2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Bought for: £12.24m by Manchester United on 12.08.2003

Sold for: £80m to Real Madrid on 01.07.2009

Profit: £67.76m

Real Madrid's persistent pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo finally forced Manchester United to sell begrudgingly in 2009, but not for a penny less than a quite astounding £80m transfer fee that has only just been put in the shade.

Ronaldo was brought to Old Trafford for £12.24m six years before from Sporting Lisbon in a deal that now looks an absolute snip, although United fans would almost certainly trade a bumper profit to bring the Portuguese phenomenon back to the Premier League.

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