Almost anything can happen during transfer windows.. but a dictator’s son with little footballing talent signing for a Serie A club in Italy? Cool story bruv. But wait, it did happen as some of us might know.
Al-Saadi Gaddafi’s transfer to Perugia in 2003 is one of football’s most fascinating transfers. The third son of the then Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, did play football in Libya, when he wasn’t busy running the Libyan FA.
He met Perugia’s club president, Luciano Gaucci, after playing 30 minutes during a friendly game in Italy in 2003. Gaucci was apparently impressed enough to sign on the 30 year old billionaire as a Perugia player. Emphasis on the word ”billionaire”
Perugia’s coach, Serse Cosmi, refused to play Al-Saadi as he apparently wasn’t even good enough to play among the reserves. Al-Saadi responded by hiring Diego Maradona as his technical consultant (easy money, Diego). He also hired Ben Johnson, (an infamous Olympic sprinter who had had his gold medal stripped after failing a drugs test) as his personal trainer.
Al-Saadi Gaddafi’s next step was to fail a drugs test, of course. He was banned from football for 2 years by the Italian FA but Perugia’s president got it reduced to 3 months, of course. ???
He eventually played for Perugia in 2004 vs Juventus. He came on as a 75th min sub and didn’t touch the ball once and in match reports he was criticised for being too slow. Should have sought a refund from Maradona and Ben Johnson in my opinion. But hey, he was a billionaire afterall.