It would be easy to argue that the words football and money have become synonymous in recent years. Record fees, billion-pound transfer budgets and giant sponsorship deals have sent spending into orbit, and with fair-play rules being lax, to say the least, it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. With the 2020/21 season looming, here are the ten biggest transfers since 2010.
The 10 biggest transfers since 2010
- Gareth Bale (£85 million – Tottenham to Real Madrid)
Despite the current turmoil in the Bale-Madrid relationship, in 2013 the Welshman broke the transfer fee world record with his move to Spain for an estimated £85 million.
For every article detailing Bale’s accomplishments, you can find another discussing his ill-fated relationship with coach Zinedine Zidane. Despite the infamous “It would be better for everyone if he left” and the “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order” flag, Bale’s statistics at the club speak for themselves:
78 goals in 155 games, two league titles, one Copa Del Ray, two European Super Cups, three Club World Cups and an incredible four Champions League trophies.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (£86 million – Real Madrid to Juventus)
One of the biggest names in world sport, Cristiano Ronaldo made the move from Real Madrid to Juventus in 2018 for a staggering £86 million.
In his nine heroic seasons for Real Madrid, the Portuguese superstar saw his way to lifting four Champions League trophies, two LaLiga titles, four Ballons d’Or and garnered numerous other personal and international accolades.
Ronaldo also broke club records with most goals scored by a Real Madrid player in a single season (61) and all-time leading goal-scorer with a whopping 451 goals. No wonder the price-tag.
- Eden Hazard (£89 million – Chelsea to Real Madrid)
Number eight on our list of the biggest transfers since 2010, Belgian forward Eden Hazard finished his seven-year spell at Chelsea in 2019 and made his move to Real Madrid for an initial £89 million – plus a cool £60 million in bonus payments.
The La Louviere native boasts an impressive resume from his time with the Blues, raking up four player of the year awards, two Premier League titles and an FA cup.
- Paul Pogba (£89 million – Juventus to Manchester United)
The most expensive transfer in Premier League history falls sits at number seven, with Paul Pogba’s 2016 landmark move to Manchester United for a huge £89 million.
The then 23-year-old returned to his former club after being released to Juventus for just £1.5 million in 2012. The deal also broke the world-record transfer fee at the time which was last set by Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid three years prior.
- Ousmane Dembele (£97 million – Dortmund to Barcelona)
2017 saw Barcelona purchase a twenty-year-old Ousmane Dembele for a colossal fee of £97 million, with bonuses up to £136 million. Piggy-backing off their recent selling of Neymar to PSG, Dembele became the second most expensive transfer in the world at the time.
Since his move from Dortmund, Dembele has been apart of two La Liga title wins, one Copa Del Rey, one Spanish Super Cup as well as having a hand in France’s 2018 World Cup victory.
- Philippe Coutinho (£106 million – Liverpool to Barcelona)
Brazillian winger Phillippe Coutinho made headlines in 2018 with a giant transfer deal from Catalan titans Barcelona. The La Liga side offered Liverpool an estimated £106 million, with additional bonuses totalling up to an incredible £142 million.
This past season, Coutinho has been making waves in the Bundesliga with a season-long loan move to Bayern Munich, with the option for a permanent move on the cards if all parties can come to an agreement.
Coutinho also had a hand in one of the most memorable games of the past decade – Bayerns 8-2 win over Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-final this past August. Barcelona’s worst defeat in over fifty years and one of the most exciting Champions League games of all time.
- Antoine Griezmann (£107 million – Atletico Madrid to Barcelona)
After a five year spell at Atletico Madrid, Antoine Griezmann made the move to La Liga competitors Barcelona in 2019 for a giant £107 million.
Not without some minor controversy, the French world-cup winner left Atletico just a year after signing a five-year contract extension, with both sides disputing an £80 million discrepancy in his buy-out clause.
In Griezmann’s tenure at Atletico, he saw the team through to lift the Spanish Super Cup, one UEFA Super Cup and a single Europa League victory, as well as netting 133 goals in 254 appearances.
- Joao Felix (£113 million – Benfica to Atletico Madrid)
The second most expensive teenager in the world and the third biggest transfer since 2020 are quite the accolades and are currently held by Portuguese prodigy Joao Felix. The 2019 move came following the departure of Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona, with Felix locked into a seven-year contract with the La Liga title contenders.
Multiple personal achievements (Golden Boy, Player of the Month, Best Young Player of the Year) as well as a huge Primeira Liga title victory with Benfica make Felix a huge investment in Atletico’s next season hopes.
- Kylian Mbappe (£165 million – Monaco to PSG)
With a move from Monaco to Ligue 1 rivals Paris Saint-Germain, Kylian Mbappe became the second most expensive player in the world in 2018, with a colossal transfer fee of £165 million.
Since signing for PSG, Mbappe has amassed an impressive trophy cabinet including three Ligue 1 titles, two Coupe de France titles, two-time top goal-scorer for Ligue 1, one Ligue 1 player of the year, and played a huge role in France’s world cup victory in 2018.
- Neymar (£198 million – Barcelona to PSG)
First on our list of the biggest transfers since 2010 happened in 2017, with Paris Saint-Germain triggering Neymar’s enormous £198 million buyout clause from Barcelona and making the Brazilian the most expensive player of all time.
Since his arrival, the Brazillian forward has added to his already stacked trophy case with three Ligue 1 titles, two Coupe de France, two Coupe de la Ligue, and narrowly missed out on a Champions League, losing to Bayern Munich in the final.
PSG have become a force in recent years and having signed the two largest transfer deals in football history, they’ve clearly got the spending power to back it up, and have no problem showing it.
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