Barça have just paid a colossal sum of money in signing Philippe Coutinho, who is a fine player but one who didn't even feature in the Top Ten ranking in the recent Ballon D'Or list. Despite not making it into the current elite, the Brazilian is a solid purchase before we begin to look closer at his price tag. This is the way the modern game has evolved with prices constantly spiraling. We saw how PSG set the bar last summer by paying 222 million euro for the services of Neymar and now few blink an eye when defenders are sold for 70 million euro plus as Neymar's move heralded a new age in the astronomical fees that the game is commanding currently.
This is how things have developed in football and it's particularly telling when we look back at the deal that was brokered in 1990 by Canal Plus and local television networks in securing the rights for live Spanish football with a sum of just 54.000 million pesetas ($54M) was paid for an eight year term and I still recall the time when Dutch legend Johan Cruyff moved to Barcelona for a fee of a million dollars and that was deemed as an astronomical figure at the time. That sum of money is now standard for any average player and not even necessarily a striker.
World's most expensive
We shouldn't bee too surprised to see these staggering sums of money swamping the game. Cristiano's signing broke the world record in the 2009 and was only beaten when Madrid signed Welsh striker Gareth Bale (despite Florentino's best efforts to hide the price-tag). Those have been trumped by the moves involving Pogba, Neymar, Dembélé, Coutinho... with the prices associated with top players showing no signs of slowing down and these fees not exclusive to strikers or goalscorers with Liverpool paying 78 million euro for Southampton defender Van Dijk. Football has become a global entertainment business and with interest in the game showing little sign of abating, these are the prices we have to just get used to.