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Top 10 Bosman moves: Best players to move under ruling including Andrea Pirlo and Robert Lewandowski

Twenty years ago today, Jean-Marc Bosman changed the landscape of football as he emerged victorious from a case in which it was decided that players could move for free once their contracts had expired.

In the two decades since, numerous players have taken advantage of the new system and moved on to further their career elsewhere after failing to secure a new deal.

Here are 10 of the best that have moved on a Bosman ruling:

Brad Friedel

The American goalkeeper left Liverpool in 2000 and went on to spend eight years with Blackburn Rovers. During that spell he missed just four league matches in seven seasons as he established himself as one of the best performing and most consistent players in the Premier League.

Markus Babbel

Widely considered one of the best players in his position in 2000, the German international swapped Bayern Munich for Liverpool and was an integral part of the club’s treble-winning season in 2000/01.

Unfortunately, he was forced to retire earlier than he would have liked, but he had a major influence at Anfield and remains a Kop hero.

Roberto Baggio

Regarded as one of the all-time greats of Italian football, when Baggio left Inter in 2000, little was expected when he joined Brescia to play out the rest of his career.

However, he went on to score 46 goals in 101 games for the club, and had the No.10 jersey retired in his honour as he enjoyed a wonderful end to his playing days.

Sol Campbell

Arguably the most hated man by Tottenham supporters after leaving White Hart Lane to join bitter rivals Arsenal in 2001 on a free transfer.

It worked out well for the former England international though, as he was a pivotal part of the ‘Invincibles’ side that went a whole season unbeaten as well as helping the Gunners lift two Premier League titles and three FA Cups.

Henrik Larsson

After scoring for fun for Celtic in a trophy-laden spell in Scotland, the Swedish striker opted for Barcelona in 2004 and although injuries hampered him, they didn’t stop him from winning more trophies.

Two La Liga titles and a Champions League medal in 2006 wrapped up a glorious career as Larsson later returned to Sweden.

Esteban Cambiasso

Having been deemed surplus to requirements at Real Madrid, the Argentinian midfield was snapped up by Inter and went on to become a crucial part of their success under Jose Mourinho which included a treble-winning season.

Often over-looked given his lack of flair and decisiveness, Cambiasso was a huge reason as to why the Nerazzurri enjoyed so much success.

Michael Ballack

The German icon swapped Bayern for Chelsea in 2006, and although he struggled with his fair share of injuries, he still racked up a Premier League title, three FA Cups and a League Cup during his four-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

Paul Pogba

After Sir Alex Ferguson wasn’t convinced about the Frenchman, he was allowed to leave Old Trafford in 2012 and was signed by Juventus.

Since then, Pogba has gone on to become a pivotal part of the Bianconeri line-up as he has helped them to three consecutive Scudetti as well as reaching the Champions League final last season.

Robert Lewandowski

The Polish striker was already established as a prolific scorer for Dortmund, but after forcing him to see out his contract, he joined bitter rivals Bayern in 2014.

The goals have continued to flow since, and he continues to help the Bavarian giants dominate both at home and abroad.

Andrea Pirlo

Arguably the biggest mistake of transfer history was committed by AC Milan in 2011. While Pirlo wasn’t fitting into the team in his usual position and having been turned down in his bid to secure a longer contract, it was decided that he would leave the club.

Juventus were the ones to profit from that parting of ways as the midfield maestro went on to win four successive Serie A titles and he continued to establish himself as one of the greatest players of his generation.

More Stories Andrea Pirlo Brad Friedel Esteban Cambiasso henrik larsson Markus Babbel michael ballack Paul Pogba Robert Lewandowski Roberto Baggio Sol Campbell