Money has never been more present in the beautiful game than it is now.
The 21st century has seen several extremely wealthy owners pump hundreds of millions, if not billions, into football clubs in search of glory on the pitch.
First it was Florentino Perez, the wealthy Spanish construction tycoon who revolutionized Real Madrid with his Galacticos project.
Next is Roman Abramovich, the Russian who transformed Chelsea from a decent Premier League club into a cohesive Premier League force.
More recently, the owners of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have pioneered the charge as football’s biggest investors – and it looks like Newcastle could be next.
But with so much money in football today and so much investment needed to get to the top, we thought it worth researching which clubs were actually the biggest spenders in Europe.
The research – which looks at the purchase value of all transfer fees a club has spent on existing squad players – has given us the list of the 25 most expensive lists in Europe.
All figures courtesy of Transfermarkt.
The 25 most expensive teams in world football
25. RB Leipzig (team cost €229.03m)
24. AC Milan (€242.62m)
23. Bayer Leverkusen (€248.55m)
22. Monaco (€262.20m)
21. Wolves (€270.20m)
20. West Ham (€271.15m)
19. AS Roma (€283.40m)
18. Tottenham (€290.15m)
17. Napoli (€291.13m)
16. Villa Aston (€302.07m)
15. Borussia Dortmund (€307.60m)
14. Newcastle (€318.25m)
13. Leicester (€351.82m)
12. Everton (€355.15m)
11. Bayern Munich (€380.50m)
10. Barcelona (€437.90m)
9. Atlético Madrid (€461.15m)
8. Arsenal (€481.70m)
7. Real Madrid (€529.50m)
6. Juventus (€540.00m)
5. Liverpool (€610.95m)
4. Chelsea (€649.80m)
3. Manchester United (€769.93m)
2. Paris Saint-Germain (€832.90m)
1. Manchester City (€985.80m)
Wow. We knew Man City were big spenders, but blowing their closest rivals over 150 million…
Nonetheless, the money has largely been well spent and the club have achieved incredible domestic success over the past decade. The only piece missing from the Citizens’ trophy cabinet is that illusory Champions League trophy they’ve been dreaming about for so long now.
Although, interestingly, they are just one of three clubs that have seen a negative return on investment when it comes to their squad’s current market value – the other two being Manchester United and Newcastle.
PSG are the only non-English club capable of grabbing a place in the top five by winning the silver medal, which only goes to show the Premier League’s dominance over the rest of the continent at the moment. .
In fact, 12 of the 25 most expensive teams in Europe are based in the Premier League, with Everton and Leicester seemingly hot on the heels of mighty Bayern Munich!
Now, the Bavarian giants have a team value that’s almost worth more than Leicester and Everton combined, so we’re not suggesting the clubs should be competing, but it certainly makes for interesting reading.
Real Madrid and Barcelona find themselves further down the pecking order than you’d expect in 7th and 10th – perhaps that explains the sheer desperation for the Super League launch…
While the bottom half of the list is made up mostly of European challengers from Serie A and the Bundesliga, with the occasional Premier League mid-table side thrown into the mix for good measure.
Watch this space, though, because with Newcastle largely set to embark on a game-changing spending spree this summer, this list could be turned upside down come September.
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