Neymar Jr’s mammoth £189 million move to Paris Saint-Germain sent shockwaves throughout the football world earlier this summer, with many fans questioning whether the Brazilian maestro was worth the enormous price tag.
It can’t be denied that transfer fees have skyrocketed in recent years, meaning previous world-record fees spent on Alan Shearer (£15 million) now look like absolute bargains in comparison.
Giffgaff Money calculated how much legendary players would be worth in the modern market, using fees spent on modern stars such as Neymar Jr and Romelu Lukaku. Here are the results:
- Pele: £351 million
Thought of by many as the greatest player of all time, Pele is usually found up front in many pundits’ all-time XIs. The Brazilian striker was a fundamental part of three World Cup wins and has set a standard that no other countryman has reached.
Pele’s prowess in front of goal – he’d managed to bag 461 goals by the age of 25 – is just one of the main reasons his transfer fee is so high.
- Ferenc Puskas: £258.7 million
As the best player to ever come from Hungary, Ferenc Puskas is a legend in his home country, but his skills transcended his nation as he reached the World Cup final in 1954 and won 3 European Cups with Real Madrid.
Even at 25, Puskas had racked up 379 goals, showing a rare instinct for a goal that turned him into a national hero and one of the best players in world football.
- Johan Cruyff: £242 million
An innovator and icon for club and country, Johan Cruyff was a footballing pioneer.
Relying more on technique and skill than power and size, Cruyff reshaped what the football world expected of an attacking midfielder, blurring the lines between the midfield and striker positions.
For Cruyff’s influential skills and philosophy, £242 million could be an acceptable fee in the modern era.
- Paolo Maldini: £111 million
One part of an historic partnership with Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini conceded just 23 goals in 196 matches. As well as leading AC Milan to several Serie A titles, the Italian defender helped put more eyes on the league as it was arguably the biggest in the world at the time.
For £111 million, a team could be strengthened with Maldini in the modern day. For one of the best defenders of all time, it’s a price many would perhaps consider.
- Thierry Henry: £103 million
One of the best players in Premier League history, Thierry Henry is firmly established as an Arsenal legend, after scoring 174 goals in 254 games and posing a nightmare for defences across the league.
The Frenchman’s mix of blistering pace and astounding technique helped him on the way to two Premier League titles and two La Liga trophies with Barcelona, where he also won the Champions League.
- Diego Maradona: £94 million
An attacking wizard with elusive dribbling skills, outstanding technique and an eye for goal, Diego Maradona will go down as one of the best players ever.
With 259 goals over 491 games, Maradona was an unstoppable force for both club and country, and only Lionel Messi challenges him when it comes to the topic of the best Argentinian player ever.
- Tony Adams: £64 million
Tony Adams was a world class defender who was the centrepiece of the fabulous four with Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon, and Martin Keown.
An Arsenal player from 1980 to 2002, Adams is one of the most venerated defenders of all time and won four English titles, along with three FA Cups. Adams remains the only person in English football history to captain a title-winning team in three decades.