Three years ago, Paris Saint-Germain shook up the football world when they signed Neymar from Barcelona for a staggering €222 million. In the next summer transfer window, the club prised Kylian Mbappe away from Monaco for €145 million, plus €35 million in bonuses. The two most expensive transfers of all time had a massive impact on the entire football ecosystem, causing a significant jump in transfer fees.
According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites, half of the top ten most expensive football transfers of all time happened in the last two years, with their total value reaching almost €600 million.
The Rise of the Big-Money Transfers
Throughout the years, mega-money moves have been taking place in the European football market. Spanish giants like Real Madrid have been known to splash the cash, breaking the transfer record to sign Zinedine Zidane in 2001 for €75 million, Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 for €94 million, and Gareth Bale in 2013 for €100 million.
However, the Neymar transfer created a domino effect that saw Barcelona spend a total of €265 million on Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho during the 2017/2018 season, with both signings ranking in the top five all-time highest transfer fees. However, other mega-deals also took place after the 2017 summer transfer window, highlighting the growing revenues of the top European football clubs.
In summer 2019, Atlético Madrid splashed out €127.2 million on Benfica’s attacking talent João Felix, the most expensive deal in the last two years. Spanish football giants Barcelona and Real Madrid also cashed hundreds of millions of euros to bring new players to their teams.
The same year, Barcelona spent €120 million to bring Antoine Griezmann from Atlético Madrid, €5 million more than the transfer fee Real Madrid paid to finally get Eden Hazard to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Although the pandemic had a massive impact on the transfer market last year, the 2021/2022 season brought two mega-money deals. In August, Manchester City signed Jack Grealish for a British-record €117.5 million, while Chelsea splashed out €115 million to get Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge from Inter ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.
Hazard Lost €110M in Market Value Since His Transfer to Real Madrid, the Biggest Drop Among All Players
Although ranked as one of the most expensive football transfers in the last two years, Real Madrid’s left-winger Eden Hazard has witnessed the biggest valuation drop among all footballers.
In June 2019, while the Belgian footballer played for Chelsea, his market value amounted to €150 million, the highest figure in his career. However, by the end of 2019, this value dropped to €120 million and continued falling.
The last year and a half also weren’t easy for the famous left-winger. As of May, Eden Hazard was worth €40 million, €110 million less than two years ago.
The TransferMarkt data showed Antoine Griezmann witnessed the second-largest drop, with his valuation falling from €130 million to €60 million in this period.
On the other hand, João Félix, Romelu Lukaku, and Jack Grealish all increased their valuations after going to new clubs, with their market values growing by €10 million, €25 million, and €35 million, respectively.