Cristiano Ronaldo is without a doubt one of the best players in the world and one of the best to have ever played the game. Fresh off his 2013 Ballon d’Or win, the Portuguese superstar is on course to seal his second World Player of the Year award and has started the season in spectacular fashion, notching over 30 goals already. It’s no surprise then that Real Madrid have added a release clause of one billion euros for their star player, making it virtually impossible for someone to buy him.
The Position Clause / The Visiting Friends Clause
Neymar’s big money move to Barcelona in 2013 is still making headlines to this day, as it is under investigation for its part in tax fraud. However, whilst his transfer has been controversial, there are also some interesting clauses in his proposed contract. The first was that Neymar will earn just under £2 million should he not dispute the coach’s choice regarding his position on the pitch. Whilst he also has a clause which allows his friends from Brazil to visit every two months, with all expenses paid by Barcelona.
The No-Fly Clause
Dennis Bergkamp actually earned himself the nickname ‘The Non-Flying Dutchman’ due to his fear of flying. The Arsenal superstar was known on the pitch for his footballing talents, however away from the field he had a real phobia of flying. When negotiating his contract with the Gunners, he made sure that a clause was added to state that he was not required to travel on trips that needed the team to use aircraft as a means of transport.
The Racism Clause
German goalkeeper Georg Koch made the move to PSV Eindhoven in 1997, where he lasted just three months at the club. Soon enough he was back in his native country playing for Arminia Bielefeld and it was all thanks to his contract clause. It turns out that the net-minder inserted a clause stating that he could leave the club at any time if he suffered racist abuse, which apparently didn’t take long to come into affect.
The Dodgy Knee Clause
Manchester United made a big splash in the summer transfer market, thanks largely in part to their loan capture of Radamel Falcao. However, the Colombian’s move from Monaco came about after he missed the second half of last season with a serious knee injury. Therefore, the Red Devils added in a clause which states they can return him to the French side should his knee injury relapse.
The Night Life Clause
In 2011 Ronaldinho made the decision to leave Europe and head back to his native Brazil when he joined Flamengo. However, a rather bizarre contract clause was added in on his return to South America. The Brazilian requested that a clause be inserted so that he was allowed two nights out a week, which was happily accepted by the club.
The Anti PSG Clause
Since moving to Juventus in 2012, Pogba has found himself the subject of heavy transfer interest from several of Europe’s top clubs. In particular, Paris Saint-Germain has been desperately trying to nab him, so much so that Juventus took extreme measures to prevent them.
The Serie A side opted to extend his contract until 2019, making him the highest paid player at the club and also put in a hefty release clause. The clause stated that teams must pay as much as £55 million, whilst PSG would have to pay an extra £8 million on top of that.
The Private Jet Clause
In 2011, Samuel Eto’o made the startling move from Inter Milan to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala.The Cameroonian’s contract not only gave him an incredible contract worth over £20 million a year, but it also included a rather incredible clause. The contract stated that Eto’o would have to be transported around in a private jet, due to him preferring to live in Moscow rather than Mak?hachkala.
The Game Time Clause
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may have found his game time limited since joining Arsenal in 2011, but it turns out there was a reason for it. A contract in his Gunners contract stated that the club must pay his former side Southampton a £10,000 appearance fee whenever he plays 20 minutes or more. An appearance fee is by no means strange, however one restricted by a time frame is certainly a bit obscure.
The Weight Watcher Clause
Enforcer Neil Ruddock was not the slimmest of stars at the time of joining Crystal Palace late on in his career. So much so, that when the club opted to sign him on a free transfer, they gave him a weight clause to prevent him from putting on the pounds. It stated that if he exceeded the recommended weight of 99.8kg, then he would face a 10 per cent penalty on his salary. It turns out that Ruddock was actually fined a total of eight times for being overweight in less than six months and even missed his debut due to not having a pair of shorts big enough for him.