A selection of record deals.
The cost of football transfers is growing every year. 77 million euros for Zinedine Zidane in 2001 seemed insane, but a couple of decades later the record exceeded two hundred. We have collected the most expensive transfers in the history of football according to Transfermarkt and combined them with cards from the popular FIFA Ultimate Team mode.
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Gareth Bale — from Tottenham to Real Madrid for 101 million euros
Gareth Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid ushered in the era of 100 million signings. The versatile Welshman quickly justified the cost and joined the stellar line-up of the royal club. Gareth spent several productive years in Madrid, but then his injury proneness showed up. Bale last flashed in 2018: he scored a double in the Champions League final against Liverpool and gave the club a third cup in a row.
The Welshman suffered in his final years at Real Madrid. He did not leave the club due to a renewed contract and pleased the fans only in matches for the Wales national team, for which he played with full dedication. With lightning speed, Bale was a monster in FIFA for the remainder of the decade.
Paul Pogba — from Juventus to Man United for 105 million euros
In 2016, Paul Pogba was the most promising young midfielder in the world. Manchester United took the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson hard and tried to return to greatness with high-profile transfers. Six years later, the Frenchman’s transition appears to be a failure. Pogba played unstably: in segments he looked like a world star, but he often got lost on the field and did not show the necessary character. The non-obvious move to Juventus at the age of 29 summed up the impressions of Paul’s entire career.
Part of Pogba’s fame among fans is credited to FIFA. In the EA Sports footsime, height and chic skills were decisive, so the Frenchman was a very popular midfielder for several years. Paul justified the transfer only in the game.
Romelu Lukaku — from Inter to Chelsea for 113 million euros
Romelu Lukaku did not play in the top English clubs and left for Italy. After two powerful seasons at Inter, he was once again interested in Chelsea, who were looking for a stable striker. It seemed that the return to the Premier League would be perfect, but Lukaku failed — only 8 goals in 26 matches. Blues head coach Thomas Tuchel did not include Romela in the team structure, and the Belgian returned to Italy with a scandal just a year later.
Eden Hazard — from Chelsea to Real Madrid for 115 million euros
Eden Hazard is another example of an unsuccessful transfer for a lot of money. The Belgian torn apart Chelsea’s left flank for many years, became a living legend in the Premier League and decided to move to Spain. The logical transfer turned out to be a complete disaster. Azar was constantly treated, besides, problems with being overweight suddenly got out. The Belgian never regained his previous form and turned into an eternal player in the rotation of the Madrid club.
In four years, Eden Hazard’s rating in FIFA has fallen from 91st to 84th. The winger has remained a tough player for beginners, but experienced fifers are no longer interested in him.
Cristiano Ronaldo — from Real Madrid to Juventus for 117 million euros
After winning the third Champions League in a row, Cristiano Ronaldo wanted a new challenge. Turin Juventus put on the age striker and bought him for 117 million euros. For three full seasons in Italy, the Portuguese only slightly reduced the effectiveness — 101 goals in 141 games, but did not repeat the success in the main European tournament. Ron has been downgraded by EA Sports every year, but even in 2022, he is valued in FIFA.
Jack Grealish from Aston Villa to Man City for €117m
No one understood the transfer of Jack Grealish to Man City, but Guardiola’s desire convinced the club bosses of the need for a deal. Anxious expectations were justified: the Englishman got used to the role of a leading player in Aston Villa and in the first year he was lost among the stars of the «citizens». The situation has improved in the new season. Grealish often comes out at the start and understands partners quite well, although he still has not justified the club’s huge investment. FIFA does not believe in the Englishman and has given him a modest rating of 84.
Antoine Griezmann from Atlético to Barcelona for 120 million euros
Antoine Griezmann moved to Barcelona as the champion and the third player in the world. The all-round striker seemed like the perfect fit for any zone needed, but in reality, he looked bleak. After unsuccessful seasons, Barcelona loaned Griezmann back to Atlético on a two-year loan. The Frenchman’s card in FIFA was cut off by two points for four years in a row, and in the 23rd part it finally turned into a pumpkin.
Ousmane Dembele — from «Borussia D» to «Barcelona» for 125 million euros
Barcelona bought Ousmane Dembele five years ago, but the Frenchman still seems like a crazy young talent to fans. Only after the arrival of Xavi, the unstable winger began to justify the investment. In FIFA, Usman is much more stable. The high speed and insane technique of the Frenchman has always attracted players.
Joao Felix — from Benfica to Atlético for 127 million euros
The transfer of a young prodigy from Portugal blew up the market in 2019. Atlético have paid an atypical sum of 127 million euros for a footballer who spent just one strong season with Benfica. Felix spent a long time getting used to the defensive system of Simeone, and his progress slowed down. It got to the point that in the 2022/23 season, the Portuguese almost did not come out in the starting lineup of the Madrid club. In FIFA, João draws a great dribbling (88), but his card is also marking time.
Philippe Coutinho — from Liverpool to Barcelona for 135 million euros
Coutinho is Barcelona’s most monstrous transfer in the era of Josep Bartomeu. The Brazilian was an important player in the faltering Liverpool of the 10s, but was famous for shifting and long-range shots that did not fit the style of the Catalan club of those years. Coutinho shone for only six months. Then he lost his place at the base, and Barcelona got rid of the player for several more years. In EA’s footsim, he lacked speed even at his peak.
Kylian Mbappe from Monaco to PSG for 180 million euros
The rise of Kylian Mbappe at Monaco impressed everyone. PSG quickly intercepted the main talent of the generation: first they rented it, and a season later they officially paid the Monegasques a fantastic 180 million euros. Mbappe has already scored 183 goals for the club and at 22 became PSG’s second top scorer in history. The only disappointment is Kilian’s character.
In FIFA, the Frenchman immediately received a cheat card. Mbappe’s rating was constantly growing, and in the last part he reached the limit. His 97 speed has made him the most valuable card in FUT 23.
Neymar — from Barcelona to PSG for 222 million euros
Neymar was part of the great MCH three, but wanted to become the main star of the project and fight for the Golden Ball, which in those years often went to his teammate Lionel Messi. In 2017, the Brazilian unexpectedly moved to the rich PSG. Neymar’s crazy $222 million transfer is already five years old, but the record has not yet been broken.
Did the Brazilian achieve success in Paris? Neymar remained the main dribbler of our time and gave dozens of excellent matches, but often due to injuries he missed long stretches of seasons and did not conquer the Champions League. But in FIFA, his card has always been appreciated because of the cool stats and perfect skill stars. But there is a feeling that Neymar wanted more.