They say football is the beautiful game! And anything beautiful gets a person's heart racing. It makes one stand up and take notice. It forces you to use all your might to get hold of that enigma. And now, it seems football has finally earned its alias with some mind-boggling transfers as far as club football is concerned.
The latest to join this expensive list are Spanish giants FC Barcelona, who broke their bank to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool after courting him with multi-million dollar offers throughout the summer. They say good things never come easy... or cheap in this case!
Heaven knows Coutinho to Barcelona is a match made in heaven. Coutinho joins the long list of Brazilian wonder kids who have set Camp Nou alight. The likes of Rivaldo, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho dazzled the La Liga with their flair during their time in Barcelona. And now, it's time for the former Inter Milan discard to emulate these legends from the 'samba land'.
54 goals spread across five seasons at the Merseyside club and countless assists make him one of the best playmakers in the world. But 145 million pounds? Surely one man is not worth that much but modern day football has changed for good. The fact that Coutinho’s transfer fee is not even the highest says it all about the money being thrown around by clubs these days to land their respective targets.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho saw this coming a lot earlier than few of his counterparts and he was criticised for the same but boy the 'special one' was right. "A few years ago £25m was a phenomenal player. Today, £25m is not even a player, it is a prospect of a player. Now if you want to buy a good prospect, a good 20-year-old player who can be fantastic, you are paying as if the player is already a big player,” Mourinho had said in February 2017.
For long clubs hesitated to breach the 100 million pounds mark and owners were content with receiving amounts of 89 million, 85 million and 80 million for match-winners like Paul Pogba, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, respectively.
However, the landscape changed drastically, and probably forever, when Paris St Germain decided to jump into this battle and prized away Neymar from Barcelona for an eye-watering sum of 198 million pounds.
Yes, it showed the world how deep the pockets of wealthy are in the east and how serious are they in their ambitions of making their club the best in Europe. But it also instantly opened the doors for clubs asking hilariously outrageous money for the players whom they don't want to lose to big spenders.
Today, we live in a world where a defender costs 75 million and a one-season wonder and future great costs 160 million. Just to put inflation into perspective, Zinedine Zidane in his prime was sold for 48 million and Figo was valued at 44 million. Now, you get a Gylfi Sigurddson for that amount of money (with all due respect to the player).
Barcelona may not want to agree but they got snitched twice by two different clubs in one season after being left high and dry by one third of their fearsome threesome.
(All figures in the article are in British pounds)