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World football’s most overpriced XI

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Gonzalo Higuain has become the third most expensive player of all time after joining Juventus in a £75.3 million move from Napoli.

The Argentina international’s huge transfer fee has raised eyebrows across the continent; although he’s been prolific since arriving in Serie A, is he really worth *that* much money.

Only Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo have been signed for more in football history, but which other players would get into an ‘overpriced XI’?


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We’ve compiled a team featuring players who, quite simply, cost too much money to sign.

This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad players; their buying clubs just paid over the odds.

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Goalkeeper: Craig Gordon | £9m to Sunderland

Craig Gordon became the most expensive goalkeeper in British football history when Sunderland paid Hearts £9 million for his services in 2007.

Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - Premier League

The Scot didn’t exactly set the world alight at the Stadium of Light.

Right-back: Danilo | £23m to Real Madrid

Why did Real Madrid pay £23m for Danilo?

Real Madrid v Club Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final

They already had Dani Carvajal in their ranks, so it seemed more than a little unnecessary. Had he been £10m cheaper, the deal might have made a bit more sense.

Centre-back: Dmytro Chygrynskiy | £21m to Barcelona

Pretty much everything Pep Guardiola touched turned to gold during his four-year spell with Barcelona, but he didn’t get everything right.

Barcelona's Ukrainian defender Dmytro Ch

Paying £21m for the Ukrainian defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy, who now plies his trade for AEK Athens, was arguably his biggest error.

Centre-back: Eliaquim Mangala | £42m to Man City

Eliaquim Mangala was tipped to become one of the world’s best centre-backs following a series of eye-catching performances with FC Porto, but he’s looked light years away from that level at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City v West Ham United - Premier League

Leaked documents showed that Mangala cost City close to £42m.

Left-back: Fabio Coentrao | £27m to Real Madrid

Fabio Coentrao looked special at Benfica and had his moments for Real Madrid, but there’s no question the Spanish club overpaid for the Portugal international.


Coentrao, who was loaned to AS Monaco last season, has returned to the Bernabeu to play second-fiddle to Marcelo.

Midfield: David Luiz | £50m to PSG

When it was announced that PSG had signed David Luiz for £50m in 2014, everybody checked to ensure it wasn’t April 1.


The versatile defender, who for the purposes of this XI finds himself in defensive midfield, isn’t worth half that amount of money.

Midfield: Marouane Fellaini | £27.5m to Man Utd

David Moyes and Manchester United panicked at the end of the 2013 summer transfer window and ended up blowing £27.5 million on Marouane Fellaini.

Everton v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Semi Final

The powerful Belgian has his uses, but the price paid for his services was laughable.

Left-wing: Raheem Sterling | £49m to Man City

Raheem Sterling flattered to deceive in his first season at Manchester City, partly because of his massive price tag.

Real Madrid v Manchester City FC - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg

The English winger is clearly a major talent, though, and Pep Guardiola will hope to restore his confidence this season.

Right-wing: Hulk | £46.1m to Shanghai SIPG

Hulk is better player than many football fans give him credit for, but there’s no way he’s worth anything close to £50 million.


The Brazilian forward was snapped up by Shanghai SIPG for an eye-watering £46.1 million earlier this summer.

Striker: Gonzalo Higuain | £75m to Juventus

A good striker, yes, but one who’ll help Juventus win the Champions League?

Argentina v Chile: Championship - Copa America Centenario

Some would argue that Higuain is a striker who, sooner or later, will eventually let you down.

Striker: Andy Carroll | £35m to Liverpool

Liverpool knew Fernando Torres was joining Chelsea on the final day of the 2011 winter transfer window, so reacted by splashing out £35 million on Andy Carroll.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Carling Cup Quarter Final

It seemed like crazy money at the time and Carroll was unable to repay the club in the form of goals.

In 58 appearances for the Reds, he netted 11 times and was sold to West Ham for just £15m two years later.

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