Which have been the biggest transfers from Europe to the MLS?

Football is a sport which is hugely popular in all corners of the planet. This is no surprise when you see just what the beautiful game has to offer supporters! From exciting action in competitions like the English Premier League to world-class players like Kylian Mbappe to watch, football has a lot to offer its followers. Of course, transfers are always a source of fascination in the game, and this sees fans eager to keep up with the latest gossip on who might be moving where.

One league where this is very true is the MLS competition in North America. As well as keeping up with the latest MLS predictions and bets around games in this league, many fans will also look at transfer stories for teams like Inter Miami. For an extra twist, sports bettors can combine the two and try to place wagers at top online sportsbooks as to whether a certain player might move to an MLS club.

Over time, there have been no shortage of headline-grabbing moves to the MLS – particularly from players based in Europe. But which ones have made the biggest splash to date?

David Beckham – Real Madrid to LA Galaxy

When you are talking about truly jaw-dropping Europe to MLS transfers, this is one name you have to mention. David Beckham’s move to LA Galaxy during 2007 was a major story at the time – especially as he transferred from one of the giants of world football in Real Madrid. This move really helped put the MLS on the map and instantly gave it more credibility, as well as a lot more attention.

Playing 118 times for the LA-based side, Beckham scored 20 goals and added some superstar magic to the MLS. He also helped the side to a couple of MLS cup wins in 2011 and 2012 plus two Supporters’ Shield victories.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Manchester United to LA Galaxy

Another massive transfer which saw a top-class player move from Europe to the MLS involved the iconic figure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. In 2018, life at Old Trafford with Manchester United had begun to pale and he opted for a move to the Galaxy instead. This eventually saw him turn out for two action- packed seasons for the side.

Scoring 53 goals in 58 games, he picked up multiple honours while in the US, including being on the MLS Best XI team in both years. His awesome goals, supreme footballing skills and always engaging interviews, mean he will be remembered by North American fans.

Thierry Henry – Barcelona to New York Red Bulls

No one could ever doubt the supreme talent of ace striker Thierry Henry after his exploits for Arsenal, Barcelona and France. His 2010 move from Spain to New York Red Bulls therefore made a major splash. Arriving in the Big Apple as a designated player, he stayed until 2014 and demonstrated his explosive finishing to great effect.

All in all, he played 135 times for the club and netted 52 goals. In addition, he helped the New York- based team to a Supporters’ Shield win in 2013. As with other big Europe to MLS transfers though, it was the attention which he brought to football in the US which made the biggest impact.

Andrea Pirlo – Juventus to New York City FC

MLS fans got a real treat when Italian midfield maestro Pirlo moved from Juventus in Italy’s Serie A to New York City FC in 2015. Along with other notable incoming players from Europe, such as Frank Lampard and David Villa, he really helped put the club on the footballing map.

Pirlo showcased his passing, close control and playmaking creativity in 62 games over three seasons. In his time there, he also picked up an MLS Soccer All-Star award in 2016.

Top Europe to MLS transfers hit the back of the net

When it comes to the biggest transfers from Europe into the MLS, the ones listed above all score highly. While recent deals like Xherdan Shaqiri's move to Chicago Fire might have been big, it cannot quite match the blockbusting transfers we have detailed. These are players who were not only playing at top European sides before making the move to America but who were also some of the most famous names in football to boot.

As well as helping to boost the level of football in the MLS, these players also helped to bring a lot more attention to it and provided great stories for football fans to follow as their transfers unfolded. This shows that it is always worth keeping an eye on breaking football transfer rumours – because you just never know what will happen!