The football transfer market has changed a lot since the turn of the century, and it is fair to say the market has inflated a lot. If a youngster has a breakout season full of goals, and assists in any of the top five leagues in the world, his market value will increase like anything. Rich clubs tend to buy players who have a lot of potential, and can deliver for a more extended period. This means their value in the market will be higher than a player who has a few years of football left to play. We looked at the top five highest transfer fees paid for players, and if the transfer turned out to be worth it. 

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5) Antoine Griezmann (Transfer fee: 120 million Euros)

Antoine Griezmann has had a football career full of highs and lows. He has been playing in La Liga forever and has been one of the best players in the league. He had a great start to life with Real Sociedad before moving to Atletico Madrid, where he started to become a star in the football world. He won individual awards, and wanted to move out after a few seasons at the club. Griezmann made a big-money move to Barcelona for an obnoxious transfer fee of 120 million euros. The movement has been a great one, neither for the player nor for the club. He was thought of as a natural goalscorer who can play on the wing as well. But he hasn’t lived up to the hype, and has a rare good game every few matches. This move was a big failure for Barcelona.

4) Philippe Coutinho (Transfer fee: 120 million Euros + 40 million Euros (bonuses))

Phillippe Coutinho was the brightest player in the premier league, and coming from Brazil, he was full of tricks and skills. He used to drive defenders mad, and goalkeepers were always in trouble when he shot outside the box. His ability was so perfect that you knew it was a goal as soon as the shot was made. Coutinho wanted to move to a club of immense stature and win trophies every season, so he moved to Barcelona for a total fee of 120 million euros. This move also was one of the worst for the club and the player, as his form dipped, and he couldn’t adapt to the playstyle in La Liga. Barcelona loaned him out to Bayern Munich, where he was a part of their champions league winning squad and scored two goals against Barcelona in the infamous 8-2 match. 

3) Joao Felix (Transfer fee: 126 Million Euros)

Joao Felix has been one of the revelations for the Portugal football team, and was deemed to be the next Luis Figo or the man to replace Cristiano Ronaldo. He had a remarkable two-year period at Benfica, and was bought for an absurd amount of money by Atletico Madrid. Felix didn’t have a great first season, and took time to adapt to the atmosphere and conditions in the league. He can be the biggest asset for his team on his day and can cut inside into spaces, and with the pace he has, it is hard to catch him. He had a slightly better second season and showed glimpses of his true self. It is safe to say that it has been a decent move until now and can be a great one in the seasons to come.

2) Kylian Mbappe (Transfer fee: 145 million Euros + 45 million Euros (bonuses))

The brightest footballer on the planet as of this moment. There is absolutely no team in the world who wouldn’t want Kylian Mbappe playing for their team. He had a breakthrough year at AS Monaco, where he was the top scorer of the league and took his team on a Champions League team. That season everyone just admired what a 17-year-old had done to a team. He joined PSG on a one-year loan move, where he showed glimpses of what he can do when he has great players surrounded by him. His move was made permanent the following year for the biggest transfer fee ever for an under twenty-one player, one 45 million Euros. It has been an excellent signing for the club, and since age is on his side, Mbappe can dominate the football world for years to come.

1) Neymar JR. (Transfer Fee – 222 million Euros)

The biggest transfer fee ever to be paid for a player in the history of football. Neymar is a traditional Brazilian player full of tricks and skills and was one of the brightest players when he joined Barcelona. He had an incredible few years at Barcelona and won everything there is to be at that club. He needed a change, so he joined PSG for an astonishing amount. It has been a decent move up until now, and although he has won many trophies and individual awards at the club. He hasn’t looked like the player the world knew him for at Barcelona.

These transfer moves show how much football has evolved over the years and how inflated the transfer market has become since the turn of the century. These players for sure could deliver, and some may have. But others, the price tag might have affected them and their game dearly.