Top 10 most expensive signings by FC Barcelona
9. Arda Turan (Atletico Madrid 2015/2016) – €34 million
The most expensive player in Turkish history was brought through at Galatasary, taking the armband at the tender age of 21. His feisty attitude, superb close control and terrific vision have established him as one of their finest players ever. With only 7 caps to go until he is made a centurion, few would doubt that assessment – his 17 goals in the national colours have endeared him to all of Turkey’s top coaches.
In fact, his fame spread further than that, to Iberian nation Spain, where Atletico Madrid were seeking a player who embodied their tough, feisty and tenacious identity. Eventually, he signed on for a record fee for any Turkish player (€12 million). 45 matches later, his 5 goals and 12 assists (including one for Falcao’s game-killer in their 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in final) saw him become a European champion as Atletico Madrid won the Europa League.
In the UEFA Super Cup, he played a key role as Radamel Falcao ran riot against Chelsea to win 4-1 for his second trophy in Spain. He switched to the number 10 to signal his growing creative duties in the team, eventually totalling 5 goals and 8 assists as his team won the Copa Del Rey against Mourinho’s Real Madrid – at the Santiago Bernabeu!
The following season he played a crucial part of Diego Simeone’s valiant side that broke the frankly boring duopoly of La Liga, winning Atletico Madrid’s first La Liga title since 1996. Although they lost in the Champions League final, they won a lot of respect around the globe for doing the unthinkable over 38 games. Arda Turan’s hit-and-run goal at Stamford Bridge was what ensured that the Spaniards would humble Mourinho’s Chelsea at their own home (3-1). He scored 9 goals and laid a further 6 for his team.
Atletico’s rivalry with Barcelona was a daring affair to see as Messi and Co. slowly removed the chokehold that Simeone’s men had had over them in the previous season. Eventually, things came to a head and Arda Turan threw his boot at a linesman in a fit of rage after a decision didn’t go his way.
Despite the moment of madness going viral, he was not punished for it at all, but his anger at Barcelona benefitting from decisions was clear. So how insane was it that just months later, he moved on from Atletico to sign for Barcelona – who had just been handed a transfer ban, meaning he would have to wait 6 months before making his debut for them?
As insane as the truth, which is that he did exactly that at the start of the 2015/2016 season for a gigantic fee. Eventually, Turan would take the number 7 and make his debut in a Barcelona derby in which his new side ran out 4-1 winners. His debut season was poor however, scoring just 4 and assisting 2 in 25 games.