Futbol Transfer Window is Exciting and Frustrating At the Same Time

Anyone who follows the game of futbol and the various leagues overseas knows not to get too attached to one of the team’s players unless he is a legend like Lionel Messi who I do not see leaving Barcelona anytime soon. Now that the seasons have ended for these leagues, the transfer window to sign new players is open through August 31 meaning futbol fans may be seeing many familiar faces changing uniforms before their next season begins.

The top transfer is Italian forward Paulo Dybala moving from Palermo to Juventus for 32 million. This will definitely help Juventus if top scorer Carlos Tevez leaves for Liverpool or even returns to Argentina to join Boca Juniors. Brazilian right back Danilo is heading to Real Madrid from FC Porto for 31.5 million. Young Netherlands International Memphis Depay will be joining the EPL this year at age 21 playing for Manchester United who are paying PSV Eindhoven a 27.5 million transfer. An interesting player who has attracted a great deal of interest and is a free transfer would be German Sami Khedira who went to the bench as manager Carlos Ancelotti changed his lineup. No way Khedira returns to Madrid. Rumors have him likely headed to Juventus where he could definitely be a difference in the midfield.

What bothers me about futbol is that there is not a salary cap. Top teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Chelsea, and Manchester United, to name a few, can keep paying top transfer fees and obtaining the top players. It creates some great teams that are fun to watch as they play a brilliant brand of futbol, but each league only seems to have 4-5 teams even capable of winning the league title. It is like Major League Baseball. The teams that have the most money are the ones that put together the best, most competitive team that is not only able to compete in league play, but in tournaments like the UEFA Champion’s League.

Barcelona having the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez up top is like a real-life video game where these players combined to have the most Spanish league goals scored by a trio of teammates this year with 120 goals. Again, exciting to watch, but not much of a challenge for many teams in La Liga.

Major League Soccer uses its own version of a salary cap which is 3.3 million per team for the 20 highest paid players. However, MLS started the designated player rule in 2007 that allows MLS to sign a player normally through a transfer fee for the rights to acquire the player. An example of this are 2015 designated players such as Kaka, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Sebastian Giovinco, and David Villa who are all making in excess of six million per season. There is nothing wrong with this if the league chooses to place these players equitably throughout the league. Instead, top players are placed in some of the biggest television markets. When was the last time a player comparable to the players mentioned above were placed in a city like Colorado that has 6 wins in its last 48 games? I know MLS is trying to push NYCFC in its inaugural season, but it doesn’t seem fair to pair up Lampard and a rumored Andrea Pirlo in the middle of the park feeding balls to Villa up top when a team like Colorado could use a talent like Pirlo.

As the overseas transfer window progresses, look for possibly more players with expiring contracts to find new teams. Barca’s Dani Alves is among some top free agent names who can make an impact elsewhere. AC Milan’s Nigel De Jong is another top free agent as is 37 year-old Didier Drogba who will not be returning to Chelsea. Even adding one or two new starters to a lineup can have dramatic results.

And that’s as I see it!

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