Football – association football by its full name – is the most popular sport in the world. It is played in literally all countries, and just one of them (the Marshall Islands) doesn’t have a national team (but it does have its national league). As such, football is also the most profitable sport ever. Not all football clubs are created equal, though. The most profitable ones are based in Europe – especially England, Spain, France, and Italy. These are the same clubs that enjoy the most attention internationally, are listed by all major international bookmakers like Betway (and their local counterparts in pretty much every country), and these are the same clubs that spend the most on new players joining their ranks. How much, you might ask? Well, let’s take a look at the five most expensive football transfers that took place in 2019.
Eden Hazard is a 28-year-old Belgian footballer who is considered to be one of the greatest footballers ever to set foot on the turf.
After spending his formative years at the French club Lille, he joined the first team for five seasons and became one of the most reliable players ever.
In 2012, he left France to continue playing with English Premier League club Chelsea for seven seasons, where he truly made a name for himself: he played in 245 league games with the team, and scored 85 times.
But his time with Chelsea ended this year: he left England for Spain this summer, joining the La Liga club Real Madrid in a transfer worth 100 million euros (UGX406 billion).
Antoine Griezmann is a truly international player: despite his German name, he was born in France and spent all his professional career at Spanish football teams.
He was scouted by the Spanish La Liga club Real Sociedad – he graduated the club’s youth academy and continued to play with the team’s senior squad for five years.
Then, in 2014, he left Sociedad for Atlético Madrid where he spent the next five seasons, playing 180 league games and scoring 94 goals.
This year, his time in Madrid ended – he moved to Barcelona in a transfer worth 120 million euros (UGX487 billion), making him the second-most-expensive footballer this year.
The most expensive footballer to be transferred this year is a youngster named João Félix with a bright future.
At the age of 19, he was signed by the Spanish side Atlético Madrid in a transfer worth 126 million euros (UGX511 billion), becoming the second-most-expensive teenage footballer ever (after Kylian Mbappé).
Félix made his debut at Benfica’s B team at the age of 16, moving up to the first team in 2018.
While he only stayed with the team for one season, he definitely impressed the scouts – it was rumoured that he was courted by several major European clubs this spring, including Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Ultimately, he signed a seven-year contract with Atlético Madrid. Incidentally, Félix received the number 7 jersey upon his arrival at the team, previously worn by Antoine Griezmann.