It’s been a huge summer for football even without the world cup! Transfer business is at an all-time high with big names flying all over the shop, especially in the premier league. Big fees have already been splashed out by Manchester utd on Luke Shaw and they show no sign of stopping. Chelsea have raided La Liga for Diego Costa and Fabregas to a combined tune of 65 million and Arsenal have chucked down 30 million on Alexis Sanchez. Also Liverpool Are paying big bucks for some of the premier league’s best stars like Adam Lallana. However they also let their talisman Luis Suarez go for a whopping 75 million!
If you wonder where that gargantuan sum places on a list of the top 10 most expensive transfers of all time, you need look no further…
10: Zinedine Zidane £46,000,000
Forty six million pounds would be a lot, even in today’s oil rich owner driven football world, but in 2001 it was truly stratospheric. Yet this is the fee Real Madrid parted with for one of word football’s all-time greats. This transfer really kickstarted Fiorentino Perez’s ‘Galactico’ policy at the Bernabeau. This represents a bargain when you see what has been paid for players not even in the same postal code as Zizou.
9: Neymar 48,600,000
Brazilian football’s golden child transferred to Catalan big boys Barcelona last summer. He failed to find his feet last season after some morally questionable dealings regarding the move surfaced in the press. Still has the potential to be one of the greats, if he can find the form he treated us to in the World Cup.
8: Fernando Torres/ David Luiz £50,000,000
Chelsea went all out to snare a red hot Fernando Torres from Liverpool in January 2011. Sadly he has flopped massively and nothing Chelsea have tried to get the best out of him has worked. Injuries and attitude problems have decimated this player and sadly diminished his exceptional talent. Luckily Chelsea managed to recoup that hefty fee this summer when PSG inexplicably thought it would be a good idea to pay the same fee for Centre back/over-excited child David Luiz. After watching his performance against Germany for Brazil they will be frantically hoping his warranty hasn’t expired yet.
7: Radamel Falcao 51,000,000
Colombia’s now second favourite son (courtesy of James Rodriguez) was in red hot form for Atletico Madrid when nuevo riche Monaco came calling. Many expected him to go to Chelsea and compete in the greatest league in world football; I mean, what could be better for a footballer? Tax free mega money in Monaco, that’s what.
6: Edison Cavani £55,600,00
Another tipped for the Premier League in order to test himself at the highest level, Cavani decided PSG’s oil bucks provided a better career move last summer. With rumours of discontent surfacing though, we could finally see him tested in England soon and perhaps appearing twice on this list!
I view this player as one of the biggest wastes of talent in world football; despite playing for the biggest clubs in the world and claiming the Ballon Dor. Kaka had the world at his feet when he flew into Real Madrid in 2009 for a then record, fifty six million pounds. Many expected him to be the focal piece at Madrid but Cristiano Ronaldo arrived days later to steal his spotlight, along with his record fee and soon injuries and weight issues followed. A sad decline for a gifted player.
4: Zlatan Ibrahimovic £40,000,000 plus Samuel Eto’o
Zlatan transferred to Barcelona in 2009 and brought his swagger and arrogance with him. Boasting a scary goal record by most people’s standards, Zlatan didn’t like playing second fiddle to Leo Messi and soon departed. One thing that makes this transfer even bigger is the player involved in the swap. The fee alone might not make the list on its own but given that this was a Samuel Eto’o in his prime and not “the old man” Mourinho angered at Chelsea this season, it makes it easily worth 60 million if not more.
3: Luis Suarez £75,000,000
The most recent entrant into the top ten is footballs most expensive villain. Although boasting one of the greatest talents in the modern game, Liverpool decided that Suarez had become more trouble than he was worth and took the moral high ground by flogging him, after he decided to confuse Chiellini with a similar sounding pasta dish at this summer’s world cup. We shall miss his abundance of ability, but not his lack of class.
2: Cristiano Ronaldo 80,000,000
CR7 completed his dream move to Real in 2009. He immediately paid back his astronomical fee with merchandising deals, commercials and most of all, GOALS! Breaking all kinds of records and finally helping Madrid land “La Decima” this season, nobody can argue this was money well spent.
1: Gareth Bale £86,000,000
The Lad who carried spurs up the league table for three seasons was finally prized away from Daniel Levy’s grasp for a staggering eighty six million pounds. While spurs reinvested on some questionable acquisitions, the explosive Welshman has immediately reaped the rewards of moving to the world’s biggest club with a Champions League winner’s medal in his first season, and a Copa Del Ray for good measure.
One thing looking back on this list has taught us is that we may be big spenders in The Premier League, but we are nothing compared to the big boys in Spain. Barcelona and Real’s dominance of TV revenue in that league has seen them be able to pick and choose the world’s best talent whatever the price. Surely the way that money is divided will need to be looked into in line with FIFA’s financial fair play regulations, but until then we will continue to see the Spanish heavyweights monopolise top talent, and even add to the already impressive 7 names they have in the top 10 most expensive transfers of all time.