It has been a summer of chartbuster transfers around Europe, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema, Diego, Felipe Melo, Diego Milito, Thiago Motta, Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez all involved in big-money moves. The latest deal to raise eyebrows saw Barcelona pay Inter €43.25 million plus Samuel Eto’o for Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Inter have a long history of exchanging players. A few have turned out to be positive, others negative, and some have been downright comical, including the swap deal that saw Fabio Cannavaro join Juventus in 2004.
Below are the Top 10 Crazy Inter Swap Deals, with the successful transfers at the top of the list, and the disastrous ones at the bottom…
10) Christian Vieri to Inter from Lazio for €33m + Diego Simeone – 1999
Vieri more than paid back his transfer fee, scoring over 100 goals in his six years at San Siro. Unfortunately he failed to win a major trophy, whereas Simeone won the Scudetto at Lazio in his first season.
9) Adriano to Inter from Flamengo for €3.5m + Vampeta - 2001
Adriano was an unknown 19-year-old when he arrived from Flamengo for what can now be considered a paltry sum. The Emperor has had his personal troubles along the way and has since moved back to Flamengo, but for a while in the middle of the decade he was probably the best striker in the world. Midfielder Vampeta, on the other hand, is still made fun of in Italy eight years after leaving the peninsula.
8) Gianluca Pagliuca to Inter from Sampdoria for €4.1m + Walter Zenga & Riccardo Ferri – 1994
Two Italia ‘90 stars in exchange for a goalkeeper may seem peculiar at first, but in truth Zenga and Ferri were both ageing and past their best, while Pagliuca was at his peak and would enjoy five fine years in Nerazzurro, winning one UEFA Cup.
7) Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Barcelona from Inter for €43.25 million + Samuel Eto’o – 2009
Time will tell if this is a success or not. Ibrahimovic has been Inter’s main man for three years, their matchwinner and lifesaver. Economically the Nerazzurri have done well, but the results will be shown on the pitch.
6) Diego Milito & Thiago Motta to Inter from Genoa for €16m plus Robert Acquafresca, Francesco Bolzoni and a number of Primavera players.
The two stars of Genoa’s 2008-09 season arrived at Inter this summer in a massive exchange – will the South Americans boost the club’s chances of winning the Champions League?
5) Ricardo Quaresma to Inter from Porto for €18.6m + Pele
The undoubted flop of the 2008-09 season. The Italian press predicted before Quaresma even kicked a ball that he would be a disaster, and they were not wrong. Did the inclusion of a certain ‘Pele’ in the swap jinx the Portuguese winger?
4) Ivan Zamorano to Inter from Real Madrid for €1m + Roberto Carlos – 1996
Zamorano scored goals galore during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, but he was almost 30 when he joined Inter. Despite largely doing well for the Beneamata, what was Massimo Moratti thinking when he agreed to pay Madrid €1m, as well as release the best young left back in the world? The 23-year-old Brazilian would become a La Liga legend.
3) Francesco Coco to Inter from Milan in a straight swap for Clarence Seedorf – 2002
Brace yourselves for the next three swap deals. The first involves the decision to swap Hollywood wannabe Coco for Champions League Dutch master Clarence Seedorf. The former would spend the next five years either injured, on-loan, on reality shows or being stitched-up (and crying like a little baby) on Italian television. The latter would form part of the best midfield in Europe this decade.
2) Andrea Pirlo to Milan from Inter for €2.8m + Andres Guglielminpietro – 2001
Another member of that brilliant Milan midfield was Pirlo, who a year before Seedorf also moved across the fashion capital in a trade involving the average Argentine everyone lazily called ‘Guly’. Pirlo would soon develop into the best deep-lying playmaker in the world, Guly would become even more of a nobody.
1) Fabian Carini to Inter from Juventus in a straight swap for Fabio Cannavaro - 2004
At No.1 – it could only be Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro. The Neapolitan had had a few injury troubles during his two-year spell at Inter, but there was no doubting that he was still a world class defender. As for goalkeeper Carini, he had barely played a game for Juventus during his four years there. Luciano Moggi used his famous trick-tactic of telling the press how good Carini was in order to increase his price and fool those naive enough to believe him, and then promptly straight-swapped him for Cannavaro. The most hilarious transfer in recent history, Canna would be the world’s best defender between 2004 and 2006, while Carini would play four games for Inter in three years before disappearing off to Spanish minnows Real Murcia.
What are your views on this topic? What do you believe to be Inter’s most crazy exchange deal? Goal.com wants to know what YOU think…
Carlo Garganese, Goal.com