Ronaldo, Mbappe star in list of major 100m euros transfers in football history | Football News - Hindustan Times
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Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe star in list of major 100m euros transfers in football history

Aug 18, 2023 12:04 AM IST

Teams often expect big transfer investments to pay off but that has not been the case always, let’s find out why

Moises Caicedo, Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham are the latest entrants of the 100 million euros-plus transfer club. With the rise of Saudi football clubs in world football, the ongoing summer transfer window has witnessed a huge cash inflow. Spending 100m euros or more may show a team’s financial prowess but those signings have not always proved to be fruitful. As we approach the transfer deadline, it is time to take a look at a few prominent 100m euros-plus deals and their outcome.

Juventus signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.(REUTERS)
Juventus signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.(REUTERS)

Gareth Bale from Tottenham to Real Madrid

The Welsh wizard became the first footballer in the history of the game to breach the 100m euros-mark. Real Madrid shelled out 101m euros to acquire the services of Bale in 2013. While Bale did have a topsy-turvy relationship with Real Madrid, there is no doubt about the fact that the forward did enjoy a fruitful period in Spain. During his eight-year stint in Madrid, Bale won as many as five Champions League titles. Apart from envious European success, Bale also guided Real Madrid to three La Liga titles.

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Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United

The French midfielder reunited with his Manchester United teammates in 2016. The Red Devils signed a deal worth 105m euros to bring back Paul Pogba from Juventus. The World Cup-winner’s second spell at Manchester United was far from being satisfactory. Frequent injuries and alleged lack of professionalism marred his stay at Manchester United. Pogba did manage to produce some magical moments but they were few and far between.

Neymar from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)

The Brazilian became the world’s most expensive footballer after completing his move to PSG from Barcelona in 2017. The Paris giants forked out 222m euros to sign Neymar. The mind-boggling amount of money baffled fans and experts in equal measure. Neymar justified his contract by scoring goals and providing assists on a regular basis. He guided PSG to 13 domestic trophies during his six-year spell. While the number of trophies may seem to be quite impressive, Neymar could not fulfil PSG’s dream of winning their maiden Champions League title.

Kylian Mbappe from Monaco to PSG

PSG officially signed Kylian Mbappe from Monaco in 2017. The side spent 180m euros to sign the young Frenchman. Mbappe blossomed into a lethal striker during his stay in Paris winning the domestic league almost every year. He also won the World Cup with France while he was on PSG’s rolls, but the coveted Champions League title remained elusive even for him.

Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona

Barcelona decided to splurge after selling Neymar to PSG. One of their first choices to replace the Brazilian was a young Frenchman – Ousmane Dembele. The then 20-year-old made a name for himself in Germany as a pacy forward, and many in Spain thought Barcelona had made a sound investment with a 135m euros outlay. Dembele never realised his true potential at Camp Nou, plagued by frequent injuries and fitness concerns.

Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid to Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo shocked the football universe by moving to Juventus in 2018. The Serie A giants spent around 117m euros to land the Portuguese talisman from Real Madrid. Ronaldo won the Serie A title for Juventus twice but failed to win the Champions League.

Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool to Barcelona

Dubbed as one of the rising stars back in 2018, Philippe Coutinho made all the right noises at Liverpool. So it was not a surprise when Barcelona spent a 135m euros for the Brazilian. With a big price tag over his head, Coutinho never really prospered in Spain. A poor series of performances in Barcelona resulted in a loan move to Bayern Munich. The scene did not change much after he returned to Barcelona in 2020. He eventually left for Aston Villa.

Eden Hazard from Chelsea to Real Madrid

Following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, Real Madrid were in dire need of attacking strength. At that point, no one seemed to be more suited to fill Ronaldo’s shoes than Eden Hazard. Real paid Chelsea 115 million euros for Hazard, but the Belgian had a forgettable spell at Real Madrid. In four seasons, Hazard could only make just 76 appearances across all competitions, recording seven goals and 12 assists at Real Madrid.

Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid to Barcelona

Antoine Griezmann joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid in 2019. The Catalan club paid 120m euros to acquire the services of Griezmann. The French winger was expected to dazzle the Barca faithful but he never managed to do so. In his first season in Barcelona, Griezmann could score just nine goals. Griezmann failed to improve his tally at Barcelona and he eventually ended up returning to Atletico Madrid.

Joao Felix from Benfica to Atletico Madrid

The Portuguese wonder boy left Benfica to achieve greater success in 2019. Atletico Madrid paid 127m euros to rope in Joao Felix. The forward didn’t suit Diego Simeone’s high pressing style of football and cut a forlorn figure during his days in Madrid. Following an alleged fallout with Simeone, Felix was sent to Chelsea on a loan spell in January this year.

Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea from Inter Milan

Just like Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku’s return to his old club turned out to be a disaster. Chelsea paid 113m euros to Inter Milan to secure Lukaku’s signing. During his second spell with Chelsea, Lukaku not only failed to score goals on a regular basis but he also had a torrid relationship with then manager Thomas Tuchel. He was eventually loaned out to Inter Milan last season.

Jack Grealish from Aston Villa to Manchester City

Many felt that Manchester City went overboard in paying 117.5m euros for Jack Grealish in 2021. The English winger could not do much to prove his detractors wrong during his first season at Etihad. Grealish justified his price tag last season. He played a key role in guiding Manchester City to a historic treble.

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