Is this the best free-agent XI ever?

With the European transfer window now open in earnest, we discover that you do not need to spend big to buy big. Sometimes the best things in life really are free.

Esteban Cambiasso vies with Andrea Pirlo in 2011
Esteban Cambiasso vies with Andrea Pirlo in 2011 ©Getty Images

Maxi Pereira, André-Pierre Gignac, Yevgen Konoplyanka, Philippe Mexès, Javier Saviola, Sergio Romero, Stéphane Mbia, Giampaolo Pazzini, Abou Diaby – just a handful of the star names available on free transfers this summer.

For most of Europe, 1 July marks the opening of the summer transfer window, but clubs do not have to spend big to buy big. Andrea Pirlo cost Juventus nothing in 2011; Esteban Cambiasso was surplus to requirements at Real Madrid CF in 2004 yet made a big impression at FC Internazionale Milano and won the UEFA Champions League with the Nerazzurri six years later.

We put our heads together to come up with the greatest all-time free-agent XI of the past 20 years. The question is: can you do better? Watch the video below and give us your side on social media, using #freeXI.

Ten of the best free transfers
Ten of the best free transfers

UEFA.com's #freeXI
Brad Friedel (USA) – Aston Villa FC to Tottenham Hotspur FC in 2011
Markus Babbel (GER) – FC Bayern München to Liverpool FC in 2000
Sol Campbell (ENG) – Tottenham Hotspur FC to Arsenal FC in 2001
Esteban Cambiasso (ARG) – Real Madrid CF to FC Internazionale Milano in 2004
Gary McAllister (SCO) – Coventry City FC to Liverpool FC in 2000
Michael Ballack (GER) – FC Bayern München to Chelsea FC in 2006
Andrea Pirlo (ITA) – AC Milan to Juventus in 2011
Steve McManaman (ENG) – Liverpool FC to Real Madrid CF in 1999
Robert Lewandowski (POL) – Borussia Dortmund to FC Bayern München in 2014
Miroslav Klose (GER) – FC Bayern München to SS Lazio in 2011
Henrik Larsson (SWE) – Celtic FC to FC Barcelona in 2004

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