Ronaldo's transfer from Barcelona to Inter Milan in 1997 would cost £388m in today's market


There's been a lot of talk about the rising price of players in today's transfer market. 

It seems that clubs have been over-paying to make signings ever since Neymar's £198 million move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.

The likes of Fred, who joined Manchester United in 2018 for £52 million and Kepa Arrizabalaga, who cost £71 million, spring to mind. 

But in truth, football clubs have been spending a ridiculous amount of money on players for decades now. 

In fact, Neymar's transfer isn't the most expensive of all-time if inflation is taken into account. 

According to research from Play Ratings, Ronaldo Nazario's move from Barca to Inter Milan in 1997 would be worth £388 million in today's market, making him the most expensive footballer ever.

His move from Spain to Italy cost £25 million 22 years ago - a world record fee that, if adjusted with inflation, is a record that still stands today. 

It actually makes him £190 million more expensive than his fellow Brazilian, Neymar - who isn't even second on the list. 


That spot goes to legendary attacking midfielder Michel Platini, who moved from Saint-Etienne to Juventus back in 1982. 

He was able to move for a nominal fee back then, but according to Player Ratings, it would have been equal to £299 million in the modern market. 

If inflation is taken into account, Neymar is actually only the fifth most expensive player in history.


It's hard to believe that a record set back in 1997 still stands and Inter could well feel short-changed by Ronaldo.

He played just 99 times in five seasons for the Italian side, scoring 59 goals during that time. The forward only helped Milan win one trophy during his spell too - the UEFA Cup in 1998.

Ronaldo did though, win his first Ballon d'Or at the San Siro, so he'll have been quite pleased with the £388 million move he made. 

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