The Most Expensive Soccer Players
Ah, Soccer. The Beautiful Game. Beloved by players and spectators all over the world, it is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the world. It’s also a huge industry in and of itself. Sponsorships, advertisements, tickets, apparel, even food and beverage sales at stadiums on match days … the list goes on and on.
At the heart of all Soccer ventures, of course, are the players. Nothing could be possible without them, and clubs will go to great lengths to entice and then keep great players. The rich lifestyle they get to lead has even been the subject of prime-time television shows, for goodness’ sake! It’s not only the exorbitant salaries that cost clubs money; paying for transfers of players is also incredibly expensive nowadays. So who are the most expensive players in the world?
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior for Paris Saint Germaine
At the very top of the list is Neymar, who broke records when he was transferred from Barcelona to the French club in August 2017. The move cost an incredible £197 million, and came after months of speculation. Paris Saint Germain probably feels it is money well spent, since the Spaniard has already scored 293 personal goals and is expected to bring great glory to his new team.
Other Pricey Players
Neymar is the most expensive Soccer player in the world today, by a substantial amount, but the other stars of the sport are by no means cheap, and if you play online keno games you could just about win enough to buy a small piece of them! The closest player to him in terms of price tag is Pogba, who was acquired from Juventus by Manchester United in 2016 for £89 million.
After him comes Gareth Bale, who transferred to Real Madrid from Tottenham in 2013 for £86 million. Ronaldo cost Real Madrid £80 million in 2009 when he was acquired by Manchester United, and in 2016 Higuaín set Juventus back £75.3 million when they acquired him from Napoli. The sixth-highest acquisition ever was also in 2017, when Lukaku moved from Everton to Manchester United.
What Soaring Player Prices Mean
According to Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United (who, you might have noticed was involved on one side or the other of many of the most expensive transfers) the problem is not Neymar’s price tag per se. It’s the precedent that it sets. In his words, it opens the floodgates for even more expensive player transfers and acquisitions.
Top athletes will routinely be moved for over £100 million at a time; others for £60 million £80 million. It could make it hard for clubs and others in the industry to see the wood for the trees, and to understand which players are worth what they have cost and which simply do not live up to the hype. Ultimately, this could result in a weakening of sides and of Soccer as a whole.
A key question now is what Neymar will do; will he justify what it cost to acquire him and thus set the tone for ever-more expensive transfers? Time will tell, but it seems likely that the best it yet to come with this player, which would mean that the answer to that is a resounding “yes”.