Today, the situation is such that footballers who are not worth 100 million are now leaving for 140 million. Another very notable fact that shows the purchasing power of Barcelona and Real Madrid is that only four of the ten biggest deals did not involve one of the two Spanish giants.
Here are the 10 most expensive transfers in football history:
10. Eden Hazard (€1000million)
In the summer of 2019, the Belgian cost Real Madrid € 100m, plus € 30m in variable costs. To date, in fact, the cost already amounts to 115 million euros. However, several Belgian media, following a scam in the country, published that the actual amount Chelsea received was 160 million, a question which Real denied.
9. Paul Pogba (€105 million)
According to Mino Raiola, it arrived at a low price, but the truth is that in 2016 the Frenchman became the most expensive transfer in football history. All this after Manchester United paid Juventus a fair handful of pounds sterling, which at the exchange rate sets the amount at 105million fixed. In addition, bonuses have been added for wins in the Champions League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup or even for the Ballon d'Or. It wasn't until the season of his arrival at Old Trafford that the League Cup victory came to fruition, without increasing the total by a million more.
8. Ousmane Dembélé (€105million)
Another example of the economic and sporting management of Borussia Dortmund and a modern transfer paradigm, since it cost Barcelona 105 million initially, but they paid 135 million for the bonuses that are added.
7. Romelu Lukaku (Inter to Chelsea, 2021) - €115m
Having already had a stint at Chelsea earlier in his career this one had a bit of 'coming home' feel to it. Lukaku had been a central figure in Inter Milan's conquest of Italy last season, performed credibly at the Euros during the summer and seemed to be itching to get back to work. That's when Chelsea came calling. Now 28 years of age and seemingly in the form of his career, defenses in England will have to be on high alert come September.
6. Jack Grealish (€117million)
Manchester City broke the house in the summer of 2021 by signing the Aston Villa captain and one of the Premier League's most prominent players for the astronomical sum of € 117.5million.
5. Antoine Griezmann (€120 million)
FC Barcelona took advantage of the reduction of the Frenchman's clause from 200 million to 120 million to snatch him from Atlético Madrid, even if the reds and whites struggled to prove they were wrong. At that point, the striker equaled the fixed 120 million Barca had dropped shortly before for Coutinho.
4. Joao Félix (€126million)
Atlético Madrid surprised by breaking the bank to bet big on the 'Golden Boy'. To the 126 million investment, the Madrid club had to add the 1.2 million of the solidarity payment mechanism in Porto.
3. Phillipe Coutinho (€145 million)
A few months after Dembélé was the most expensive acquisition in the history of FC Barcelona, Coutinho arrived, raising the bar of the original 120 million. His contract also had easily applicable variables that drove the cost up to around 135 million euros.
2. Kylian Mbappé (€180 million)
His case was the first and most famous case of a loan with an option to buy. Monaco sent him on loan to PSG with a heavy payment obligation of 145 million even if at the time we were talking about 180.
1. Neymar (Barcelona to PSG, 2017) - €222m
It seems very difficult for anyone to break this record. It was not only the biggest investment in history, but also an unprecedented football marketing operation as it seemed impossible that a sheikh's checkbook could tear him away from Leo Messi's side. Without a bonus or negotiation, PSG paid for a clause which, at the time, seemed inaccessible.
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