3. Robin Van Persie- Arsenal to Man United
"I'm coming home." – Robin van Persie on returning to Old Trafford.
– 194 Arsenal games
– 86 Man United games pic.twitter.com/S7sMEigTtj
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) October 20, 2016
Robin Van Persie scored 132 goals in 278 matches for Arsenal but only won 1 FA Cup in 2004/05. However, when he decided to cross the risky bridge to join Manchester United in 2012/13 season, he netted only 30 goals in 48 matches in all competitions to help Sir Alex Ferguson lift the Premier League in his final season.
ON THIS DAY: In 2012, Robin van Persie scored just 3 minutes into his first match against Arsenal as a Man United player.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 3, 2016
The Dutch legend will always look at that year as his best in his career. The Gunners fans called him a traitor but he won the League. In recent years, Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez, Henrikh Mkhitaryan have also made the switch.
2. Luis Figo- Barcelona to R. Madrid
⚽ #OTD in 2000:
Luis Figo courted controversy by signing for Real Madrid from rivals Barcelona.
— Half Time Cuppa (@Halftime_Cuppa) July 24, 2018
Luis Figo is still hated by Barcelona fans today. This is because, after five years of success at Camp Nou, he decided to ditch the Catalans for their rivals Real Madrid. The deal was made possible by a controversial release clause. The Los Blancos activated it by paying €62 million. The same scenario happened with Neymar in 2017.
📆 24th July 2000
📝 Luis Figo joins Real Madrid from Barcelona
💰 World record £38m
🐷 Barca's fans welcomed him back to the Camp Nou in style pic.twitter.com/sKFwrzlE3I
— WeLoveBetting (@WeLoveBettingUK) July 24, 2017
The Portuguese had helped Barca lift 2 La Liga crowns, 2 Copa del Rey Cups, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. He was their best player and it was painful to see him leave. When he returned for the famous El Clasico in Madrid colors, he faced so much hate that nothing else mattered.
The Camp Nou welcomes back Luis Figo, 21 October 2000. (Photo: Tony Marshall/EMPICS) pic.twitter.com/0UsDQVUGaH
— A Football Archive* (@FootballArchive) March 31, 2016
There were banners reading all manner of hate words like ‘Traitor’, ‘Judas’, ‘Mercenary’ etc. All manner of objects were thrown to the pitch including a pig head. He was booed every time he touched the ball. Madrid lost the game that night.
1. Ronaldo de Lima- Barca & Madrid, Inter & AC Milan
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima!
Only one man has scored for both Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Clasico, and both Inter and AC Milan in the Milan derby. pic.twitter.com/OnE0jAD4Gl
— Apostle Derrick Kizito (@kizitopapa1) August 22, 2018
Brazil legend Ronaldo de Lima career was unique in a way because it is difficult to see how he managed to play for four rival teams in Europe without causing a lot of trouble.
The Ballon d’Or winner shined in 1996/97 season playing for Barcelona. He netted 47 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions. He was not happy in Camp Nou. He decided to join Inter Milan in the summer of 1997. He went on to play at San Siro for almost five years.
In 2002, he helped the Samba Boys win the World Cup in Korea/Japan. Real Madrid signs stars and he was ready for the big stage. Santiago Bernabeu became his home for the next five years scoring 104 goals in 177 matches. In 2006, he returned to Italy to play for Inter Milan rivals AC Milan. He lasted for 2 years before returning to his home country to end his career at Corinthians. So, he is one of the few legends who played for four biggest rivals in Spain and Italy. However, he failed to win Serie A and UEFA Champions League despite playing for all those big clubs. He won La Liga twice with Madrid and Copa del Rey at Camp Nou. He lifted 2 Ballon d’Or awards in 1997 and 2002.