Giuseppe Savoldi may not be a name that many football fans can quickly recall. The Italian earned the nickname “Mister Two Billion” during the mid-seventies. This was a direct reference to the fee that Serie A club Napoli paid for him – two billion Italian Lira. That roughly equates to 1,033,000 Euros in today’s money.
Savoldi is the man regarded as being the first in the world to break the seven-figure transfer barrier, and not the much-favoured answer of Trevor Francis. Francis moved to Nottingham Forest from Birmingham for an actual transfer fee of £999,999 in 1979. That’s because then manager Brian Clough didn’t want Francis to have the stigma and pressure of being the first ‘Million Man’ in football, even though he still got the label.
Fast-forward to the modern era and it is nothing to see six-figure numbers on the table for soccer transfers. The English Premier League seems to be the current hotbed for such fees, which have now become commonplace. It is just assumed now that any world superstar is going to cost at least a hundred million Euros.
Such players commonly attract a lot of interest in markets covering player transfers at betting centres like Legalbet.es. But who are those who have already broken that transfer barrier on their way to La Liga? Here we count down the hundred million men to have reached Spain’s top-flight.
Gareth Bale – €101.00m
Not Neymar. Not Cristiano Ronaldo. The first player to move to La Liga for more than one hundred million Euros was Gareth Bale. The Welsh winger joined Real Madrid in 2013 from English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.
Bale had a much-storied career during his time at the Bernabéu, winning the Champions League five times with Los Blancos and three La Liga titles. However, he always appeared to have a rocky relationship with management and has since retired.
Jude Bellingham – €103.00m
The latest big-money move to the Spanish top flight involved England midfielder Jude Bellingham in the summer of 2023. As a 20-year-old he joined Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €103.00m.
The attacking midfielder, who won the 2023 Golden Boy Award for Europe’s best under-21 player, had a blistering start to his Real Madrid career, making Bellingham’s astronomical fee look like a bargain.
Eden Hazard – €115.00m
Not all big money transfers work out. Eden Hazard’s much-hyped move to Real Madrid in 2019 was certainly one that didn’t. The Belgian superstar was one of the greatest players in the world during his time in the English Premier League with Chelsea.
His ability to beat players and score goals was unmatched. But from the time he was sold to Real Madrid for €115.00m, things went sour with huge injury problems limiting his time in La Liga to just 54 appearances. Hazard had moved at the prime of his career, but instead of going on to further greatness, Hazard retired in 2023 without a club.
Antoine Greizmann – €120.00m
French super striker Antoine Greizmenn has had a long career in La Liga. His big-money transfer happened in the summer of 2019 when he was purchased by Barcelona for €120.00m from Atlético Madrid. It was unusual to see such a high-profile transfer between two leading clubs. Griezmann was loaned back to Atlético at one point, before being sold back to his former club in 2023.
Joao Felix – €127.20m
Portuguese dynamo João Félix cost Atlético Madrid a pretty penny back in 2019 when they purchased him from Benfica for €127.20m. Surprisingly, he has never managed to command a huge transfer fee, which is down to his initial astronomical contract. Félix was loaned to English Premier League side Chelsea in 2023 before going on loan to Barcelona until the end of the 2023/24 season.
Ousmane Dembélé – €135.00m
Ousmane Dembélé made his way to Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 for a fee of €135.00m. He was one of the biggest young talents in the world at the time and much coveted by the Catalans. While the World Cup winner with France did claim three La Liga titles with Barcelona, he arguably never quite justified his fee. Dembélé moved to PSG in 2023 for just €50.00m.
Philippe Coutinho – €135.00m
Jointly topping the charts for La Liga’s most expensive player is former Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian maestro went to the Camp Nou during the 2018 January transfer window from Premier League side Liverpool.
Coutinho cost Barcelona €135.00m, a fee that hasn’t been topped. He never really made a home there, however, and quickly became an unwanted player who was sent out on loan to Bayern Munich and Aston Villa.