Football stars are arguably among the most popular and best-known athletes in the world. They are the embodiment of talent, hard work, and commitment transformed into a career – in their case, a successful one that turned them into the most sought-after players in the world. Players that teams are willing to pay a lot of money for. Last year’s transfers were not high enough to break the world record GHS 1.2 billion (€222) paid by Paris Saint-Germain for Brazilian player Neymar, but there were quite a few significant amounts that changed hands when players left a team for another. And these were the highest of them all.
Cristiano Ronaldo (from Real Madrid to Juventus)
Ronaldo is such a talent that Betway Ghana has a selection of special bets related to him. He is considered one of the best players ever, with five Ballon d’Or awards, four European Golden Shoe awards, and more than 300 goals scored for Real Madrid alone. And last year, he left the Spanish team to continue playing for Italian side Juventus.
As you might expect, the amount paid by the Turin club for the player was high: €100 million, or about GHS 557 million, the third highest transfer fee paid by a team in 2018.
Philippe Coutinho (from Liverpool to Barcelona)
Brazilian attacking midfielder and winger Philippe Coutinho is a footballer Pelé himself considers will have a “great future”. The 26-year-old has already played in 45 games for his home team Brazil, including in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where he was the event’s top assist provider. He is a truly valuable player, a talented ball wrangler (Liverpool’s fans gave him the nickname “The Magician” because of his passing, dribbling, and bending abilities) and, apparently, a very expensive one.
Upon leaving Liverpool for Barcelona, the English team pocketed €142 million, or around GHS 800 million, for the Brazilian player.
The youngest player on our list is also the most expensive: French forward Kylian Mbappé left Monaco for Paris Saint-Germain for €180 million, or a little over GHS 1 billion last year, making it the most expensive transfer of the year, and the second most expensive ever.
At the age of 20, Mbappé is one of the most valuable football players today. He started his professional career at the age of 16 with Monaco’s “B” team but was quickly promoted to the first team. In the three years he spent with the club, he became a regular goalscorer and an invaluable help for it to win its first Ligue 1 title in seventeen years. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Mbappé became the second ever teenager to score (Pelé was the first) and became the second-highest goalscorer of the event, also winning the FIFA World Cup Best Young Player Award.