The eight-time World Champion’s move to Ducati’s factory team echoes the landmark deals that have shaped sporting history across various disciplines.

It’s official. After weeks of speculation, rumours and toing and froing, Ducati have announced that eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez will partner defending two-time World Champion Francesco Bagnaia on their factory team in a seismic move.

The move has shaken the foundation of MotoGP™ and the wider sporting world, drawing parallels with other major sporting transfers. Let’s take a look at some below.

Hamilton also switches to red

It seems there may just be something in the water right now as motorsports World Champions switch to red. In Formula1, seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton will wear the iconic Ferrari red from 2025.

The British racer opted to end his illustrious and trophy-laden stint with Mercedes in pursuit of better fortunes, somewhat akin to Marquez’ decision to leave Repsol Honda, and undoubtedly it will take some getting used to seeing both in red next season.

From Figo to Mbappe

Beyond motorsport, there are numerous well-known cases. In football, it’s impossible to overlook Luis Figo’s highly controversial and well-publicised move to Real Madrid from FC Barcelona during the summer of 2000, which initiated the famous Galacticos era.

At the Santiago Bernabeu, players like Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo Nazario, and David Beckham would make their mark, while arch-rivals Barcelona recruited the likes of Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho.

Years later, another Brazilian, Neymar Jr., dominated headlines in the summer of 2017 by joining PSG, who paid his full release clause of 222 million euros, a dizzying world record fee that still stands to this day. More recently, one of his former Parisian teammates, Kylian Mbappe, created the latest bombshell in the football universe by signing with Real Madrid for five seasons.

LeBron James and ‘The Decision’

Across the Atlantic, sports history is also rich with legendary transfers. In the NBA, some franchises have made strategic signings that defined an era. The Los Angeles Lakers have shaken the market in recent decades with signings like Shaquille O’Neal in the 1990s, Pau Gasol in the 2000s, and LeBron James in the 2010s.

‘King James’ himself had already stunned the world on July 8, 2010, when he made ‘The Decision’, a live special where he announced his move to the Miami Heat from the Cleveland Cavaliers. The rest is history. In subsequent years, signings like Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors and Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors also took the world of NBA by storm.

The last rings of Manning and Brady

In the United States, there are also notable examples in other sports like the NFL, particularly with players such as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Manning, after winning Super Bowl XLI (2006-07) with the Indianapolis Colts, where he had played since 1998, was cut following a blank 2011 season due to a significant neck injury.

He then signed with the Denver Broncos, playing his final four seasons at the elite level and capping his career by winning Super Bowl 50 (2015-16) against the Carolina Panthers. Brady, not to be outdone, was a prominent member of the winning dynasty forged by the New England Patriots since 2000.

After 20 years and six rings, he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020-21), winning Super Bowl LV in his first season with them against Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs. These legendary signings have rewritten NFL history.

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