The European domestic leagues may have already begun but the post-World Cup malaise—a hangover for the winning Spanish—is finally over. With the close of the transfer window and thus the end of the associated player movement, players, managers, fans, and everyone in between must accept their fates for the next four crucial months. For some, prospects are especially brighter than others, adeptly wheeling and dealing in a financial climate during which few have dared to venture. And for an even smaller number of clubs, fortunes will look up for years to come with moves like the six listed below.
1. David Villa to Barcelona for 40 million euros
Announced prior to the World Cup, its impact was overshadowed by the impending summer showcase. But after Villa’s performance in South Africa, there’s no denying the fact that the best striker in the world has joined the best team in the world, a group of guys with whom Villa has already conquered both Europe and the world. In the process, he also pushed two stars out of the door, Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
2. James Milner, Aleksander Kolarov, Jerome Boateng, David Silva, Yaya Toure, and Mario Balotelli to Manchester City for a combined 122 million pounds
Six players who’d start on almost any squad in the world. The addition of Milner could spell a sharp decline for his old club Aston Villa. Same for goes for Valencia now that Silva (and David Villa) has also left his longtime home. But perhaps the most intriguing move is that of black Italian striker Mario Balotelli. Finally out of Milan, he may find life in England easier and could also explore his limitless potential under the guise of probably the only coach that could get through to him.