Football

World XI: Most expensive players

Ronaldo joined Madrid for a record £80m. (©GettyImages)
Ronaldo joined Madrid for a record £80m. (©GettyImages).

With the transfer season coming up, GMF celebrates a list of the most expensive players ever to play the beautiful game. Obviously the price of a footballer reflects their immediate ability, but some of these prices seem to be outrageously high, perhaps too high for their respective abilities?

Here is a list of the most expensive footballers of all-time, assembled in one team.

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon | Parma to Juventus - £38m

Widely considered as the best keeper of the modern era, Buffon has been the rock on which the recent dominance of Juventus has been built. 'Gigi' has played just under 400 times for the club and has represented Italy on 126 occasions - one more than the highest capped English player. A World Cup winner, Buffon fully deserves to be on this list, but for £38m?

Right-back: Dani Alves | Sevilla to Barcelona - £23.5m  

Dani Alves is known for his durability in defence and also his blistering runs forward, coupled with some outrageous goals. He is also an excellent set-piece taker - this man has it all. Heavily relied upon to bring stability to a sometimes exposed Barcelona defence, he is has been a regular starter for five years now. 

Centre-back: Thiago Silva | AC Milan to Paris Saint-Germain - £35m 

I don't think I have seen a better performance from a defender in recent seasons than that of this man against Barcelona in the Champions League - such was his dominance, energy and assurance in his play. Well worth the money paid, Thiago Silva has a fire in him that one cannot learn and this is why he enters every game with a 'never-say-die' attitude.

Centre-back: Rio Ferdinand | Leeds United to Manchester United - £30m

Ferdinand, despite major controversy in the past, has picked himself up and delivered some great performances this season for the Red Devils. He has been at the club for ten years and at the time of his deal he was the most expensive defender of all time and is still the most expensive British defender ever. 

Left-back: Fábio Coentrāo | Benfica to Real Madrid - £27m

The Portuguese made the transfer to Madrid in 2011 and has flourished on the left flank, forming a formidable partnership with Ronaldo. His price tag has mounted the pressure on him but he has fitted effortlessly into the setup and made himself a regular starter for 'Los Galácticos'.

Right-wing: Kaká | AC Milan to Real Madrid - £56m

Although not firing on all cylinders in recent seasons, Kaká must be remembered for his time at AC Milan where, in the 2007 season, he won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award - and he is currently the last player to win the latter before Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He could be called a flop at Madrid but his Milan days shall never be forgotten.

Centre-midfield: Luís Figo | Barcelona to Real Madrid - £37m

In 2000, Figo made the move from bitter rivals Barça to Madrid much to the dismay of the Barcelona faithful. However, he established himself in the 'Los Galácticos' setup and was elected into the best foreign eleven in Madrid's era. An icon for both Portugal and Madrid, this man fully justified his price tag. 

Centre-midfield: Zinedine Zidane | Juventus to Real Madrid - £46m 

The current director of football at Madrid is lauded as one of the best footballers ever to have graced our television screens. His unique brand of skill and experience has terrorised defences and despite his unfortunate actions in the 2006 World Cup final, he is and will forever be one of the greatest players of all time.

Left-wing: Cristiano Ronaldo | Manchester United to Real Madrid - £80m

The Portuguese captain and global icon is the most expensive player in football history. Having recently scored his 200th goal for Madrid in only 197 games, Ronaldo is reimbursing Madrid with the money they invested in him.

Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimović | Inter Milan to Barcelona - 40m (plus Samuel Eto'o)

This transfer amounts to roughly £60m, such is the estimated market price of Eto'o. Ibrahimović is a scorer of wonderful goals, as witnessed in his performances this season and that gravity-defying goal against England. His total transfer fee from every club he has ever been at lies at £185m - a whopping statistic. Not only does he bring great skill to the team but is a morale booster in the dressing room.

Striker: Fernando Torres | Liverpool to Chelsea - £50m

Worshipped at Anfield, belittled and pitied at Stamford Bridge - such is the story of Fernando Torres. Brief sparks this season are not enough to justify his price tag and the Chelsea hierarchy will be looking to offload him soon but can they even get half of what they paid for him?

Are the prices justified? Who in the future will be the most expensive? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!

 

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Cristiano Ronaldo

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