5 players with the highest release clauses in world football currently
- Lionel Messi? Luka Modric? Antoine Griezmann? Who has the highest release clause of them all?
The influx of huge sums of money into football since the turn of the century has had a long-lasting effect on the finances of the beautiful game. Transfer fees paid out for the players are skyrocketing at the moment while weekly wages are also at an all-time high.
Since Paris Saint-Germain activated Neymar's release clause of £198 million in 2017 and prised him away from Barcelona, clubs are taking extreme measures to avoid losing their top players to clubs with deep pockets, resulting in some ridiculously high release clauses inserted into player contracts.
Though activating the release clause of a player is one of the most reasonable ways of securing the services of that player in the current scenario, it is highly unlikely that any club in the world would have the resources to activate the clauses of the five players we'll be taking a look at in this article, who have the highest release clauses in the world currently.
Figures Courtesy: Daily Mail
5. Lionel Messi - £592.5 million
It should come as no surprise that Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi makes it to our list. The left-footed forward is one of the greatest players of his generation and thus, the Catalans are not in the wrong to set their captain's release clause at a whopping £592.5 million. Real Madrid's Isco, Marco Asensio, and Vinicius Junior all share the same release clause as Messi.
It should be noted here that the amount does not represent Blaugrana's actual valuation of the player and is just an arbitrary number the club has put up to comply with the Spanish FA's ruling that requires a mandatory release clause in every player's contract.
If the 32-year-old is to leave the Camp Nou, it will be on his own accord, thanks to a special clause in the Argentine's contract that allows him to leave at the end of every season.
4. Brahim Diaz - £634.9 million
Brahim Diaz is without a doubt one of the best emerging talents in Europe at the moment and that explains why Real Madrid paid a transfer fee of £15.5 million to Manchester City for securing the 20-year-old's services in January 2019.
Despite getting their man for what could prove to be a bargain in the coming years, they have no intention of letting him leave the club on the cheap. The club has inserted a massive £634.9 million release clause in his contract.
It seems the club has overrated the midfielder, who has struggled since moving to the Santiago Bernabeu and is yet to prove himself on a bigger stage.
3. Luka Modric - £634.9 million
The 2018 Ballon d'Or winner Luka Modric has been one of the top midfielders in recent years for both club and country. Though there's no denying that he remains a crucial part of the Real Madrid team under Zinedine Zidane, a staggering release clause of £634.9 million cannot be justified for a player who will turn 35 this year.
Since moving to Spain in the summer of 2012, Modric helped his side to success in La Liga, Copa Del Rey, and, most importantly, the UEFA Champions League, where he played an important role in their three consecutive titles.
Los Blancos are in the process of revamping their squad and have made substantial investments in a younger crop of players, but it is their old guard that gets them through tricky fixtures and so, it is only natural that they are desperate to keep a hold of Modric, evident by his absurdly high release clause.
2. Antoine Griezmann - £677.2 million
Barcelona signed Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid last summer by activating his release clause of £105 million. They naturally want to protect their hefty investment in the form of the 2018 World Cup winner and have thus inserted a £677.2 million release clause into his five-year contract with the club.
The Catalans see Griezmann, 28, as a potential star at the Camp Nou once Messi decides to hang up his boots and also want to avoid a repeat of a Neymar-like situation. Thus, they have taken such an extreme step to make sure their forward is out of reach of any club that might attempt to sign him.
1. Karim Benzema - £846.7 million
Surprisingly, the player coming up number one on this list with the highest release clause in world football is Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, with an eye-watering figure of £846.7million (or roughly €1 billion if you prefer round figures).
The 32-year-old has been with Los Blancos for more than a decade now and has established himself as one of the most competent No.9s in the world over that period. The club's dependency on the Frenchman has only increased over the years and since the departure of their all-time top-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, he has stepped up to fill in the void.
Now we can't blame Madrid for slapping a humongous release clause on their primary source of goals, can we?
Published 14 Mar 2020, 16:35 IST