In 2015, the football world was shocked when a highly anticipated transfer fell through due to seemingly outdated technology. The player in question was David de Gea, the goalkeeper for Manchester United, who was on the verge of joining the Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid. However, the deal was scuppered in the most unlikely of ways – by a fax machine.
The story begins with de Gea being identified by Real Madrid as their top choice to replace their current goalkeeper, Iker Casillas. Negotiations began between the two clubs, with de Gea eager to return to his hometown and play for the team he grew up supporting. As the transfer deadline approached, it seemed that a deal had been agreed upon, with de Gea set to sign a six-year contract with Real Madrid.
However, as the clock ticked down towards the deadline, it emerged that the necessary paperwork had not been submitted in time. The reason? The documents had been sent via fax, but the machine at the Spanish Football Federation’s headquarters had reportedly run out of toner, causing the transfer to collapse.
The fallout from the failed transfer was significant. De Gea was left stranded at Manchester United, where he received a mixed reception from fans who were disappointed that he had wanted to leave the club. His relationship with the club and its manager, Louis van Gaal, was also strained, and he found himself in and out of the team for much of the season.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid was left without a top-class goalkeeper and was forced to rely on Keylor Navas, who had been earmarked to serve as de Gea’s backup. The Spanish giants suffered a poor start to the season, and many fans and pundits speculated that the failure to sign de Gea had contributed to their struggles.
The story of David de Gea’s failed transfer to Real Madrid is a cautionary tale about the importance of technology in modern football. In an age where every second counts, even the most basic of machines can have a significant impact on a player’s career and the fortunes of a football club. It also highlights the importance of contingency planning and having backup systems in place to ensure that transfers are completed successfully, even in the face of unexpected technical issues.
In the end, de Gea did eventually get his dream move to Real Madrid, albeit four years later than originally planned. However, the experience undoubtedly left a bitter taste in his mouth and serves as a stark reminder of the potential pitfalls of relying on outdated technology in modern football.