In the world of soccer, big money flows between clubs. There are teams that empty their pockets to buy players, and there are teams that make a fortune from selling them.
Football players are becoming more and more expensive, with eight of the top 10 most expensive transfers of all time occurring in the last five years. In pursuit of success in the league and in Europe (where the most expensive transfers have taken place), clubs are spending more money than ever before.
Transfer fee: 100 million euros
Team: Tottenham Hotspur → Real Madrid
Bale joined Spurs from Southampton in 2007 for £10 million, and when he left Spurs in 2013, Real Madrid paid a then-record €100 million.
Despite the eventual falling out with Real Madrid, Bale’s Real Madrid career was relatively successful. He helped the team win four Champions League titles, two La Liga titles and one Copa del Rey.
Bale scored 105 goals in 251 games with Real Madrid. Three of them were scored in Champions League finals, including that spectacular reverse hook break against Liverpool in 2018.
Transfer fee: 105 million euros
Team: Juventus → Manchester United
In 2009, Pogba joined Manchester United from a Ligue 2 team, but due to limited appearances, he left United in 2012 and joined Juventus as a free agent for 0 fee.
And when Pogba hit his stride with Juve, United re-signed him for a then-record €105 million, which to this day is still the highest transfer fee in the Premier League.
Pogba had a good performance after rejoining United, but his performance has dropped dramatically in the last two seasons and his days with the Red Devils are not expected to last long.
Transfer fee: 117 million euros
Team: Real Madrid → Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo was 33 years old when he moved to Juventus in 2018, but his price was even higher than when he joined Real Madrid in 2009. Many people questioned whether Cristiano Ronaldo was still worth that much, but Cristiano Ronaldo shattered the doubts with his outstanding performance in Turin.
In his first season in Serie A, the Portuguese star made 43 appearances, scored 28 goals and helped his team win the Serie A title and the Italian Super Cup.
Cristiano Ronaldo also had a strong star effect off the field. In his first season with the club, Juventus sold over 1.3 million shirts worth 170 million euros. In addition, Juventus’ sponsorship money and fan base have also gained a lot of growth.
Perhaps only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo can have teams willing to spend 100 million euros to sign them when they only have a few years left in their careers.
Transfer fee: 120 million euros
Team: Atletico Madrid → Barcelona
As Coutinho and Dembele failed to meet expectations, Barcelona bought Griezmann again, but his fate was similar.
Griezmann’s time at Barça was not the same as his time at Atletico Madrid. In 257 games for Atletico Madrid, Griezmann scored a total of 133 goals and gave 50 assists. However, after arriving at Barcelona, the first season in 48 games only scored 15 goals and 4 assists.
The different style of play and the reduction of ball possession made Griezmann’s strength much less.
Transfer fee: 126 million euros
Team: Benfica → Atletico Madrid
João Felix’s outstanding performance at Benfica attracted the interest of many European giants, and finally Atletico Madrid signed him for a surprisingly high transfer fee of 126 million euros in the club’s history.
Shortly after joining the team, the Portuguese teenager won the 2019 European Golden Boy Award.
Transfer fee: 135 million euros
Team: Borussia Dortmund → Barcelona
Dembele’s transfer fee is a fixed fee of 105 million euros plus a floating fee of 40 million. The terms attached to the floating fee include the number of appearances, Barcelona qualifying for the Champions League and winning the Champions League. The remaining 10 million is estimated not to be triggered, that needs Dembele to help Barca win two Champions League titles to do so.
Since joining Barcelona, injuries have been his biggest obstacle to playing for the club, which has prevented him from becoming a central figure in the team. But at just 23, Dembele still has plenty of opportunities to prove himself.
Transfer fee: 145 million euros (15 million more untriggered)
Team: Liverpool → Barcelona
It was a remarkable deal for Liverpool, who used the money received to complete important reinforcements that set the stage for a Premier League title, and Coutinho eventually won a Champions League medal, albeit while on loan to Bayern.
But for Barca, the highest transfer fee in the club’s history brought a disaster that lasted. Perhaps due to injury, or perhaps for other reasons, Coutinho was a major disappointment. Barca even loaned him out to Bayern for a season.
Transfer fee: 160 million euros
Team: Chelsea → Real Madrid
After leading Chelsea to numerous trophies, Azhar chose to join Real Madrid, saying, “I’ve dreamed of this moment since I was a kid, I’ve always supported Real Madrid and it’s a real honor to wear a Real Madrid shirt.”
After arriving in Spain, however, Azhar was plagued by injuries. In his first season, he made only 16 league appearances and scored one goal. I hope he can play soon to match his price.
Transfer fee: 180 million euros
Team: Monaco → Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain signed Mbappe on loan in 2017, only to officially pay 180 million euros to sign the 19-year-old French teenager a year later.
Mbappe, of course, wowed the world most on the World Cup stage in the summer of 2018, when he became the second-youngest player to score in a World Cup final after Pele.
At 22, Mbappe is already one of the best in the world, and perhaps the sky is the limit for him. If Mbappe leaves Paris after his contract expires, it might generate another sky-high transfer fee.
Transfer fee: 222 million euros
Team: Barcelona → Paris Saint-Germain
Neymar is the only player to break 200 million euros so far, which is somewhat unbelievable. When he went from Barcelona to Paris, the transfer fee was more than double the record at the time.
If you include the contract offered to Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain has invested more than 500 million euros in Neymar.
When he left Barca, Neymar said he wanted to be number one, perhaps his heart yearned to get rid of Messi’s figure. Although Neymar is doing well in France, he is still a bit away from this goal.