Toulouse FC have signed on Aris Limassol FC right winger Shavy Babicka for a whopping €2.75 mln (Photo: Sakis Savvides)

Babicka flies off to Toulouse for €2.75 mln

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Cyprus Champions Aris have struck a deal with French top flight club Toulouse FC, for the sale of Shavy Babicka for a whopping €2.75 mln, the third most expensive transfer from a Cypriot team.

The 23-year-old Gabonese right winger played his last game on Sunday at AlphaMega stadium where the Limassol outfit beat fellow citizens Apollon 1-0. Babicka is reportedly undergoing medical checks in France.

Ligue 1 side Toulouse FC said in an announcement that, “the amount spent by the reigning French champions to acquire the forward from Gabon sets a record for Aris, as it represents one of the most expensive transfers from the Cypriot league.”

In its own statement, Aris noted that, “the transfer of Babicka to the French Ligue 1, which is among the top 5 football leagues in Europe, is a significant success for both him and our team”.

The Limassol outfit’s press representative Costas Papadopoulos told local media that the winger from Gabon joined their squad in the summer of 2021 from SC Kiyovu in Rwanda, for a mere €40,000.

It added that, “in his two and a half years at Aris, Babicka made 91 appearances with our team, scoring a total of 16 goals. His name is already inscribed in the history of Aris, having made a significant contribution to winning the championship and the team’s first participation in the group stage of a European competition”.

Szalai most expensive

The most expensive transfer of a player from a Cypriot team ever recorded was that of Hungarian striker Roland Szalai, from APOEL FC to Germany’s SC Freiburg for a massive €4.5 mln in 2019.

Second on the list is Thomas De Vincenti, an Argentinian midfielder, sold from APOEL FC to Saudi Arabian Al Shabab FC for €3 mln in 2017.

Following Babicka, is Pieros Soteriou, sold by APOEL FC for €2.5 mln to FC Copenhagen in 2018.

The Limassol club saw revenues get an unpresented boost as Cyprus’ champions have banked more than €5 mln in ticket sales and rewards for participating in European tournaments from their first participation in the Europa League stage.

Cyprus football’s perennial underdogs were crowned champions for the first time in their 93-year history last season.

Traditionally one of the league’s weakest teams with a smaller fanbase, Aris saw its fortunes turn around in the summer of 2021 when Russian investor Vladimir Fedorov took over.