Teams often anticipate that significant transfer expenditures involving star players like Cristiano Ronaldo would pay off, but that has not always been the case. Let’s explore why.
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The Ups and Downs of 100 Million Euro Transfers: Analyzing Cases like Cristiano Ronaldo
The newest members of the 100 million euro or more transfer club are Moises Caicedo, Harry Kane, and Jude Bellingham. The current summer transfer window has seen a significant financial infusion due to the emergence of Saudi football clubs in the international game. Spending 100 million euros or more may demonstrate a team’s financial strength, but successful additions have not always resulted from such moves. It’s time to examine a few notable 100 million euro or more transactions as the transfer deadline draws near.
Tottenham traded Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
The Welsh magician made history by becoming the first player in football to earn more than 100 million euros. 2013 saw Real Madrid pay Bale 101 million euros to join their team. Although Bale and Real Madrid did not always get along, there is no denying that the striker had a successful time in Spain. Bale earned up to five Champions League championships during his eight-year stay at Madrid. Bale not only led Real Madrid to enviable European glory, but also three La Liga championships.
Juventus traded Paul Pogba to Manchester United.
In 2016, the French midfielder met together once again with his Manchester United colleagues. Paul Pogba was acquired by the Red Devils from Juventus in a 105 million euro transaction. The winner of the World Cup’s second stint at Manchester United was not at all gratifying. His time with Manchester United was hampered by repeated injuries and purportedly poor professionalism. Pogba did succeed in creating some exceptional moments, but they were seldom.
Neymar moved to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) from Barcelona.
After concluding his transfer from Barcelona to PSG in 2017, the Brazilian broke the record for the most expensive player in the world. The Paris giants paid 222 million euros to get Neymar. Both fans and experts were surprised by the staggering sum of money. Neymar upheld the terms of his contract by regularly contributing assists and goals. During his six-year tenure, he led PSG to 13 domestic championships. Even though Neymar won a sizable amount of titles, he was unable to help PSG realize their goal of winning the Champions League for the first time.
Kylian Mbappe joins PSG from Monaco
In 2017, PSG officially acquired Kylian Mbappe from Monaco. The talented Frenchman cost the team 180 million euros to sign. During his time in Paris, Mbappe developed into a deadly attacker, winning the domestic league almost every year. While playing for PSG, he also helped France win the World Cup, but even he couldn’t win the coveted Champions League trophy.
Barcelona signs Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund
After selling Neymar to PSG, Barcelona made the decision to spend. A young Frenchman named Ousmane Dembele was one of their initial candidates to take the role of the Brazilian. When he was 20 years old, the pacy striker established himself in Germany, and many Spaniards believed Barcelona had made a wise investment with its 135 million euro expenditure. At Camp Nou, Dembele was often injured and had fitness issues, which prevented him from reaching his full potential.
Juventus signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid
In 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Juventus, shocking the football world. The Serie A powerhouses paid over 117 million euros to Real Madrid for the Portuguese star. Ronaldo twice guided Juventus to Serie A championships, although he was unsuccessful in winning the Champions League.
Barcelona signed Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool
Philippe Coutinho, who was dubbed one of the emerging talents in 2018, made all the right sounds at Liverpool. So it was expected that Barcelona will pay 135 million euros for the Brazilian. Coutinho never really made it big in Spain because of the large price tag hanging over his head. A loan transfer to Bayern Munich was the outcome of a string of subpar performances at Barcelona. After he returned to Barcelona in 2020, the situation did not much alter. He ultimately departed for Aston Villa.
From Chelsea to Real Madrid goes Eden Hazard
Real Madrid really needed offensive firepower after Cristiano Ronaldo left. At that time, Eden Hazard stood out as the candidate most equipped to step into Cristiano Ronaldo’s shoes. Hazard was acquired by Real for 115 million euros from Chelsea, but his time in Madrid was a disappointment. At Real Madrid, Hazard could only manage 76 appearances in all competitions over the course of four seasons, scoring seven goals and dishing out 12 assists.
From Atletico Madrid to Barcelona, Antoine Griezmann
In 2019, Antoine Griezmann moved from Atletico Madrid to Barcelona. The Catalan club spent 120 million euros to hire Griezmann. The French winger was supposed to wow the Barcelona supporters, but he never succeeded. Only nine goals were scored by Griezmann in his debut season with Barcelona. Griezmann was unable to increase his total while playing for Barcelona, and he ultimately decided to go back to Atletico Madrid.
From Benfica to Atletico Madrid went Joao Felix
2019 saw the Portuguese wonder child leave Benfica in search of greater success. Joao Felix was signed by Atletico Madrid for 127 million euros. The attacker cut a dejected figure throughout his time in Madrid and didn’t fit Diego Simeone’s high pressing style of play. Felix was sent to Chelsea on loan in January of this year as a result of an apparent falling out with Simeone.
Romelu Lukaku transfers from Inter Milan to Chelsea
Romelu Lukaku’s return to his former club ended up being a complete failure, just as Paul Pogba’s did. Lukaku was acquired by Chelsea from Inter Milan for 113 million euros. In addition to not consistently scoring goals during his second stint at Chelsea, Lukaku also had a tumultuous relationship with Thomas Tuchel. He finally spent last season on loan with Inter Milan.
From Aston Villa to Manchester City, Jack Grealish
Many believed that Manchester City overpaid for Jack Grealish in 2021 when they paid 117.5 million euros. During his debut campaign at Etihad, the English winger struggled to convince his critics that they were wrong. Grealish last season defended his asking price. He was a significant contributor to Manchester City’s historic treble.