RE Soccer Fanatics React to an Unforgettable Transfer Season

David Pulido '22

The much-anticipated summer soccer transfer window did not disappoint, leaving soccer fans glued to their screens and refreshing their sports apps throughout the entirety of the season. Dating from July 1 to August 31, the transfer window saw an unprecedented number of world-renowned stars make major moves to new clubs despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the financial constraints that it has brought. 

How has COVID-19 affected the soccer world? 

As with any other sport, COVID-19 deeply impacted the soccer community, particularly the financial side of nearly every team. Soccer enthusiast Juan Rivera ‘22 believes that COVID’s direct effect on team funding caused the unparalleled recent transfer window. “I think that COVID-19 caused some teams to lack the necessary funds to keep some of their higher-paid players. This caused a lot of elite players to seek transfers to teams such as Paris Saint Germain, which can afford their salaries while maintaining an extremely high level of play within the team,” he said. 

The recent transfer window saw many players move on free transfers. This happened because clubs could no longer afford to finance marquee players’ wages and contracts due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Many players were torn between two options: take a wage cut to remain loyal to their team or find a new team that could afford their requested wages.  

Who were the major winners and losers of the transfer window? 

With so many major transfers, the window saw many clear winners and losers. The entire summer was a waiting game for soccer supporters around the world who desperately read articles surrounding the latest transfers, trying to figure out where the superstars would end up. Looking back on recent transfer windows, there were many major transfers but nowhere near the same volume that came during the summer. So, who were the winners of the summer transfer season? 

The biggest winners were Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) through their additions of Ronaldo and Messi, respectively. Not only did Manchester United manager Ole Solskjaer finally sign young talent Jadon Sancho from Germany’s talented Borussia Dortmund roster, but to the shock of the entire soccer world, he was also able to complete the signing of club legend Cristiano Ronaldo and bring the superstar back to his home of Old Trafford. 

On the other hand, PSG saw the addition of many world-renowned players, but most importantly, they were able to acquire Lionel Messi in a jaw-dropping signing that nobody saw coming.  

Despite Messi’s disputes with ex-Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu last year, this transfer was both radical and unprecedented. In the end, it all came down to the financial side of things, as Barcelona could no longer afford Messi’s lucrative wages, even with the Argentine star’s concession to take major pay cuts. Aside from Messi, PSG was also able to sign the likes of Real Madrid’s club legend defender Sergio Ramos, young star wing backs Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes, Liverpool’s midfield workhorse Georginho Wijnaldum, and Italy’s breakout Euro Tournament star Gianluigi Donnaruma.  

Who does the community think is the major winner of the Transfer Window? 

Gabriel Pulido ‘21, Juan Rivera ‘22, and former Varsity Soccer Assistant Coach Mario Vicente all believe it was PSG. According to Vicente, “they were able to sign some of the best players in the world in many different positions on free transfers. Players wanted to increase their wages at their old clubs and when they were told they could not they simply let their contract expire and transferred out for free. With players like Georginho Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos, and Lionel Messi on their roster they should be favorites for the upcoming Champions League.” 

What do the transfers of Messi and Ronaldo signify for the soccer world? 

The transfers of Messi and Ronaldo symbolize the end of an era. Ransom Everglades’ soccer fanatics can only sit back and watch as chapters close in the soccer world. 

Juan Rivera ‘22 believes that these transfers are the “beginning of the end for Messi and Ronaldo’s era of dominance in the sport. Ronaldo’s return to his old team, Manchester United, is like the last dance for him before he retires.”  

Does this transfer season signal a new era of dominance for the English Premier League? 

Reviewing the summer transfer season, it is obvious that now, more than ever, the Premier League has emerged as the most dominant league in Europe. The Premier League spent big this window, and the sheer amount of talent that transferred into the league reflects the popularity of the league itself, which has been the most viewed league in the world over the past few years.  

Put simply by Rivera, “the Spanish League’s era of dominance is over. This transfer window exposed the fact that the Premier League is by far the strongest league in Europe. The Premier League’s widespread popularity has given it a lot of funding to the point where they have the ability to spend $1.37 billion in a single transfer window.” 

With England’s league labeled the “most competitive league” over recent few years, it seems that the transfer window only reaffirmed this position. With the 2019 edition of the Champions League seeing an all-English final, it is likely that we will be seeing more of this in years to come, with the singular exception of PSG’s super team. 

Ronaldo’s return to the English Premier League further cements its dominance. With arguably the four best teams in the world, the Premier League’s fixtures are a spectacle for any Ransom Everglades soccer fanatic. 

Will this Transfer Window ever be topped?
Quite simply, no. The recent transfer seemed more like a fantasy than a reality for soccer supporters. With the completed transfers of superstars such as Romelu Lukaku, Jack Grealish, and Sergio Ramos being followed by transfers of the two players behind the “GOAT” debate that has gone on for over a decade, this transfer season could not have been more perfect. Additionally, this transfer window was in large part due to COVID’s impact on the transfer market, which has already begun to subside. The only thing left to do for soccer supporters is to sit back, relax, and watch the effects of this incredible transfer window unravel during the season.