The consequence of Neymar to PSG will run parallel to Real Madrid's Galactico policy
Zidane y Pavones. Fans that have been following the game for a while might know what this term means. For the uninitiated, this is the infamous philosophy of Florentino Perez that believed that Madrid would sign a star like Zidane while also promoting a youth academy player every year.
Obviously, it backfired. This ideology was as effective as using a knife to dig a grave-sized hole in the ground. Even Florentino Perez knew that it won’t work. Rather, he won’t let it work. This was just his way to justify the big-money signings he was making in his first tenure as the president.
Perez was appointed the presiden of Real Madrid in 2000. The very foundation of his appointment was the promise of the beginning of the Galactico project. The construction magnate promised the fans that should he be elected, he would bring Luis Figo to the club.
And he kept his word – and so began the great Galactico era.
Where it all began
Luis Figo was signed for a world record fee and the next year, Zinedine Zidane followed suit from Juventus as he was also signed for a world record fee. And within the space of two windows, Florentino Perez had broken the record twice. It was the beginning of what we call today as the ‘transfer market madness.’
Putting all the blame on Perez’s shoulders would be wrong as well. After all, Italian clubs were on a roll. From 1984 to 1999, the transfer record was shattered 11 times, eight of which were done by the Italian clubs.
Prior to Figo moving to Real Madrid for a then world record fee of £37 million, Inter and Lazio broke the £30 million barrier by the signing of Christian Vieri and Hernan Crespo, respectively. The former cost Inter £32.1 million whilst Lazio had to pay £35.5 million for the services of Crespo.
So, you see, Perez wasn’t alone in rolling the snowball. The previous big-money deals were like pores in a water pipe. Perez, however, smashed the pipe completely with a hammer – and the signing of Zidane for £46 million completed the act.
The first Galactico era came and went, it was partly successful given that the club had won the Champions League once and the league twice in the initial years. However, after the departure of Vicente del Bosque and several key players due to Perez’s insistence of having only star players in the team, Madrid suffered and couldn’t win a single trophy for the rest of Perez’s first stint.
The ‘mad man’ was gone, but he left an impact in the transfer market. Clubs weren’t afraid to spend big now, but no club came close to breaking Zidane’s fee. That was perhaps a mental ceiling they had, one that wasn’t meant to be broken.
But not for Florentino Perez.
The second term got the ball rolling in full motion
The civil engineer was once again appointed as the club’s president in 2009 and oversaw the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo for a then world record fee of £80 million. Still, you could have felt a sense of discontentment. Maybe because, according to some, Cristiano Ronaldo’s sale was sanctioned before he arrived.
And then he went out on his way and signed Gareth Bale for £86 million, breaking the world record once again. If Cristiano’s fee hadn’t pushed the market into complete insanity, this did it. Ever since the transfer of Bale, the transfer market has seen a meteoric rise in the prices of players. The signings of James Rodriguez and Luis Suarez prove just that.
But nothing beats what’s about to happen: Neymar to PSG for £199 million – a transfer fee that will perhaps change the course of the transfer market henceforth. The prices quoted for Kylian Mbappe were just quoted prices after all. However, had any club paid it, it would have had the same impact ar Neymar’s move to PSG.
However, Neymar gets to be the first player to do so – the symbol that will forever be the image of transfer market insanity.
The consequences of Neymar to PSG
In retrospect, £199 million for someone like Neymar isn’t all that other-worldly – especially if you consider the prices being reported for Mbappe. The Brazilian has experience of playing at the top level while also possessing a strong commercial aspect about him. So it is a good investment for Paris-Saint Germain.
However, that is not the point here: it is the effect that this transfer leaves on the market. Like Jose Mourinho puts it, "the problem is not Neymar, it is the consequences [of paying £199 million for Neymar]." In a way, his huge price might further inflate the asking price for Kylian Mbappe. And, which is infinite times worse, clubs will demand in excess of £100 million for seemingly decent players.
In short, transfers with nine-figure fees will become commonplace in the future – and it all begins with Neymar to Paris-Saint Germain.
Most top clubs always had money to make big signings but lacked the final push of courage to do so. And then this man from Hortaleza, Madrid, comes in and changes everything. His outlandish ways inspired other clubs to go over the top to acquire the best.
And now, with PSG’s acquisition of Neymar, no club will ever be afraid of going over the top for the absolute best ever again. Perez’s ways pushed the market into insanity, Neymar to PSG will push it into inscrutability.
Also read: 5 ideal replacements for Neymar at Barcelona