Football has come a long way since Johan Cruyff cost a littler over a million dollars.
The completion of the deal brings to fruition the prophecy of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that the world was not too far away from seeing a 200 million dollar player.
Here we list the most expensive football transfers in history.
Neymar (Barcelona to PSG)
August 3, 2017
Paris St-Germain have signed Brazil forward Neymar for a world record fee of 222m euros (£200m) from Barcelona. The deal for the 25-year-old smashes the previous record set when Paul Pogba returned to Manchester United from Juventus for £89m in August 2016.
€105 million (From Juventus to Manchester United)
August 9, 2016
Paul Pogba rejoined Manchester United from Italian champions Juventus on a five-year contract in 2016, with the option to extend for a further year. The French international, who had come through Le Havre’s youth system, moved to United’s academy in 2009 before deciding to leave due to a lack of first-team opportunities.
€101 million (From Tottenham to Real Madrid)
September 1, 2013
Gareth Bale began his career at Southampton and made his debut, at the age of 16, in April 2006. The following season, he joined Tottenham before seizing the opportunity to play with Europe’s elite players in 2013.
€94 million (From Manchester United to Real Madrid)
June 26, 2009
At the age of 24, Ronaldo became the most expensive footballer in history following United’s decision to accept Real Madrid’s offer. The size of the deal was criticised by former Uefa president Michel Platini, who said at the time: “These excessive transfers are happening almost every day. These transfers are a serious challenge to the idea of fair play and the concept of financial balance in our competitions.”
€90 million (From Napoli to Juventus)
July 26, 2016
Higuain, who began his career with River Plate in Argentina, signed a five-year deal at Juventus following a thrilling season with Napoli. The experienced striker had just won the Capocannoniere – the Italian league’s golden boot – after scoring a record-equalling 36 goals. It was only the second time this century a player had scored more than 30 goals in a Serie A season.
€86,2 million (From Santos to Barcelona)
June 3, 2013
After dazzling Santos fans and scoring 20 goals in 33 appearances for his country, Neymar signed a five-year contract with the Blaugranas in 2013. With the Brazilian sensation, who made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2009, Santos enjoyed its greatest period of success since Pele was playing for the club, winning three straight Campeonato Paulista titles and the Copa do Brasil.
€85million (From Everton to Manchester United)
July 9, 2017
Jose Mourinho recently admitted that Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury was a key reason for Manchester United signing Romelu Lukaku from Everton on a five-year contract. The Belgium striker, who also attracted interest from his former club Chelsea, scored 25 league goals in 37 matches for the Toffees in the last campaign, four behind Tottenham Hotspur’s Golden Boot-winner Harry Kane.
€81 million (From Liverpool to Barcelona)
July 11, 2014
Liverpool agreed to sell Luis Suarez to Barcelona after the Uruguayan striker set the Premier League alight in his final season for the club, winning the PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year awards. Suarez, who signed a five-year deal, was serving a four-month ban at the time, for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup.
€75million (From Monaco to Real Madrid)
July 22, 2014
Colombia forward James Rodriguez signed a six-year deal with the Spanish giants in 2014, shortly after scoring the goal of the 2014 World Cup. Rodriguez was one of the revelations of the tournament, scoring in each of Colombia’s games as they reached the quarter-finals of the competition for the very first time, eventually losing 2-1 to hosts Brazil.
Angel Di Maria
€75 million (From Real Madrid to Manchester United)
August 26, 2014
Angel Di Maria joined Manchester United on a five-year deal in 2014. His arrival erased Chelsea’s £50m forward Fernando Torres from the record books as British football most expensive ever transfer. He was then sold to PSG after just one year in the Premier League.
€75 million (From Juventus to Real Madrid)
July 9, 2001
Zinedine Zidane completed a world-record transfer from Juventus in 2001 and was welcomed by Real legend Alfredo di Stefano. In his first season, the France midfielder scored a famous match-winning goal, a volley hit with his weaker foot, in Madrid’s 2–1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final. The goal has been cited as one of the greatest in Champions League history