The transfer market can often encourage even the shrewdest of clubs to pay the big bucks to land the players on their wishlist. There are several factors driving high prices, including the player's worth to his parent club and his potential to become a world-beater.
Spanish players, in particular, have fetched quite a bit of money as they are often wanted by multiple clubs. Keeping the ball on the ground, being excellent in possession and technically adept are just some of the facets of most Spaniards and players who have played in the country.
So it comes as no surprise that the transfer fees paid for them are normally on the higher side as compared to their market value. On that note, let's take a look at five of the most expensive Spanish players of all time.
Note: Players who were not born in Spain but have represented the national team have been included in this list.
#5 Rodri - €62.7 million
The former Atletico Madrid ace was lured to the Etihad by Pep Guardiola and has not looked back since. Playing a focal role in the center of the pitch, Rodri has dictated Manchester City's passing over the last three years. During this period, he has made 152 appearances across all competitions and has won the Premier League on two occasions.
He also scored vital goals in their title-winning campaign last season, including the equalizer in the 3-2 victory against Aston Villa on the last day. With the player still only 26-years-old, Manchester City are bound to earn a return on their massive investment in him if he has not already done the same.
#4 Aymeric Laporte - €65 million
Aymeric Laporte, albeit born and brought up in France, landed in Spain at Athletic Bilbao at the age of 16. He went on to establish himself as a top-quality centre-back before Manchester City snapped him up in January 2018.
However, the player did not come cheap. Bilbao played hardball with the Citizens, and the English side had to cough up €65 million (the club's most expensive player at the time) for the player.
Regardless, one can now argue that Laporte has certainly been worth it, having helped the club win four Premier League titles over his four-and-a-half seasons at the Etihad.
While injury issues have often been a concern for him, he is arguably the best centre-back at Manchester City and perhaps in England as well. An incredible ball-playing centre-back, Laporte has also opted for dual citizenship and is currently a starter for the Spanish national team.
#3 Marc Cucurella - €65.3 million
Marc Cucurella's recent move from Brighton & Hove Albion to Chelsea for €65.2 million is the most recent big-money transfer in the 2022 summer transfer window.
Although there were reports initially of a fee being agreed for a lower sum, the Seagulls were quick to dismiss such reports by putting out a club statement. The confusion behind this was perhaps surrounding the structure of Levi Colwill's move to Brighton, as it eventually settled into a straight loan deal.
Regardless, Thomas Tuchel & Todd Boehly will be pleased with their acquisition of the Spanish full-back. A versatile and dynamic player, Cucurella can not only deputize but also start ahead of Ben Chilwell for the Blues this season.
Additionally, he can also play as a left centre-back, thereby providing excellent depth in the defense. His transfer fee may have come under scrutiny, but it is worth noting that Cucurella won both player of the season awards at Brighton in the 2021/22 campaign.
Moreover, with the player having only recently turned 24, he has nearly a decade of football ahead of him. Nevertheless, time will be the best judge of the Spaniard's move to Chelsea this summer as the club looks to challenge for the biggest trophies again this season.
#2 Alvaro Morata - €66 million
Alvaro Morata may not have materialized into the player everybody thought he would be a few years ago, but there is still time for him to turn things around.
A Real Madrid academy graduate, Morata was bought by Chelsea in 2017 for €66 million as Antonio Conte decided to sign him to replace the outgoing Diego Costa. While the Spaniard produced encouraging performances in the beginning, things went downhill pretty quickly.
After a subpar debut season, Maurizio Sarri put him down the pecking order at the club as he preferred Olivier Giroud. Morata eventually joined Atletico Madrid on a loan deal in 2019 before signing for them permanently a year later.
Hence, it was a bad piece of business by the Blues, as evidenced by Morata's 24 goals and six assists in 72 appearances for the club. Chelsea, however, did recoup €65 million from his sale, thereby not sustaining any financial loss from his move in 2017.
#1 Kepa Arrizabalaga - €80 million
Chelsea love signing Spanish players for big fees, and Kepa Arrizabalaga is yet another indication of the same. The West London club brought him from Athletic Bilbao to Stamford Bridge in 2018 for a then club-record fee of €80 million.
During his debut season, Kepa helped the club win the Europa League trophy and finish 3rd in the Premier League. However, a bad memory from that campaign was the shot-stopper's refusal to be substituted in the 2019 Carabao Cup final defeat against Manchester City.
Although Maurizio Sarri left the club after only one season, Kepa's flaws were quickly identified during Frank Lampard's first season at the club. While the Spaniard could not be completely blamed for his poor performances in the 2019/20 season, Lampard decided to replace him by signing Edouard Mendy ahead of the following campaign.
Since then, Kepa has played as a back-up to the Senegalese but has proved crucial in penalty shoot-outs. He has now been linked with an exit from the club and the Blues might never recover a return on the €80 million they paid for him in 2018.