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They Impressed at the Euros (Part Three)

Continuing the series looking at some of the players whose performances wearing national colours at the European Championships won them big money moves after the tournament was over.

For Part One please click here, and :Part Two please click here.

Luis Figo

The Portuguese winger was already a star in la Liga, helping Barcelona win two league titles, the Spanish Cup, and the Cup Winners Cup.

However, it was his performances at the Euros in 2000 for his country that persuaded Real Madrid ty pull off one of the most audacious transfer coups of all-time. Barcelona had set his buy-out clause at what was a world record level, thinking that nobody would try and meet it.

However, Real did by offering one euro over his ceiling and he made the move, something for which Barcelona fans have never forgiven him. The first time he returned to the Nou Camp with hs new club, he was greeted with jeers and missiles, called a traitor, and he even had a pig’s head thrown at him.

Still Real did not regret what they had done, He helped them win two league titles, and the Champions League, before moving to Italy and Inter Milan, where he was to enjoy even more success.

Roman Pavlyuchenko

In 2008 Spurs were looking for a replacement striker, having just lost Dimitar Berbatov to  Manchester United.

The man they chose was Roman Pavlyuchenko who impressed at the Euros for Russia hat year, scoring three goals, and earning himself a place in the UEFA Team of the Tournament.

He scored 20 goals in 78 appearances during his time in North London, but found himself increasingly on the fringes of the first team and was heavily criticised for storming down the tunnel when substituted by manager Harry Redknapp during one match.

In the end, a training round clash with one of the club’s coaches caused a breach, and he was sold to Lokomotiv Moscow.

Brian Laudrup

Another member of the Danish team that won the tournament in surprise fashion in 2002, and the younger brother of Michael, Brian Laudrup was among the players who caught the eye, and he was named in the Team of the Tournament.

 He was not unknown, and had just finished a season playing for Bayern Munich, but hs stock was low following a series of injuries.

His form at the Euros earned him a dream move to Serie A, then the top league in the world, and Fiorentina where he began well. However, a change of manager saw the team’s results begin to decline and they were relegated.

Laudrup was loaned to AC Milan, and then joined Rangers where arguably he had the most productive years of his career.

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