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World record transfers amid reports Neymar set to join PSG for £198m

August 2, 2017 9:50 AM
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World record transfers amid reports Neymar set to join PSG for £198m

With Barcelona forward Neymar reportedly set to make a world record £198m switch to Paris Saint-Germain, we've charted every record-breaking transfer since 1992...

The fee would mark a 110 per cent rise from Paul Pogba's landmark £93.25m transfer from Juventus to Manchester United last summer.

That would make the deal the biggest hike since 1932, when Bernabe Ferreyra joined River Plate for £23,000 to break David Jack's £10,890 move to Arsenal four years earlier.

We chart the meteoric rise of world record transfer fees from 1992 to present day...

Jean-Pierre Papin racked up 285 league appearances for Marseille and was named European Player of the Year in 1991 before his world record £10m transfer to AC Milan in July 1992.

However, the French striker only made 40 appearances in Serie A, scoring 18 goals, and moved to Bayern Munich in 1994 before returning to Ligue 1 in 1996 with Bordeaux, Guingamp and retiring with Saint-Pierroise.

Days after Papin signed for Milan, Juventus smashed the world record again when they signed Gianluca Vialli for £12m after the Italian had helped Sampdoria reach the European Cup final.

Vialli spent four successful seasons in Turin, playing alongside Roberto Baggio, Alessandro Del Piero, Fabrizio Ravanelli and Paulo Di Canio before joining Chelsea on a free transfer in 1996 and taking the helm at Stamford Bridge in 1998.

AC Milan broke the world record again weeks after Vialli's record fee, signing Torino winger Gianluigi Lentini for £13m - despite only having made his international debut for Italy in February 1991.

Lentini was injured in a serious car crash in 1993 and rejoined Torino three years later after making 60 appearances for Milan - staying at the club until 2001 before playing for several lower-league Italian clubs.

Four years after Lentini's record fee, Barcelona splashed £13.2m on PSV striker Ronaldo after the Brazil forward scored 54 goals in 58 Eredivisie appearances.

Ronaldo hit the ground running at the Nou Camp under boss Sir Bobby Robson, scoring the winning goal in the European Cup Winners' Cup final against Paris Saint-Germain and winning FIFA World Player of the Year at just 20 years old - but he left the club after just one season due to contract issues.

Alan Shearer became the first Premier League player to break the world record transfer fee in July 1996 after joining Newcastle from Blackburn for £15m, having won the Premier League title with Rovers in 1994/95 and helped England reach the Euro '96 semi-finals.

Shearer enjoyed a decade at St James' Park before hanging up his boots and became the all-time Premier League top scorer with 260 goals - a record that still stands today.

Ronaldo broke the transfer record for the second time in a year after spending just one season at Barcelona, joining Inter Milan for £19.5m in July 1997.

In the same year, Ronaldo was crowned FIFA World Player of the Year for the second time and won the Ballon d'Or. He spent four years in Serie A, lifting the World Cup with Brazil before signing for Real Madrid in 2002.

Real Betis extended the world record transfer fee to £21.5m when they signed 21-year-old Sao Paulo winger Denilson in 1998, having made his international debut for Brazil two years earlier.

Denilson spent seven years in La Liga with a brief spell on loan at Flamengo in 2000 and signed for Bordeaux in 2005, joining MLS side FC Dallas in 2007 for one season before representing several lesser clubs and retiring in 2010.

Inter Milan broke the world record fee again in 1999 after acquiring the services of Lazio striker Christian Vieri for £32.1m after the Italian had impressed at numerous clubs including Juventus and Atletico Madrid.

Vieri initially teamed up with former world-record breaker Ronaldo in Milan and enjoyed several successful seasons at Inter and scored 103 goals in 143 league appearances, moving to rivals AC Milan in 2005 before representing Monaco, Sampdoria, Atlanta and Fiorentina.

Lazio spent the income generated from Vieri's sale to Juventus and more after securing the signature of Parma striker Hernan Crespo for £35.5m in 2000.

The Argentine ended his first season in Rome as Serie A's top goalscorer but replaced Ronaldo at Inter Milan in 2002 after Lazio sold several key players due to financial difficulties, before spending five seasons at Chelsea and representing AC Milan, Genoa and second spells with Inter and Parma.

Portugal playmaker Luis Figo began a 13-year period of Real Madrid dominance for purchasing the world's most expensive players, known as Galacticos, making a controversial switch from Barcelona to Clasico rivals Real Madrid for £37m in 2000.

Figo was awarded the Ballon d'Or later in the same year and spent five years at Madrid, claiming two La Liga titles and winning the Champions League in 2002, before ending his career with four seasons at Inter Milan.

One year later, Madrid smashed the world record transfer fee for a second successive season, signing Juventus midfielder Zinedine Zidane for £47.2m, having won two Serie A titles and the Ballon d'Or in 1998 during his time in Turin.

The Frenchman scored the winning goal in the Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002, winning the La Liga title and being named FIFA World Player of the Year for the third time in his career in 2003 .

However, Zidane ended his playing career controversially after being sent off in the 110th minute of the 2006 FIFA World Cup final for headbutting Italy's Marco Materazzi, but he returned to Real as head Castilla coach in 2014 before being appointed head coach of the senior side in 2016.

It would be another eight years before Zidane's fee would be surpassed, when Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo made a £80m switch to Real Madrid, having won four Premier League titles, the Champions League and winning the Ballon d'Or in 2008 during his six years at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo has now completed nine seasons at Real since his blockbuster move and broken numerous league records en-route to winning two La Liga titles, three Champions League finals and three additional Ballon d'Or wins.

Gareth Bale became the world's most expensive player in 2013, and the fourth consecutive record-breaker to sign for Real Madrid, when the Wales international moved to the La Liga giants from Tottenham for £85.3m.

Bale has established himself in Madrid alongside former world-record breaker Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, scoring 54 goals in 100 league appearances, winning three Champions League titles and helping Real lift their first La Liga trophy in five years last season.

Jose Mourinho made his first marquee signing as Manchester United boss by smashing the world-record transfer fee to re-sign Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba for £93.25m in 2016.

The France international had left Old Trafford on a free transfer four years earlier but won the Europa League in his first season back at Old Trafford to guarantee Champions League football this term.

However, Pogba's record fee is set to be eclipsed within a year if PSG sign Neymar for £198m, having joined Barcelona as a 21-year-old in 2013.

Despite winning two La Liga titles and the Champions League in 2014/15, a training ground bust-up in July intensified rumours of a move away from the Nou Camp to Paris, where he would join Brazil team-mates Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Lucas Moura.

Also read: World Cup 2018: Neymar in Brazil’s 23-man squad [FULL LIST]


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