Following Neymar’s €222 million world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, the world of football transfers took a quick turn towards bizarre as the transfer market became inflated like never before. Suddenly, clubs were prepared to splurge millions on players, not thinking twice about the impact it would have on their finances.
Neymar’s previous club, Barcelona, became a victim of this transfer market frenzy. They went after some interesting prospects without batting an eye and eventually failed to register their most successful player in history, Lionel Messi.
With astronomical transfers taking place more often than not these days, we could not help but wonder how valuable some football legends would be in today’s market conditions. So today, we will dabble in hypotheticals and take a look at
5 legends who would cost an arm and a leg in today’s market
#5 Lev Yashin
Football has seen some stunning goalkeepers over the years. Many have mesmerized us with stunning saves, composure during set pieces, and command inside the box. However, when it boils down to picking the outright best keeper in history — Lev Yashin often proves to be the unanimous choice.
Dubbed as “Black Panther,” Soviet Union goalkeeper Lev Yashin was known for his inhuman reflexes, intimidating presence, and unmatched positioning under the bar. He single-handedly changed how goalkeepers impacted the game by becoming a vocal leader of the entire back-line, shouting instructions from his position.
Yashin, who spent his 20-year career at Dynamo Moscow, saved around 150 penalties and kept 270 clean sheets. For his exploits, he was awarded the Ballon d’Or in 1963, becoming the first and only goalkeeper in history to win the prestigious individual accolade. In today’s market, the goalkeeper would have easily scored triple-digits in transfer fees and no one would have had any qualms about it.
#4 Paolo Maldini
AC Milan centre-back Paolo Maldini is widely revered as the best defender the game has ever seen. He was an excellent reader of the game, could take the ball off any attacker in the world, and was an exemplary leader on the pitch.
The Italy international was also the definition of loyalty in football, spending his entire 25-year career at AC Milan. During his quarter-of-a-century spell, he won seven Serie A titles and five UEFA Champions League trophies amongst other honors.
In today’s market, however, it probably would have been a little tougher for him to stay put, as many clubs would have tried their best to lure the legend away. He would have easily cost upwards of €100 million; and the buying club would have still been more than lucky to call upon his services.