Barcelona most expensive signings ever
Barcelona, believed to be “more than a club” by Catalonians and its supporters from all around the world. Millions of people have watched Barcelona play since it was founded 120 years ago, while millions aspire to be a Barcelona player one day. It does, however, require countless hours of training and a lot of effort to become a Blaugrana player.
There are of course some people who have not only managed to sign for one of the biggest clubs in the world, but they have also become one of the most expensive signings in Barcelona history. For a club of this caliber to write a blank cheque in order to acquire one’s services from another club, one must be quite a talent and a superstar in the world of football, so that they could become one of Barcelona most expensive signings ever.
While that is in fact true, being one of Barca’s most expensive signings of all time does not necessarily mean that one would automatically become a successful legend at the club, which applies to all the other clubs as well, since there have been numerous times when exorbitant amounts of money have been spent to bring in a player, only for the player to turn out to be a flop in the end. Let us see how much is FC Barcelona highest transfer fee paid ever and get to know how the board and the managers of those times have handled some of the most expensive Barcelona transfers of all time.
Barcelona most expensive transfers ever
Being on the list of Barcelona most expensive signings ever truly does put an extra load of pressure on a player’s shoulders. Let’s see who the most expensive signings in Barcelona history are, and which of those players have been able to succeed at the club.
- Price: £36m
- Status: Success
The 2008 European Champion and 2010 World Cup winner David Villa is and always will be in the hearts of the club’s supporters since he was a part of the trident that managed to win both the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League in the same year. As one of Barca's most expensive signings of all time, Villa signed for the club in the 2010/11 season from Valencia for £36 million.
The expectations were high, and boy did he deliver. Although overshadowed by Lionel Messi’s presence as all strikers and technically all Barcelona players are, Villa managed to score 48 goals and create an additional 23 in 119 games, which surely could have been more, had it not been for his injuries. As one of Barcelona most expensive signings ever, his time was cut short mostly due to tribia fractures and of course the arrival of players such as Alexis Sanchez.
After a couple of quite successful years in Catalonia, David Villa moved to the capital and signed for Atletico Madrid, where he got another La Liga title to his name, before moving to the MLS in 2014 on a free transfer to play for New York City FC. The Japanese side Vissel Kobe was the last club he played for before finally hanging up his boots in 2019/2020.
- Price: £37m
- Status: Flop
As far as footballing career disasters and flops go, Malcom’s move to Barcelona is surely a noteworthy instance. The Brazilian moved to Catalonia in 2018 for a reported fee of £37 million, which put him on the list of Barcelona most expensive transfers ever. He was one of the rebound players Barcelona had bought to fill the void left by Neymar, who signed for PSG in 2017 for £200 million, which broke the world record for the highest transfer fee paid ever.
Unfortunately for Barca fans, Malcom did not turn out to be their new savior as he only managed to play 24 games in total, scoring 4 goals and adding another 2 assists to his name before finally moving to Zenit Saint Petersburg for almost the same price he was bought for.
One of the most expensive Barcelona signings of all time has got quite a lot of time to recover, however, as he is only 23 years old and can in fact bounce back from being a Barcelona flop, but it requires a lot of effort and hard work and does not come cheap.
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- Price: £54m
- Status: TBD
Miralem Pjanic got his name on the list of Barcelona most expensive signings ever when he switched clubs with Arthur this season. Of course the Catalans did not actually pay any money to Juventus as they received the 30-year-old plus £11 million for their 24-year-old Brazilian midfielder Arthur, which shocked Barca fans as to why they would bring in a 30-year-old for such a hefty price.
Before becoming one of Barca's most expensive signings of all time, the Bosnia-Herzegovina international used be a vital part of the Italian giants Juventus, as he went on to play a total of 178 games in four seasons at the club, bagging himself 22 goals and 41 assists in the process. As a player on the list of most expensive Barcelona transfers of all time, he has won 4 Scudettos, 2 Coppas Italia and 1 Supercoppa Italiana during those four seasons.
It is however, difficult and too early to comment on his status at Barcelona and define whether if he is a success or a flop at the Spanish club as he has played less than five games. Only time will tell if he is worth being one of the most expensive signings in Barcelona history or not.
- Price: £62.5m
- Status: Flop
Well, to be honest, Zlatan was not much of a flop, but a displaced player, who did not and could not feel at home at Barcelona after completing one of the most expensive moves in football history at the time and also becoming one of the Barcelona most expensive signings ever.
The Lion moved to Spain from Italy for £62 million, which excited even the most skeptic of the fans as one of the best strikers in the world had signed for one of the best clubs in the world. Everything was set to create history, but it just was not meant to be as the Sweden international could not find a way to fit in with the players, Pep Guardiola and the club in general.
That is why Zlatan only got to play 46 games for La Blaugrana, scoring 22 goals and adding another 12 assists in the process, which is not bad at all and shows that it could have been a lot better had the player been comfortable at the club. Unfortunately, we will have list him as a flop, as one of the most expensive Barcelona signings of all time moved back to Italy to sign for AC Milan only a year after his record-breaking move to Barcelona.
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- Price: £73.5m
- Status: Success
Not only was Luis Suarez one of Barcelona most expensive signings ever, he was also one of the most lethal strikers in the history of Barcelona strikers as he went on to score a phenomenal 195 goals in 283 games, adding another 113 assists shows how prolific the striker actually was at the club.
The Uruguayan moved to Barcelona from Liverpool in 2014 for a whopping £73 million, which to be honest, he was worth every penny. He was a part of one of the scariest and deadliest trios the world of football has ever seen, which was named the MSN trio, consisting of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr. As one of Barcelona’s most expensive signings ever, Suarez became a part of La Blaugrana’s history, which is all the more terrible and a shame that he was treated the way he was by the club as he was forced to move out.
The treatment was so harsh that even broke the heart of Lionel Messi who went on to post a picture on Instagram with the following caption: "You deserved to depart for who you are: one of the most important players in the club's history, winning things as part of a group and individually. Not for them to kick you out as they have done. But the truth is nothing surprises me anymore."
No matter how it ended between the player and the club, he is considered to have been a success at Barcelona and it was in fact worth making him one of the most expensive Barcelona transfers of all time.
Frenkie de Jong
- Price: £78m
- Status: Success
Although a lot more time is needed to truly consider a player a success or a flop at a club, but considering the likes of Malcom, Frenkie de Jong is certainly a success from early on. The 23-year-old signed for the Spanish giants from Ajax in 2019 for £78 million, which belongs on the list of FC Barcelona highest transfer fee paid ever and puts de Jong on the list of Barcelona most expensive signings ever.
The Dutch midfielder has made 46 appearances since joining the club and has shown his immense potential that he is going to realize, given enough effort, time and hard work. After all, it is all in his own hands to choose whether he wants to stay a success or if he wants to turn out to be yet another expensive flop at Barcelona.
- Price: £80m
- Status: Success
Neymar was believed to be the heir apparent to Lionel Messi’s throne after he became one of Barcelona most expensive signings ever with his £80 million move from Santos FC. He was adored by Barcelona fans and was also part of the famed MSN trio who went on to conquer Spain and the world together.
Neymar’s legacy at Barcelona was cut short, unfortunately, as he only managed to play a total of 186 games for the club, during which he netted 105 goals and 76 assists, which made him one of the most prolific wingers in football. That is why the French giants PSG decided to activate Neymar’s release clause of £200 million to bring him to Paris.
It was one of the most shocking news at the time as the prince of Barcelona had broken the hearts of many supporters of the club by moving away to find his own identity away from Messi’s shadow.
- Price: £110m
- Status: Flop
Griezmann’s name was put on the list of Barcelona most expensive transfers ever after his controversial move to Catalonia from Atletico Madrid for £110 million. The Frenchman was one of Atletico’s brightest stars and one of the most lethal strikers ever as he had managed to score 133 goals and add another 50 assists to his tally in 257 games, which is why Barcelona decided to activate his release clause.
Since joining La Blaugrana in 2019, however, the 29-year-old striker has not been able to repeat those feats at Barcelona as he has only scored 15 times in 52 games, which some might consider as not bad. For a club such Barcelona, however, these stats are not satisfactory, especially given the fact that they have spent over £110 million to bring him in, which puts his fee on the list of FC Barcelona highest transfer fee paid ever.
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- Price: £120m
- Status: Flop
After Neymar’s Departure from Barcelona in 2017, the club went into panic-mode to quickly replace the Brazilian with a new player, which only meant that other clubs would take advantage of Barcelona’s panic to heavily increase the asking price for their players.
That is how the then 20-year-old Ousmane Dembele became one of Barcelona most expensive signings ever by completing a £120 million move from Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona. The Catalonians were quick to spend the money they had earned from Neymar’s sale as the opted to invest in the French winger.
This investment, however, did not pan out to be a success in the end, which has been mainly due to Dembele’s consistent injury as he has missed more than 60 games in the three seasons that he has been at the club, while only making 76 appearances in total, bagging 19 goals and 16 assists in the process.
Barcelona’s new manager Ronald Koeman seems to have confidence in one of Barcelona most expensive signings ever, as he has given some play time to the injury-prone winger to boost his self-confidence and further integrate him into the squad.
- Price: £131m
- Status: Flop
Philippe Coutinho was yet another one of the signings to replace Neymar at Barcelona. It seems that his departure left quite an empty void in the club’s squad that even spending more than £250 million could not help fill that void as Coutinho turned out to be the most expensive flop ever.
The Brazilian forced his move out of Liverpool, where he was considered to be one of the best players of the team, to Barcelona for £130 million, which is quite a mind-blowing figure. The club could not get the best out of him, however, as he was not able to impress under Valverde’s management, which is why he was loaned to Bayern Munich the very next season.
Although, he was able to turn the tables in Germany as he played 38 games for the Bavarians and managed to score 11 goals, two of which actually came in the 8-2 Champions League humiliation of Barcelona, as he added another 9 assists to his tally to help the German side win the continental treble before moving back to Spain. We will have to wait and see if he manages to continue his fine form at Barcelona or not.