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Italia Weekly Podcast

 Posted by on February 19, 2013 at 12:39 am  Blogs/Media, Italy, Podcast, Serie A
Feb 192013

Flying solo Brian Sanders soldiers on to bring the latest in the Serie A and the journeys of Italian teams in the Champions League and Europa League.

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Jan 112013

Brian Sanders looks at the results of the weekend and Coppa Italia results from midweek before examining the weekend’s fixture in the Serie A

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Dec 082012

Brian Sanders goes it alone as he looks at the fixtures for this weekend in Serie A, as well as examining results in UEFA and Coppa Italia

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Interested in picking against the members of Global Football Today? Join the group for Footy picks every week of the fixtures of La Liga, Serie A, and English Premier League by going here and joining the Global Football Today Italia group, password is calcio

Dec 072012

It’s always bothers me when rankings are done with No.1 up high. Well we at Global Football Today do not encourage laziness, so you’ll have to start at No.16 and work your way down!

16) Galatasaray

The Turkish giants currently sit atop the table in Turkey, but only by a single point. They finished second in Group H, just two points behind Manchester United, by the skin of their teeth over Romania’s Cluj. After losing their first two matches against Manchester United (away) and Portugal’s Braga (home), they managed to earn at least a point in each of their remaining group matches. Burak Yilmaz quietly tied Ronaldo with six goals to lead all goal scorers in the group stage.

15) Shakhtar Donetsk

Shakhtar Donetsk are currently running away with the Ukrainian top flight title, but needed some help from the tiebreaker to advance out of Group E with Juventus. Many will point to Chelsea’s struggles, rather than Donetsk’s triumphs for an explanation as to why the latter advanced over the former. They’ll need to shore up their defense a little bit if they want to make a run at the quarterfinals.

14) Celtic

Despite the financial meltdown of their crosstown rivals, Celtic are locked in a battle for the top spot in their domestic league. The Hoops played very well in both matches against Group G winners Barcelona to help them beat out Portugal’s Benfica for the runner up spot. One has to wonder if they have enough left in the tank to reach the quarterfinals though.

13 FC Porto

Porto are currently neck and neck with Benfica in their domestic league, but advanced out of Group A thanks to some lackluster performances from Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Zagreb. Even group winners Paris-Saint Germain (PSG) haven’t exactly looked like world beaters in this competition. Porto may be battling for a domestic league title, but they’ve yet to be tested in their European campaign so far.

12) Paris-Saint Germain (PSG)

And speaking of the Group A winners, PSG haven’t looked like the superpower they were projected to be after their summer spending spree. The French club paid a hefty price for the services of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the team has struggled to gel under the direction of Carlo Ancelotti. There are questions being asked about Ancelotti’s ability to get PSG to play to their lofty expectations and rightly so considering they are currently sitting fourth in Ligue 1.

11) Malaga

On the field, Malaga impressed many after winning Group C without losing a single match. But there are off the field issues surrounding their spending spree that goes back to 2011 creeping up at the worst possible time. They have the talent, but they’ll need to be mentally prepared to deflect the controversy surrounding the club’s financial state if they are to progress to the quarterfinals.

10) Valencia

Valencia are having a bit of a crisis in La Liga as they currently sit mid-table. But despite such a poor domestic campaign, they finished tied with Bayern Munich on points and only failed to win Group F because of tiebreakers. Their defense was solid, conceding just five goals in six group matches. Their desire to use this competition as a saving grace for their domestic struggles could make them a very dangerous opponent in the Round of 16.

9) Milan

Yes, they’ve struggled mightily in Serie A and they only advanced out of Group C by a single point. But this Italian side still has a lot of talent and plenty of pedigree in European competition. Anything can happen in a two leg series and nobody wants to have to visit the San Siro with a berth in the quarterfinals at stake.

8) Arsenal

Arsene Wenger’s squad are in the middle of a really poor domestic campaign. However, they still managed to finish second in Group B comfortably and Wenger can also approach the Round of 16 with a loose team that has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

7) Schalke

Schalke won Group B comfortably without losing a single group match. Their domestic struggles are not as worrisome as those of Arsenal, Milan, and PSG and they have some momentum going forward thanks to their impressive performances against a well rounded group. Klass-Jan Huntelaar had an excellent group stage run with four goals scored in six matches. The German side will lean heavily upon him to try and advance to the quarterfinals.

6) Manchester United

It wasn’t pretty, but Manchester United managed to win Group H despite a pair of ugly losses. Still, Sir Alex Ferguson has depth at the forward position and knows how to tactically dictate a two leg series. It’s hard to bet against the Red Devils in any major competition, especially if they can get a favorable draw.

5) Real Madrid

Real Madrid finished second comfortably in this year’s “Group of Death”: Group D. Unfortunately, they’ve struggled in La Liga and currently sit five points behind local rivals Atletico Madrid for second place. Still, Jose Mourinho has plenty of talent to work with and it’s hard to see them crashing out in the Round of 16 regardless of who they draw.

4) Borussia Dortmund

The surprise winners of Group D, Dortmund have relied heavily upon young, up and coming German talents like Marco Reus and Mario Goetze to get the job done in the group stage. Currently they sit in third, 11 points behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga but that speaks more to Bayern’s success than Dortmund’s shortcomings. With so many young, highly skilled players many would think Dortmund can make a run at the European title, but there’s no telling how they’ll react to the pressure of a two leg series.

3) Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich got off to an incredibly hot start in the Bundesliga by winning their first 11 matches. That success has carried over to their European campaign where they beat out Valencia on tiebreakers to win Group F. Yes, they had a bit of a mental meltdown against Chelsea in the Champions League final last season, but they still got to there by beating great teams like Real Madrid along the way. There’s no reason to think they can’t duplicate that run, especially if they continue to maintain such stellar form in the Bundesliga.

2) Barcelona

Lionel Messi gave everyone a massive scare after he came on late against Benfica in Barcelona’s Group G finale and was promptly carted off. However, he was back at practice the next day and with a six point cushion on Atletico Madrid in La Liga, they won’t feel the need to rush him back right away. Look for the Catalans to be right there in the thick of things leading up to the semifinals and possibly the final.

1) Juventus 

Like Bayern and Barcelona, Juventus currently sit in first in their domestic league and they won their group (Group E) with relative ease. Andrea Pirlo has picked up where he left off at the Euro 2012 competition with Italy and Sebastian Giovinco is quickly turning into a reliable goal scorer alongside Fabio Quagliarella. Right now Juventus look like a team that cannot be beaten over the course of a two leg series and until someone does so they have to be considered the favorites to win the whole thing.


We’ll have to wait until December 20 for the draw, but until then be on the lookout for a special Global Football Today podcast recapping the group stage results!





Nov 242012

Brian Sanders (@sportingkcgft) reviews the midweek European action and previews the league fixtures for this weekend including the Derby di Sicilia.

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Sep 042012

Francesco Totti rolled back the years with a brilliant performance against Inter at the San Siro. The veteran Italian assisted two in Roma 3-1 win over Inter. AC Milan won away at Bologna thanks to a hat trick from new signing Giampaolo Pazzini. Juventus still unbeaten in over a year won 4-1 away at Udinese.

Saturday 1st September

There were two games on Saturday evening; the first was Torino 3-0 home win over Pescara. Goals from Alessandro Sgrigna, Matteo Brighi and Rolando Bianchi gave Torino the win. Bianchi made amends after missing a first half spot kick.

The second Saturday game was AC Milan trip to Bologna where Giampaolo Pazzini took centre stage. First the Italian won a spot kick after being brought down by Nicolo Cherubin and Il Pazzo made no mistake giving AC the lead. Bologna won a penalty just before half time when Antonio Nocerino brought down Alessandro Diamanti. Diamanti made no mistake from the spot. AC Milan won the game with two late goals from Giampaolo Pazzini and made his first start for the club a memorable one.

Sunday 2nd September

There remaining eight games were spread around the 6pm kick off and the 8.45pm due to the heat. The only 6pm kick off was Juventus trip to Udine to take on Udinese. Juventus trounced a sorry looking Udinese side that were smarting after their Champions League exit to Braga in midweek. Arturo Vidal opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Sebastian Giovinco clashed with Udinese keeper Zeljko Brkic which saw the Udinese keeper sent off. Mirko Vucinic doubled Juventus lead just before half time. Two second goals from Sebastian Giovinco further extended the lead for Juventus. Andrea Lazzari did pull one back for Udinese but it was to late for the home side.

Sampdoria unbeaten start to the season continued with a home win over Siena. Maxi Lopez scored his first goal for Sampdoria and gave them the lead. Simone Vergassola equalised after Emanuele Calaio was brought down in the penalty area and had his spot kick hit the upright. Daniele Gastaldello made up for amends for giving away the penalty and netted the winner with a powerful header.

Parma beat Chievo at home 2-0, thanks to goals from a header from Ishak Belfodil and former AS Roma right back Aleandro Rosi

Lazio made it two wins out of two over Palermo who now haven’t won a game this season. Miroslav Klose opened the scoring seven minutes before the half time whistle. Antonio Candreva doubled the lead early in the second half with a fantastic long range effort. A third was added ten minutes from time and it was Miroslav Klose second of the game.

Cagliari and Atalanta played out a 1-1 draw which included two missed penalties and Atalanta going down to ten men. Joaquin Larrivey had Cagliari first spot kick saved by Andrea Consigli. Daniele Conti had the second spot kick saved by Consigli after Victor Ibarbo was brought down. Federico Peluso was sent off for the away side. German Denis opened the scoring for the away side and then Albin Ekdal bundled home the equaliser for Cagliari.

Napoli made it two wins from two with a home win over Fiorentina. Played on a quagmire of a pitch, Napoli took the lead thanks to a Marek Hamsik looping header; Blerim Dzemaili doubled Napoli lead with a low drive from outside of the area. Stevan Jovetic pulled one back for the Viola but it was too late.

There was five goal thriller between Catania and Genoa, the home side coming out on top 3-2, Juracj Kucka gave Genoa the lead in the first half. Catania then hit back with two Gonzalo Bergessio goals. Bosko Jankovic levelled for Genoa with a brilliant long range effort. Free kick specialist Francesco Lodi won it for Catania with a brilliant free kick.

The main attraction in Milan where Inter took on AS Roma at the San Siro, Roma took the lead early in the first half when man of the match Francesco Totti crossed in for Alessandro Florenzi un marked to head home on his debut. Inter levelled on half time when Antonio Cassano turned Nicolas Burdisso and with a deflected effort looped over Maarten Stekelenburg. Two second half goals for Roma won it thanks to Pablo Osvaldo scooped lob finish and the third was added by Brazilian Marquinho. Pablo Osvaldo was then sent off for the away side after picking up two yellow cards.

Sep 012012

Note: All terms are reported. Also, not all of these deals came on the deadline day. Many (such as Luka Modric) come from as far back as Monday. I ordered them in terms of player profile rather than chronology. 

Luka Modric

The deal everyone saw coming: Luka Modric transfers from Tottenham to Real Madrid for 33 million Pounds ($52.2 million). He signed a five year deal.

Clint Dempsey

It came down to the wire but in the end the American forward got his wish and moves on to Tottenham Hotspur.

Nicklas Bendtner

The, shall we say, polarizing Danish striker will join Juventus for a season long loan from Arsenal.

Hugo Lloris

The French goalkeeper completed a deadline move to Tottenham for 10 million Euros ($15.9 million). He’ll be expected to compete with American veteran Brad Friedel for the starting spot.

Javi Martinez

The Athletic Bilbao midfielder joins Bayern Munich for the next five years for a reported Bundesliga record fee of 40 million Euros ($50 million).

Julio Cesar

The Brazilian goalkeeper completed a move to Queens Park Rangers. Much more to come from the London side!

Rafael van der Vaart

The Tottenham midfielder completed a three year move to Hamburg SV in Germany on Deadline Day.


The Brazilian defender moves from Inter Milan to Manchester City for 3 million Pounds ($4.75 million). Not so long ago you could’ve added a zero to that figure and it would not have shocked anyone.

Nigel de Jong

The fierce Dutch midfielder moves from Manchester City to AC Milan for three years.

Gregory van der Wiel

The Ajax fullback joins Paris-Saint Germain for a “meager” 4.5 million Pounds ($7.1 million). PSG made headlines earlier this summer for signing the likes of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Thiago Silva.

Ibrahim Afellay

The Dutch winger joins Schalke from Barcelona on a season long loan. Afellay will not have to worry about missing any Champions League action as the German side qualified for the group stage as well.

Bojan Krkic

After spending last season on loan with Roma, Krkic moves to AC Milan from the Italian capital on a season long loan.

Javi Garcia

The Benfica midfielder completed a deadline move to Manchester City for 16 million Pounds ($25.4 million).

Javier Saviola

Another Benfica player was on the move this week as the Argentine striker completed a move to Malaga in Spain. Malaga qualified for the group stages of the Champions League after a massive spending spree last summer that may or may not have come back to haunt them.

Alberto Gilardino

Once a desirable transfer target for all of Europe, the Italian forward seems to be waning in terms of performance. He completed a low profile move from Bologna to Genoa.

Alessandro del Piero

And speaking of Italian strikers, the legendary Juventus captain has completed a move to, of all places, Sydney FC in the Australian A-League. Del Piero had long been a target of the Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer.


The out of favor Real Madrid midfielder moved to Queens Park Rangers and signed a four year deal.

Giovanni dos Santos

The Mexican international completed a move from Tottenham to Real Mallorca for four years. Dos Santos never could find a regular spot in the First XI under former manager Harry Redknapp.

Andy Carroll

The English striker will join West Ham United on a season long loan from Liverpool. The Hammers failed to convince Carroll to join them permanently after making a club record bid for him several weeks earlier.

Jermaine Defoe

The English striker signed a new three year deal to remain at White Hart Lane with Tottenham.

Dimitar Berbatov

The moody Bulgarian forward completed a deadline move from Manchester United to Fulham after many reports that he was headed to Italy with either Fiorentina or Juventus.

Michael Essien

The Ghanaian midfielder will join Real Madrid on loan from Chelsea. Essien has struggled ever since returning from a horrific knee injury several seasons ago.

Alvaro Pereira

The Porto left sided player completed a four year move to Inter Milan this week.

Moussa Dembele

Fulham sold another up and coming star across London as Dembele joins Clint Dempsey at Tottenham for a 15 million Pound ($23.8 million) fee.

Simon Poulsen

The Danish defender signed a three year deal with Sampdoria after his current deal with AZ Alkmaar expired this summer.

Stephane Sessegnon

The Benin international signed a new deal to remain at Sunderland this week after much speculation throughout the summer that he was headed for a high profile move.

Gaston Ramirez

The Uruguay international was highly sought after all summer long by many high profile clubs, but he ultimately signed with English Premier League newcomers Southampton for a fee of approximately 12 million Pounds ($19 million). That would be by far the highest fee ever paid by Southampton.

Stephane M’Bia

The Cameroon international moved from Marseille to Queens Park Rangers.

Joey Barton

And while it wasn’t a swap deal, the QPR midfielder completed a season long loan to Marseille.

Danny Rose

The Tottenham starlet who played well for Team Great Britain at the London Olympics will join Sunderland for the 2012/13 season.

M’Baye Niang

The 17 year old French striker joins AC Milan from Caen on a three year deal.

Petr Jiracek

The Czech midfielder signs a four year deal with Hamburg after departing Wolfsburg.

Matija Nastajic

The Fiorentina center back will join Manchester City in exchange for 12 million Pounds ($19 million) plus defender Stefan Savic.

Park Chou Young

After being signed by Arsenal last summer, the Korean striker will join Spain’s Celta Vigo on loan for the upcoming season.

Scott Sinclair

The Swansea City winger joins Manchester City for an undisclosed fee on a long term deal.

Pablo Hernandez

Swansea did, however, bring in Valencia winger Pablo Hernandez on a three year deal for 5.5 million Euros ($6.9 million) in order to replace the departing Sinclair.

Ryan Babel

The Dutch winger came to a mutual decision with Hoffenheim to terminate his contract and then proceeded to sign a one year deal with Ajax.

Kieran Richardson

The Sunderland standout joins Fulham on a three year deal with an option for a fourth.

Ahmed El Mohamady

Another Sunderland player on the move, but this was just a season long loan to Hull City. El Mohamady joined the Black Cats last summer.

Charlie Adam

The Scottish master of the “Hollywood Pass” will leave Liverpool and join Stoke City for 4 million Pounds ($6.3 million).

Jay Spearing

Liverpool also chose to loan out their young central midfielder to Bolton for the upcoming season.

Samed Yesil

And in a rather underwhelming move, Liverpool signed Bayer Leverkusen/Germany U-18 standout Samed Yesil.

Carlos Bocanegra

The American defender will leave Rangers and joins Spanish second division side Racing Santandor.

Maurice Edu

Another American departs fallen Scottish giants Rangers. Edu completed a move to Stoke City early in the week.

Zeki Fyers

The Manchester United/England youth defender signed a two year deal with Standard Liege in Belgium.

Thorgan Hazard

Just weeks after being signed, the younger brother of Chelsea star Eden Hazard has been loaned out to Belgium’s Zelte Waregam by the Blues.

Maya Yushida

The Japanese center back signed a three year deal with Southampton.

Richard Wright

The (at times) comically bad goalkeeper signed with Manchester City on a free move.

Bakary Sako

The St. Etienne midfielder completed a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Wolves were relegated to the Championship this past season.

Steed Malbranque

The Lyon midfielder signed a new deal to remain with the French giants.

Fabian Monzon

Lyon also beefed up its defense with the signing of Nice left back Fabian Monzon.

Razak Boukari

The 25 year old Rennes winger joins Wolverhampton on a four year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Jordan Bowery

The former Chesterfield striker signed a three year deal with Aston Villa.

Bryan Oviedo

The Costa Rica international signed with Everton in a deadline deal.

Theo Janssen

The midfielder has come full circle and signed a three year deal with Vitesse Arnhem after leaving Vitesse to play for Ajax.

Damien Perquis

The Sochaux defender signs a three year deal with Real Betis with an option for a fourth.

Massimo Volta

The Sampdoria defender will join Levante on loan for the 2012-13 campaign.

Federico Casarini

The Bologna midfielder will play on loan with Cagliari for the upcoming season.

Mo Bangura

The Celtic/Sierra Leone striker will play for his former club AIK Stockholm on loan until January.

Domingo Cisma

The left back completes a free move to Atletico Madrid from Racing Santandor.

Michael Ciani

The former Bordeaux defender signed a deal with Lazio in Italy.

Michael Rensing

The former Cologne goalkeeper signed a one year deal with Bayer Leverkusen.

Mark Bunn

The Blackburn goalkeeper signed a two year deal with Norwich City where he will be expected to back up John Ruddy.

Mohammed Abu

The Manchester City/Ghana midfielder will join Spain’s Rayo Vallecano on loan this season. Abu is just 20 years of age.

Anestis Argyriou

The 24 year old Greek defender was released by AEK Athens and signed a two year deal with Rangers.

Dane Richards

Just seven games after being traded to the Vancouver Whitecaps, MLS/Jamaica winger Dane Richards found out he will join Burnley during the January transfer window on a free move after his current deal with MLS expired.

Marco Pappa

Originally believed to be leaving in January, it came as quite a shock when it was announced the Chicago Fire midfielder will immediately join Heerenveen in Holland.


Phew! Glad that’s over with! See you again in January!





Aug 172012

robin vanpersie 2312923b Top 10: Most Controversial TransfersWith the news that Robin van Persie has completed his transfer from Arsenal to Manchester United, its only natural that the conversations immediately turn to the historical significance of what just happened.  Here we had a player on top of his game, captaining a top side in England, and now moving to a bitter rival.  So, where does his move stack up historically?  Here is our list!


barmby 150x150 Top 10: Most Controversial Transfers10. Nick Barmby

Barmby’s move from Everton to Liverpool in 2000 is one that generates some emotion on the blue side of Liverpool even to this day. It was the first time since striker Dave Hickson in 1959 that Everton had sold a player to Liverpool.  What made matter worse was when Barmby scored his first goal in Liverpool’s 3-1 Merseyside derby victory, he celebrated extravagantly while the Toffees chanted “Judas.”

cantona left credit1 221x300 Top 10: Most Controversial Transfers9. Eric  Cantona

In 1992 Sir Alex Ferguson may have just pulled off the greatest transfer in Manchester United’s history.  When Eric Cantona left Leeds United at the peak of their powers, he brought the league title with him to Manchester United.  This wasn’t a transfer caused by Leeds needing to sell their best players, and was actually caused by Leeds calling Manchester to inquire about Dennis Irwin!  Needless to say, many believe that the 1.2 million that Leeds got for Cantona was an absolute steal and Leeds never finished higher than Manchester United again.

8. Carlos Tevez

In 2008 Carlos Tevez was a fan favorite at Manchester United.  It was easy to see that Tevez had quality, but with Ronaldo and Rooney it was always going to be hard for him to break into the “star” role at United and this caused a rocky relationship with Fergie.  Manchester United were reluctant to fork over the buyout clause in his contract until the very end.  Substituted off in his final appearance that season, Tevez got a raucus applause from the fans.  Shortly after, Fergie offered a 5 year contract that would have made him one of the highest paid players at United, but Tevez refused.    Shortly after, Carlos signed for rivals Manchester City and the infamous billboard appeared shortly after.  Tevez quickly went from United fan favorite, to absolute hatred.

Carlos Tevez poster 001 Top 10: Most Controversial Transfers

Crujff Feyenoord 219x300 Top 10: Most Controversial Transfers7. Johan Cruyff

Always mentioned in the conversation of greatest players of all time, Cruyff gave his best years to Ajax and Barcelona before winding down his career in America, and finally back home in Holland.  After arriving back at Ajax for two years, and winning two titles, Ajax were reluctant to offer Johan a new contract.  Feeling slighted by the club, Cruyff went out and signed with arch rivals Feyenoord.  Knowing that this would seriously piss off Ajax, Cruyff made the move with every intention of being able to say “suck it” to Ajax.  The following year he did just that, winning the KNVB cup and league title with Feyenoord.

baggio fiorentina scarf 232x300 Top 10: Most Controversial Transfers6. Roberto Baggio

In 1990, riots broke out in Florence, Italy.  Up to 50 people were injured.  Were people upset about unemployment or high taxes? No, they were distraught that Fiorentina’s playmaker and local hero, Roberto Baggio, had just been sold to Juventus.  Despite the fact that the transfer was a record at the time, the Fiorentina supporters were just not having it.  Baggio always claimed his love for Fiorentina, and that was best shown in his first match for Juventus against his former club.  Having won a penalty, Baggio refused to take it.  He was immediately substituted and someone in the crowd threw a Fiorentina scarf at him.  Roberto bent down, picked it up, and firmly planted his lips on it – kissing the badge.  He went on to claim that his blood would forever be purple.

5. Ashley Cole

In January of 2005, Ashley Cole started his journey to become the poster child for “tapping up.”  His actions would leave him with a 100,000 fine from the Premier League for arranging a meeting with then Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and Chief Executive Peter Kenyon at a hotel room to negotiate a transfer.  Cole’s agent also lost his license for 18 months.  Cole’s club, Arsenal, had no clue that all of this was going on.  In the summer of 2005, Ashley signed a one year extension to his contract at Arsenal.  The very next year, Cole was “trembling with anger” when Arsenal presented him an offer of 55k a week.  Chelsea were offering 90k a week.  Cole went so far as to blame Arsenal for using him as a “scapegoat” during this whole fiasco, which resulted in Arsenal leaving him out of their 2006-07 team photograph.  On August 31, 2006 Cole was sold to Chelsea in part exchange for William Gallas.  He also gained the glorious nickname of “Cashley Cole.” Top 10: Most Controversial Transfers

4. John Robertson

robertson 200x300 Top 10: Most Controversial Transfers

In the late 90s, John Robertson was considered one of the top 100 players of all time.  Throughout the 70s and 80s he was the stud of Nottingham Forest, the dominate force in European football.  He scored the winning goal in the 1980 European cup final. To really understand what happens next, its important to understand the relationship of two people: Brian Clough and Peter Taylor.  They were the tag team combo that drove Derby County to the promised land, winning the league title for the first time in their 88 year history in 1972.  After unsuccessful spells at Brighton & Hove Albion and Leeds United (without Taylor), they joined forces again at Nottingham Forest where they won two European cups, a league title, and four league cups.  Taylor retired in 1982, only to be brought out of retirement to manage Derby County – with Clough’s blessing.  John Robertson would be “the straw that broke the camel’s back” in 1983 when Taylor made the move to bring Robertson to Derby without consulting Clough.  In a tabloid article, Clough called Taylor a “snake in the grass” and declared that “if his car broke down and I saw him thumbing a lift, I wouldn’t pick him up, I’d run him over.”  The two men would never speak again.

3. Sol Campbell

sol 281x300 Top 10: Most Controversial Transfers

I don’t think you’ll find a Spurs fan around the world who wouldn’t consider Sol Campbell one of the best players to ever turn out at White Hart Lane.  In 2001, Sol had a choice to make as his contract ran out that summer.  He had spent the better part of a decade at Spurs and had very little to show for it, never achieving better than 7th place in the league.    Campbell was club captain and fan favorite, so naturally many believed him when he continuously promised fans that he would stay.  However, he continued to stall on his contract negotiations.  An enterprising manager by the name of Arsene Wenger made a cheeky attempt to lure the Tottenham man over to Arsenal.  Despite repeatedly insisting he would stay at Spurs, Campbell agreed to Wenger’s contract offer.  Campbell should still be a beloved hero at Spurs, but moving to their hated rivals that summer threw that right out the window.

2. Robin van Persie

So here we are, the current biggest transfer in the world.  Arsenal’s talisman, captain, and current player of the year Robin van Persie is sold to bitter rival Manchester United in the summer of 2012.  Earlier in the year, van Persie had stated on his personal blog that he would not be signing a contract extension with Arsenal because he did not agree with the direction they were headed.  Having lost a myriad of top talent over the last couple of seasons, Robin carried the team on his shoulder all of last season.   Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Emanuel Adebayor, and Kolo Toure are just a few who’ve left since 2009 with their best years still to come.  Robin, being 29, stated that his desire was to win trophies and he felt like Arsenal weren’t on track to do that.  In a transfer drama that has played out for months, there were only ever a few candidates.  van Persie himself indicated that United were his only real destination, but Wenger publicly claimed he’d rather have sold him to someone like PSG.  It was well known there were two prices for Robin, one for United and one for everyone else.  Not least of the issues in this transfer is also the rivalry between Wenger and Fergie themselves, which is only natural when you’ve spent so long at the top fighting with each other for trophies.  Despite perhaps having to pay a little over the odds, Fergie was happy to bring in the top goal scorer in the league in 2011-12.  Arsenal and Manchester United have been bitter rivals, dominating the modern Premier League; it remains to be seen the full impact of this transfer, but given the club’s histories, it should be a sight to see!

Robin+van+Persie Top 10: Most Controversial Transfers

1. Luis Figo

Portugese legend Luis Figo gets the honor of being the biggest controversy ever created by a transfer.  This is the transfer by which all transfers are judged.  The mother of all controversies.  Luis Figo had won everything there was to win at Barcelona in his five years there, with the exception of the Champions League.  He was the leader of Portugal’s “Golden Generation,” and It didn’t matter that he had been a crowd favorite, or that he was a member of one of the best squads in the world.

2000 was a presidential election year for Real Madrid.  Florentino Perez ran on the promise of bringing Figo to Madrid and claimed a secret document that he and Figo had signed.  Figo, meanwhile, denied the affair all together in an interview with Barcelona based paper Sport: “I want to reassure fans that Luís Figo, with all the certainty in the world, will be at the Camp Nou on July 24 to start the season.” On the supposed secret agreement with Pérez, Figo assured readers that “…I’m not mad enough to do something like that.”

figo Top 10: Most Controversial Transfers

In 2000, Figo gladly accepted a move to bitter rivals Real Madrid for 36.2 million, becoming the most expensive player of all time.  Barca fans promptly lost their minds.  In the 24th minute of an el Classico match at the Nou Camp, Figo had a pig’s head thrown at him – which has to be the first time this has ever happened.  Figo was the first of the “galacticos” (which included Zidane, Ronaldo, Beckham, Owen, Raul, Casillas, and Roberto Carlos) to join Madrid to form one of the most brilliant teams to ever grace a pitch.El Classico Pigs head Top 10: Most Controversial Transfers