Looking Back on 2019: The Most Expensive Football Players of the Year
The absolute world-record transfer fee paid for a football player (so far) was 222 million euros (more than $244 million today) paid by the French football club Paris Saint Germain for the Brazilian football legend Neymar in 2017.
The second-highest fee paid by a football club in the same year was 105 million euros paid by Barcelona for Ousmane Dembélé, one of the most expensive footballers of African descent, matching Pogba’s record transfer from 2016.
These were the only two transfers in 2017 to exceed 100 million euros. This year, there were three – and 11 more to exceed 60 million euros, showing that the football clubs around the world spend an ever-increasing amount on improving their player base.
This also shows that they have a lot of disposable income from broadcast rights, sponsorships, endorsements from sportswear manufacturers like Adidas and Nike and betting groups like Betway and its likes.
Today, let’s take a look at the three most expensive player transfers of the year, each of them exceeding the amount of 100 million euros ($110 million).
Eden Hazard is considered one of the best football players today. The 28-year-old Belgian winger and the attacking midfielder went professional with the French team Lille in 2007, showing the world his worth in the five seasons with the team.
Then, he left France for the misty Albion – he was signed by Premier League club Chelsea in 2012 for a reported amount of $41 million.
There, he stayed for seven seasons, playing in 245 league games and scoring 85 times for the team.
His time at Chelsea came to an end this summer when Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid paid up to have him: the team paid 100 million euros to have him, making him Real’s second-most-expensive player ever.
Griezmann was born in France but made his professional football debut in Spain – he joined Real Sociedad in 2005 as a youth and continued to play with the club for five seasons as a senior, too.
He left Sociedad in 2014 after playing 180 league games, but he didn’t leave Spain – he signed with Atlético in 2014, staying with the club for five more seasons and – incidentally – another 180 league games. His next stop was Barcelona – the Catalan team signed the French international this summer in a transfer worth a stunning 120 million euros.
The most expensive football player transferred this year is not an experienced veteran but a youngster: João Félix, who just turned 20 a few days ago.
Félix made his debut at the Portuguese team Benfica after being released by Porto due to his “slight frame”. He first stepped in the field as a professional player at the age of 16 but only became a regular once he turned 18, in 2018.
His time with Benfica was short but busy – after 26 league games with the first team and being courted by several major international clubs, he signed with Spanish side Atlético Madrid in a transfer worth 126 million euros, making him the second-most-expensive teenager after Kylian Mbappé and the most expensive footballer in 2019.
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