How much do £100 million players ‘hand over’? – 03/01/2024 – The World Is a Ball

How much do £100 million players ‘hand over’?  – 03/01/2024 – The World Is a Ball


Throughout the history of football, there have been thousands of player transactions. Of these, not a dozen reached the 100 million pound mark, one of the most valued currencies in the world – more than the dollar, more than the euro.

Nine athletes cost someone, at some point, that price, including two Brazilians, striker Neymar and attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

In addition to them, there are two Frenchmen on the list (strikers Griezmann and Mbappé), two Englishmen (striker Grealish and midfielder Rice), one Portuguese (striker João Félix), one Argentine (midfielder Enzo Fernández) and one Ecuadorian ( the Caicedo steering wheel).

Of these, five are at the club that paid the exorbitant amount and four (Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Griezmann and João Félix) transferred to another – one of them, the Portuguese, on loan.

  • Neymar (Brazil) – 198 million pounds. From Barcelona to PSG (2017). Current team: Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia)
  • Kylian Mbappé (France) – £163 million. From Monaco to PSG (2017). Current team: PSG
  • João Félix (Portugal) – 113 million pounds. From Benfica to Atlético de Madrid (2019). Current team: Barcelona
  • Antoine Griezmann (France) – £107 million. From Atlético de Madrid to Barcelona (2019). Current team: Atlético de Madrid
  • Enzo Fernández (Argentina) – £107 million. From Benfica to Chelsea (2023). Current team: Chelsea
  • Philippe Coutinho (Brazil) – £105 million. From Liverpool to Barcelona (2018). Current team: Al-Duhail (Qatar)
  • Jack Grealish (England) – £100 million. From Aston Villa to Manchester City (2021). Current team: Manchester City
  • Declan Rice (England) – £100 million. From West Ham to Arsenal (2023). Current team: Arsenal
  • Moisés Caicedo (Ecuador) – 100 million pounds. From Brighton to Chelsea (2023). Current team: Chelsea

Eight of the nine still play for their respective teams, having appeared in recent squads. Only Philippe Coutinho left the Brazilian’s radar more than a year ago.

Why did this happen to the former Vasco player and former Liverpool idol? Simple: he stopped “delivering”, that is, performing, either because he was unable to play due to injuries, or because, when playing, he performed below what was desired.

In the list of other footballers worth 100 million pounds (R$ 628 million at the current exchange rate), it can be said that none are completely well at the beginning of 2024, falling short of expectations individually or collectively, in greater or lesser doses.

Even Mbappé, 25, for whom Paris Saint-Germain paid 163 million pounds in 2018 to get him from Monaco, and who continues to play at the highest level, is in a troubled situation, on the verge of leaving the French team.

Without being able to triumph internationally at PSG, Mbappé aims to wear another shirt from the middle of the year, preferably that of Real Madrid. Current level of “delivery”: good, but insufficient.

The other in the list that deserves consideration is Rice, 25, with good performances for Arsenal, who spent 100 million pounds for the athlete from fellow Londoner West Ham until last year.

The problem is that the Gunners are an unreliable team, which tends to fail at the right time (it fell by the wayside in the two national Cups), and the midfielder runs a high risk of failing in the championships he still competes in (Premier League and Champions League). Current level of “delivery”: good, but insufficient.

Rice’s compatriot, Grealish, 28, has barely taken the field this year for Pep Guardiola’s super-champion Manchester City.

Either groin injuries prevent him from playing or the internal competition from a less expensive athlete, the Belgian Doku, who is faster and more objective. Grealish, formerly of Aston Villa, who loves to trap the ball, cost £100 million in 2021. Current level of “delivery”: poor.

Someone who has a history, like Grealish, of holding the ball too much – and thus becoming a constant target of blows from opponents – is Neymar, the most expensive of those mentioned in this text. PSG paid 198 million pounds in 2017, and the Brazilian left Barcelona.

Neymar, 32, stayed in France for six years, experiencing successive frustrations in the Champions League – even losing a final in 2020 – and suffering injury after injury. The most recent one, on his knee, dates back to October, and he, still recovering, was unable to play for his new club, Al-Hilal. Current “delivery” level: none.

Philippe Coutinho, 31, Brazil’s starter at the 2018 World Cup, is like Neymar in the Arab world, at Al-Duhail, sixth in the Qatari Championship.

After leaving Liverpool in 2018, for 105 million pounds paid by Barcelona, ​​he no longer had constant first-class performances, whether in Spain, Germany (Bayern Munich) or England (Aston Villa). The latter club loaned him to Al-Duhail, where he has had mediocre performances. Current level of “delivery”: poor.

João Félix, 24, who when he emerged was hailed as “the new Cristiano Ronaldo”, is at Barcelona, ​​on loan from Atlético de Madrid, a club that paid 113 million pounds in 2019 to have the striker who stood out at Benfica.

However, he never “delivered” what was expected in three and a half years in the Spanish capital. He passed through London (Chelsea) almost unnoticed last season and continues in the same way in Catalonia, without a sequence of solid performances. Current level of “delivery”: poor.

Atlético de Madrid temporarily discarded João Félix and rescued Griezmann from Barcelona, ​​the rival with which they traded the world champion in Russia-2018 (along with Mbappé) for 107 million pounds in 2019.

The striker didn’t score in two seasons at Barça – it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good, which left a taste of disappointment – ​​and since 2021 he’s been trying to rediscover his former shine. He has had flashes, but no titles. Injured, he watched from afar as Atlético beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in the Copa del Rey semi-final this Thursday (29). Current level of “delivery”: regular and insufficient.

Finally, there remain the two South American midfielders that Chelsea signed in 2023, paying £107 million for one and £100 million for the other.

The most expensive, Enzo Fernández, 23, champion with Argentina in the 2022 World Cup, has not been the player who enchanted at River Plate, with great marking and arriving in the area to score goals, nor the owner of the midfield, like at Benfica.

Caicedo, 22, has privileged lungs. He runs a lot, but produces next to nothing offensively (zero goals, one assist in the season) and defensively he commits excessive fouls (some violent), which earn him constant yellow cards (9 in 33 games).

With the duo, Chelsea lost the English League Cup final last Sunday to a Liverpool full of absences and suffering a disappointing 11th position in the English Championship, 25 points off the lead.

Much less expensive, the Blues’ previous pair of midfielders (Kanté and Kovacic) seemed superior. Current level of “delivery” of both: mediocre (Enzo) and bad (Caicedo).


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