18.10.2022 » Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list of the most expensive players after 30
Despite the recent acquisition of Casemiro from Real Madrid for a record £60 million (€70 million), plus another £10 million (€11 million) in add-ons, Cristiano Ronaldo remains the most expensive player aged 30 or over. Regardless of how appealing the contract may seem, the Brazilian midfielder is not the most expensive player over the age of 30 in history. Cristiano Ronaldo, currently at Man United, but also a former Real Madrid teammate, holds that honor. The Portuguese superstar was bought by Juventus from Real Madrid in July 2018 for a stunning €100 million, then aged 32...
Cristiano Ronaldo - Let me down slowly:
On the top of the list...
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Back to the list of most expensive ageing players, many Madrid fans believed the club sold its all-time leading goal scorer too soon when the move was sanctioned, resulting in a controversy that persisted until the fans moved on.
The Spanish powerhouse had won three consecutive Champions Leagues with Ronaldo's help before to capturing the UEFA Champions League for the 14th time last season.
Ronaldo won the Serie A twice while playing for Juventus, scoring 81 league goals in three seasons. He failed in continental competition, though, and in 2021 he left Juventus to play for his former side, Manchester United.
Casemiro comes second on the list of the most expensive players over 30 after leaving Real Madrid. He faces the immediate challenge of helping United turn around their season after a poor start.
Casemiro surpassed Miralem Pjanic, a player whose departure from Barcelona in August 2020 startled many. At the cost of €60 million, the now 32-year-old playmaker from Bosnia and Herzegovina left Juventus, while Brazil's Arthur moved in the opposite direction. The decision was intended to improve both the team's financial situation and on-field performance.
Pjanic spent the previous season on loan at Besiktas and only managed six starts for Barça in 2020–21. He is, however, back in the mix for 2022–2023.
Another Barcelona superstar, Robert Lewandowski, 33, is listed at number four. Barça paid German champions Bayern Munich €45m to sign the two-time European Golden Shoe winner, although he had one year left on his deal.
Paulinho, a former Brazil midfielder with a rocky tenure at Camp Nou, follows him. The now-34-year-old completed a string of perplexing moves, moving from Guangzhou Evergrande to Barcelona for €40 million in 2017, returning to the Chinese club on loan in 2018, and then moving there permanently for €42 million.
The competition doesn't come close for now...
Two seasoned defenders are in sixth and seventh place on the list, which is certainly not unexpected considering that defenders often reach their best a bit later in their careers.
Leonardo Bonucci, aged 35, left Juventus after seven years to join Serie A rivals AC Milan for a fee of €42 million in July 2017. He returned to Turin a year later when Chelsea acquired Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli.
Belgian international midfielder Radja Nainggolan was signed by Inter Milan from Roma in 2018 for €38 million. Before moving on loan to Cagliari, he was only in San Siro for a single season.
It's important to go back to 2000 to find the next name on the list. The legendary, long-haired Argentine forward Gabriel Batistuta was perhaps Fiorentina's finest player before signing with Roma for €36 million, which was a record fee for a player in his 30s then.
His 20 league goals enabled Roma to capture their first Scudetto in 18 years, which still stands as their most recent Serie A title; therefore, the cost was reasonable.
The first goalie we've talked about completes the top 10. In June 2019, Valencia paid €35 million to sign Jasper Cillessen from Barcelona in a deal that saw another goalkeeper, Neto, head the other way and was, like the Pjanic transfer, as much about creative accounting as it was about boosting the team.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Manchester United in the Premier League is on October 19, against Tottenham. You can watch Manchester United vs Tottenham, Elche vs Real Madrid, Sevilla vs Valencia, Liverpool vs West Ham, Crystal Palace vs Wolverhampton, and Brentford vs Chelsea, all matches provided from our soccer live game pages.
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