The 2018 FIFA World Cup was really a remarkable one, producing a lot of entertainment, surprises and interesting memories that will stay on the hearts of football fans for a very long time. With over 3.2 billion viewers worldwide, the tournament also lived up to its hype, becoming one of the most-watched events of the year so far.
While the World Cup was still in progress in Russia, the transfer window was also wide open, allowing European clubs to participate in transfer activities. In fact, the tournament never slowed things down, with several clubs involving themselves heavily in the market as they worked towards strengthening various areas of their squads before the next campaign begins.
During its 32-day period, many superstars seized the opportunity to secure their dream moves. With many top players swapping clubs during the World Cup, we take a look at 5 famous transfers that took place while the competition was going on in Russia:
#5. Jorginho (Napoli to Chelsea
Juventus v SSC Napoli – Serie A
Jorginho has linked up with Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea
After several weeks of speculations regarding his future at the Stadio San Paolo, Napoli midfielder, Jorginho has finally decided which club he would be playing for next season. Despite attracting interest from clubs across various countries in Europe, the superstar finally saw reasons why he should leave for England.
Premier League champions, Manchester City were leading the race to sign 26-year-old, following his impressive performances against The Citizens in the Champions League last term. However, Pep Guardiola missed out on his target as the midfielder decided to link-up with his manager, Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea instead.
The Blues succeeded in luring the playmaker to Stamford Bridge, thanks to a £57 million deal which convinced the Seria A giants to part ways with their prized asset. Jorginho has signed a long-term contract with The Blues, earning £102,000 per week and is expected to remain in London for the next 5 years of his career.
#4. Thomas Lemar (Monaco to Atletico Madrid)
Troyes AC v AS Monaco – Ligue 1
Lemar will feature alongside Griezmann at Atletico next term
While their European counterparts were busy recruiting new superstars during the World Cup, the Spanish clubs were also working hard to strengthen their squads as the competition was progressing. Monaco winger, Thomas Lemar is one of the incredible superstars that will move to the Spanish top flight once he departs from the French national team this summer.
In fact, the attacker’s move to the Spanish top flight has already been confirmed, with Atletico Madrid recently announcing that they have signed him in a deal worth €60 million to lure him away from the French league.
After winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup with France, Thomas Lemar is already looking forward to joining his international teammates at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium. The likes of Antoine Griezmann and Lucas Hernandez will be prepreparing to give him a warm welcome to the Spanish capital.
#3. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City to Manchester City)
Leicester City v Sheffield United – The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round
The Algerian has finally earned his dream move to Manchester City
Premier League outfit, Manchester City had a successful campaign last term, winning both the Premier League title and the Carling Cup in Pep Guardiola’s second season at the Etihad Stadium. The Citizens are looking forward to building on that success by strengthening their star-studded squad as they prepare ahead of the upcoming campaign.
The Manchester outfit began their transfer business by snapping Algerian winger, Riyad Mahrez, from their fellow English club, Leicester City, this summer. Pep Guardiola has been a big admirer of the attacker for quite some time and he almost secured his signing in January, but the failure to agree on a fee with The Foxes ruled out the deal during the winter.
Mahrez became City’s first signing of the summer, completing a £60 million move to the Etihad Stadium. He signed a 5-year contract with the Premier League giants that would see him pocket £200,000 weekly.
#2. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus to Paris Saint Germain)
Juventus v Hellas Verona FC – Serie A
Buffon will ply his trade in the French top flight next season
Even while the World Cup was going on in Russia, transfer activities were still going smoothly, with many players seizing the opportunity to open new chapters in their respective careers. Juventus legend, Gianluigi Buffon is another top superstar who secured a famous move while the tournament was still on fire.
After spending 17 years with the Old Ladies, the goalkeeper decided to end his relationship with the Seria A champions, completing a famous move to join his international compatriot, Marco Veratti at Paris Saint Germain.
At 40, it is evident that Buffon is not planning to slow down, with his move to the French top flight proving to be a new challenge in his illustrious career. Few weeks after switching to Paris, the Italian has quickly featured for his new club, starring in PSG’s 4-2 defeat at the hands of Chambly last week.
#1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid to Juventus)
Club Atletico de Madrid v Real Madrid CF – La Liga
Ronaldo sent shockwaves across the globe with his shocking departure from Real Madrid
It is the biggest transfer of the decade, not in terms of fees or hype, but in terms of value. Real Madrid legend, Cristiano Ronaldo officially departed the Santiago Bernabeu while the World Cup was going on, signing a 4-year contract with Seria A giants, Juventus.
Constant tax issues, a perceived breakdown of relationship with Florentino Perez and the quest to take on a new challenge are believed to be the factors behind the attacker’s decision to end his 9-year stay at the Spanish capital. Although he has left the club, Ronaldo will always be remembered as one of the greatest players to ever represent the Los Blancos.
The Portuguese landed in Turin yesterday in order to complete his medical. According to the reports, the winger has passed his medical with the Italian side and is already looking forward to proving his worth in the Seria A.
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