The website Play Ratings has been playing about with inflation rates to figure out what the largest transfers from the 80s and 90s would equate to today.
Neymar’s transfer might not be the best in the world after all! In 1997, Ronaldo left Barca after an absolutely amazing season, during which he scored 47 goals in 49 matches. His transfer to Inter Milan became the most expensive transfer in the history of football: £25 million. A sum of money that would now be paid for a player who had just had a good season in League 1 and who had caught the eye of a promoter from the Premier League.
But if you take into account the inflation rates from over the last 22 years, his transfer goes from 25 million pounds to… £388 million! That equates to almost double the largest transfer in history, when Neymar left Barca to move to PSG for £199 million. If all transfers from the 80s and 90s were rescaled according to inflation rates, Neymar’s transfer to Paris would only rank 5th on the list of the most expensive.
Before him would be Maradona’s transfer to Naples, which, if you take inflation into account, would be 310 million pounds today! Michel Platini from Saint-Etienne to Juve, would equate to 300 million pounds today and in fourth place is Christian Vieri’s transfer to Lazio for £294 million (155 million francs at the time, which equates to £21.1 million).