With the transfer window about to close, we thought we'd take a look back on the top ten most expensive football transfers of all time. From Cristiano Ronaldo to Zinedine Zidane, these are the ten footballers who have commanded the highest bid to secure their services.
Currently, in this summer 2012 transfer window the highest fees paid are Lucas Moura from Sao Paulo to Paris St Germain for £35M, Thiago Silva also to PSG for the sum of £33M, and the same amount from Real Madrid to sign Luka Modric from Tottenham. But none of these are close to breaking into the top ten most expensive transfers of all time...
Far and away the most expensive transfer fee ever paid for a footballer, it would take a very special player to top this figure! Whether you can ever justify such a large sum of money can be debated, but Ronaldo's phenomenal return of scoring more goals than games played for Real Madrid, is an impressive return on their investment and that's not to mention the merchadise for the club.
The club's Zlatan Ibrahimovic has played for reads like a who's who of world football. Ibrahimovic has lined up for Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris St Germain, winning no less than 9 league titles on the way. Understandable then that he commands the second highest fee of all time, although surprisingly it's from the club which was probably his worst spell, as Ibrahimovic only managed 16 goals in 29 appearances for Barcelona after falling out with then boss Pep Guardiola.
After six years with Milan Kaka was on his way to becoming an all-time Rossoneri
legend, but money seemingly forced the former world footballer of the year out, as Real Madrid's bid of £56M proved to good for Milan to turn down. Kaka remains at Madrid although injuries have reduced his playing time, but despite this Kaka has still managed over 20 goals in over 60 appearances.
In 2001 Zidane signed for Real Madrid in a then world record fee of £53M, a sensational amout of money at the time but as we look back on the game we can widely acknowledge Zidane as one of the game's greatest ever players. Never shy on spending money on players, Zidane was joined at Real Madrid by Ronaldo and Beckham in a footballing dream team.
If this years transfer deadline day is anything like the one in January 2011, then it's going to be an exciting day! Back then the football world was shocked as Fernando Torres completed a £50M move to Chelsea from Liverpool. He hasn't been quite a smooth ride for Torres, but he has won a Champions League and FA Cup winners medal, and after the departure of Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka is now the main man.
After five years with Barcelona, Luis Figo made the controversial move to bitter rivals Real Madrid for a fee of £44M. Despite incuring the wrath of many Barca fans, Figo went on to play over 160 games for Madrid winning the La Liga title on two occasions and lifting the Champions League in 2002, and play alongside such great players as Zidane, Beckham, Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos.
Lazio broke the world transfer record by signing Hernan Crespo back in 2000, and Crespo joined an impressive squad including Juan Sebastian Veron, Pavel Nedved, Jaap Stam, Alessandro Nesta and Gaizka Mendieta. Crespo was an impressive goalscorer throughout his career, meaning he was often on the move to such clubs as Inter Milan and Chelsea, but in return for their £38M Crespo scored 39 goals in 54 appearances for Lazio.
The largest fee ever paid for a goalkeeper, but spread over 10 years of service it works out at under £3.8M a year, which for one of the best goalkeepers of all time you would argue is a bargain! Buffon has made over 300 appearances for Juventus and over 100 for Italy, you would argue then if any goalkeeper was going to break the record than quite rightly it's Buffon.
It's no surprise to see Manchester City make the list, and in the years to come with their financial backing we might expect them to appear higher up the list. Manchester City and their fans would argue THAT goal scored by Aguero in the dying seconds of the Premier League season, was worth every penny of the £38M spent. Not to mention at just 24 years old, City have signed one of the most talented young strikers in the game.
One of the greatest strikers of all time, (not to mention the inspiration for one of the greatest boot ranges of all time,) Ronaldo rightfully takes his place on the list of most expensive players of all time. Ronaldo meant speed and goals, and the Brazilian delivered both at clubs like PSV, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and AC Milan. But it was Real Madrid who paid the big money to sign the player in his prime, uniting Ronaldo with Zidane, Figo, Raul and Beckham, for a return of 104 goals in 177 appearances.
Which players in the modern game do you think would command the highest transfer fee, and are these players worthy of the sum, and are you enjoying transfer deadline day? Join the conversation online, on Twitter and on Facebook.