With transfer deadline day closing in on us, and quite frankly, ludicrous amounts of money being spoken about to land certain players, we take a look at the top 5 biggest transfer deals ever and offer our opinion on whether they were cheap at half the price or nothing but a busted flush?
No. 5: Edinson Cavani, Napoli to Paris St Germain. Fee - €64 million (2013)
Cavani has had many suitors since arriving on the scene from Palermo in 2010. His goal ratio has been consistently high given the frugal nature of defences in Serie A but he’s also delivered in the Champions League which made him a prime target for some of European footballs ‘cash kings’. In the end he opted for Paris and an intriguing partnership with Zlatan Ibrahimovic awaits.
Opinion: Could be a bargain considering the new found wealth that PSG have and their financial ability to surround Cavani with world class players.
No.4: Kaka, AC Milan to Real Madrid. Fee - €68 million (2009)
Where did it all go wrong? Kaka was a genuine superstar of the game helping Milan to a Champions League win in 2007. He was voted, UEFA Footballer of the Year and Fifa World Player of the Year in 2007 as well as picking up the Ballon D’Or in 2008. So highly prized, it was reported that the new owners of Man City bid an estimated £100 million for his services in 2009 only for the offer to be rejected by the player. City dodged a bullet however and eventually Real Madrid snapped up his services. Since then Kaka has failed to sparkle in a stop start career for the Spanish giants, scoring 29 times in 4 seasons.
Opinion: For the amount paid and the credentials he came with, it’s got to be a busted flush.
No.3: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Inter Milan to Barcelona. Fee - €69 million (2009)
Part of a complicated transfer which saw Samuel Eto’o go the other way and Barca part with €20 million and pending loan deals for other players. At the time it raised a few eye brows given the quality of Eto’o but the thinking to pair Messi up with a player the ilk of Ibrahimovic, was sound. Despite scoring in every other game for the Catalans, his relationship with the then coach, Guardiola, soured and he was loaned back to AC Milan after only 1 season at the Camp Nou.
Opinion: Some you win, some you lose. Barcelona went all in and lost.
No.2: Zinedine Zidane, Juventus to Real Madrid. Fee - €75 million (2001)
Arguably one of the players, if not the best player of his generation, Zidane moved to Real Madrid for a then world record fee. He helped Madrid to the 2002 Champions League title and was voted the World Player of the Year the following year. Surprisingly Zidane only ever managed 1 La Liga title with Madrid but despite this, retired a club legend in 2006.
Opinion: As crazy as it sounds, the €75 million paid for his services is widely viewed as money ‘well spent’.
No.1: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United to Real Madrid. Fee - €94 million (2009)
There were signs during his stay at United that Ronaldo was progressing into a world class player every season he played. Rumours of Madrid’s interest were constant and widespread within the game and in June of 2009 the inevitable finally happened. The transfer fee record was smashed and since then the Portuguese winger has gone on from strength to strength. His goal scoring record for the Spanish giants is simply astounding, so much so, that I had to double check the figures. In the last 3 seasons his record stands as, 164 appearances and 168 goals… simply staggering and can only be bettered by Lionel Messi at Barcelona.
Opinion: Maybe not quite ‘cheap at half the price’ but Ronaldo is box office, simple as that.