Paul Pogba’s £89 million transfer from Juventus to Manchester United makes him the world’s most expensive footballer – but who would be his team mates in a bank-breaking XI?
The France star would naturally be the engine room of a midfield costing north of £200 million, and the team itself would set you back a cool £645 million to buy. Eat your heart out Galácticos, this might just be the greatest superstar side of all time.
Now, does anyone have pockets deep enough to make this a reality?
Gianluigi Buffon – £32.6 million
Juventus snapped up the Italian keeper from Parma all the way back in 2001 and he’s still going strong today. Buffon notched 974 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal in Serie A last term, and he’s also the record clean sheet holder for the division and the Italian national team.
Lilian Thuram – £22 million
France’s most-capped player, Thuram tore down the right flank for Monaco, Parma, Juventus and Barcelona in a decorated career. He made the switch to Juve with Buffon in 2001.
Luke Shaw – £28 million
A product of Southampton’s impressive academy system, Shaw was a big money signing for Louis Van Gaal during his ill-fated Manchester United reign. A sickening leg break last year halted his career, but he’s back in action under Jose Mourinho and an England recall is surely only a matter of time?
David Luiz – £50 million
Prone to the odd calamity at Chelsea, Brazilian David Luiz was transferred to cash-rich Paris Saint-Germain for £50 million in 2014, just months before he “starred” in Germany’s 7-1 World Cup demolition of the World Cup hosts. Stamford Bridge said farewell to the man with Sideshow Bob hair, but many were pleased to see the back of him.
John Stones – £47.5 million
The England centre-back long attracted the interest of the world’s top teams, so it was no surprise when Manchester City prised him away from Everton for a staggering £42 million – a record for an English defender.
Paul Pogba – £89 million
Pogba left Old Trafford in 2012 on a free to Juventus, and now he’s back. Or, #Pogback, if you’re happy to buy into United’s social media blitz. £89 million is some fee, but worth every penny if he’s the man to get the best out of Marouane Fellaini.
Cristiano Ronaldo – £80 million
The Ballon d’Or winner his achieved pretty much everything in the game, even becoming the world record transfer in 2009 when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid. Deep down, you just know he’s dreading a big money Lionel Messi move stealing his thunder.
James Rodríguez – £63 million
After an impressive season for Monaco and a dazzling World Cup for Colombia, Rodríguez became the most expensive Colombian footballer of all time when Real Madrid came calling. First team opportunities haven’t been that frequent, though, and Arsenal are apparently knocking on Rodríguez’s door.
Gonzalo Higuaín – £75.3 million
Prolific for Real Madrid, Napoli and Argentina, Higuaín was snapped up by Juve with the cash they pocketed for Pogba. Higuaín’s cutting edge up front will surely cement the Italian side as the dominant force in Serie A.
Neymar – £73.7 million
The diminutive Brazilian follows in the footsteps of great number tens like Pele, Zico and Rivaldo. He’s deadly in La Liga, leading the line for Barcelona with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. He already boasts more than 150 career goals and he’s still only 24.
Gareth Bale – £85.3 million
The British transfer record holder, Bale switched from Tottenham to Real Madrid in 2013. Though Bale struggled at first, he eventually managed to slot into Madrid’s all-star side and has powered in 40-plus goals in his three seasons in Spain.