22 22. Craig Davies to Hellas Verona
21 21. Sir Bobby Charlton to Waterford Town
20 20. Pele to New York Cosmos
19 19. Jimmy Greaves to Barnet
18 18. Didier Drogba to Shanghai Shenhua
17 17. Tevez & Mascherano to West Ham
16 16. Claudio Caniggia to Dundee
15 15. Ali Dia to Southampton
14 14. Chris Waddle to Worksop
13 13. Allan Simonsen to Charlton Athletic
12 12. Alejandro Sabella to Sheffield United
11 11. Johan Cruyff to L.A. Aztecs
10 10. Tommy Lawton to Notts County
9 9. Rivaldo to Bunyodkor Tashkent
8 8. Paul Merson to Tamworth
7 7. Paul Gascoigne to Boston
6 6. Julien Faubert to Real Madrid
5 5. Edgar Davids to Barnet
4 4. Sol Campbell to Notts County
3 3. Ronnie O'Brien to Juventus
2 2. George Best to Dunstable & Jewish Guild
1 1. Socrates to Garforth Town
The transfer of Socrates to Garforth Town is truly the most bizarre transfer in the history of the game, and it is difficult to fathom a stranger one ever occurring. The late, great Socrates was one of the greatest midfielders to ever grace a football field. He was composed and graceful with all the footballing intelligence and ability to create chances at a whim. He spent his entire career in Brazil, retiring in 1989, before returning to the game in 2004, joining Yorkshire minnows Garforth Town. The Brazil legend played only 12 minutes for the club, who played in the ninth tier of English football.
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