Players Who Turned Down Big Money Moves!
After 15 years at Juventus is hard to imagine Gigi Buffon anywhere else, but the Italian almost never joined the bianconeri. A breakout star with Parma the six foot three stopper was courted by Barcelona with the Catalans making a lucrative offer to try and solve their goalkeeping issues at the time Buffon thought Juventus was the bigger club as Barca hadn’t reached the Champions League final in seven years whereas the old lady had appeared in three of the previous six but the deciding factor was Buffon father who convinced his son to stay in his homeland. Buffon has won seven titles since as well as the World Cup but that European trophy continues to elude him.
Buffon Juve teammate Dani Alves left Barcelona after 8 years with the club in 2016 but he might have taken a longer flight out of Catalunya. An unnamed Chinese side reportedly went in hard for the Brazilian offering him around 30 million euros over three years around the same wages as Karim Benzema. The move would have made Alves one of football’s best-paid players joining countryman Alex Teixeira, and Hulk in the cash-rich Chinese super league and it would have been understandable – after six titles and three Champions leagues if Alves had taken the money and put his feet up nobody would have been surprised instead he switched to Italy.
Uruguayan center-half Godin cost Atletico Madrid just 6.6 million pounds from Villarreal back in 2010 and the player was 27 before he started to be recognized as one of the world’s best defenders. Powerful and quick with great anticipation Godin had helped the yellow submarine to their best-ever finish in 2008 finishing second above Barcelona and Godin dominance in athletics 2014 title win attractive major interests from Manchester City who was seeing injuries chip away at Vincent Kompany, Manuel Pellegrini met Godin’s 40 million euro buyout clause but the center back couldn’t walk away from Simeone or the enormous wage hike athletic offered him. He has since gone on to take Atletico back to a Champions League final.
Philipp Lahm is good enough to play anywhere in defense or in midfield in fact the German is one of the most versatile players in the modern game and started out on the left of Bayern Munich competing with Bixente Lizarazu and Marcell Jansen. Man United and Barcelona both took an interest in the magic dwarf but Lahm turned them down keen to stay in his hometown and confident the Bayern can win the Champions League he was proved right in 2013 when the Bavarians picked up a DFB Pokal, league and Champions League treble. He has now won an incredible 22 trophies at the Allianz Arena and the world cup as Captain of Germany.
He’s not exactly known for turning down money after the English leftback ditched Arsenal for Chelsea in a shocking betrayal back in 2006. But the defender did reject a major payday back in 2015 when Newcastle United made a cheeky deadline day bid for him. Cole was stuck at Roma with seemingly no hope of getting on the field the Italian giants hadn’t included him in their Champions League squad or even assigned the veteran a number but the Magpies failed to entice him and instead, he joined Los Angeles Galaxy in 2016.
Xavi is one of the world’s greatest ever midfielders his intelligence enabled him to overcome his small stature and lack of speed contributing to 85 goals in 767 games for the Barca but back in 2014 after Barcelona had endured a season without silverware Pep came looking for his former charge offering to double Xavi wages to take him to Germany but Xavi was unwilling to join a European rival instead seeing out one more campaign at Barca and winning the treble for a second time. Xavi also turned our moves to the MLS before the money eventually got the best of him and he switched to Qatari side al-sadd in 2015.
He may be a legend in Liverpool now but Steven Gerrard almost ditched the Reds more than once in 2004 Jose Mourinho tried to take the scout to Chelsea and Gerrard was convinced reportedly texting the Portuguese coach to let him know that he would join the Blues however Gerrard dad told him he could stay at Anfield and become a legend, a year later Gerrard was holding the Champions League trophy aloft but Mourinho wasn’t finished during his reign at Real Madrid the manager once again tried to recruit Gerrard but this time he got nowhere and in 2015 he left Europe all together this time for LA having never played a minute for another European club.
In 2003 Ronaldinho had outgrown Paris Saint-Germain where he played alongside Mauricio Pochettino and looked certain to be on his way to Old Trafford. Ronaldinho said the deal was a couple of details away from complete while United officials claimed that the Brazilian was 48 hours from pulling on the shirt rather than last-minute Ronaldinho’s friend Sandro Rosell called the player to say he was about to be elected as Barcelona president and that he wanted him at the camp nou the paperwork was rushed through and Ronaldinho became a Barca man picking up two domestic titles and a Champions League medal and winning the Ballon d’Or in 2005.
It might be rare for a world-class player but Franck Ribéry has never played in Spain or England but clubs from both countries made efforts for the Frenchman back in 2008. Bayern had picked him up from Marseille a year earlier and ribéry had been named the Footballer of the year in his first season. Real Madrid and Chelsea smashed their piggy banks and tried to pry the winger out of Bavaria with the Blues tabling an offer which Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge called utter madness, in the end, the money didn’t matter with Bayern laying on the charm and persuading ribéry that he would be the centerpiece of the side.
Unbelievably Francesco Totti has been in the Roma team since 1993 and has stuck with his side through highs and lows. The Italian was one of the most gifted forwards of his generation capable of playing upfront and as a number 10 and taking Roma to the title in 2001 their first Serie A win in 18 years. Barcelona and Real Madrid both wanted the gladiator but Totti outside Roma was simply unimaginable however in 2016 he did admit that he wished he could have played for Real Madrid if it hadn’t meant leaving his beloved Roma still going strong at 40 years old Totti is the ultimate story of loyalty.
Jamie Vardy exploded in 2015 at the age of 28 scoring 24 league goals for Leicester City as they run to a surprise title win the Englishman who was signed for just 1 million pounds from non-league Fleetwood Town caught the attention of the divisions Giants as did his 20 million pound buyout clause. Arsenal triggered that clause looking for an alternative to the slightly more ponderous Olivier Giroud but Vardy departed for Euro 2016 without making a decision on whether he would leave the champions however Leicester City made a huge contract offer to re-sign their star and the Gunners were left empty-handed.