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YOUNG MAN'S GAME

What are the most expensive transfers involving players over the age of 30?

We all know Neymar is the most expensive player on the planet, but what happens if you only include players over 30?

Football is a young man’s game. Or is it that you can’t with anything with kids?

Either way, the most expensive transfer in football is currently held by a 25-year-old Neymar, who broke a 23-year-old Paul Pogba’s record.

But what does the transfer climate look like when you only include players above the age of 30? Funny you ask.

NOT PICKED YOUR FANTASY FOOTBALL TEAM YET? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

A very rich photo

Getty - Contributor
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A very rich photo

1 Claude Makelele (30)

The most expensive veteran in footballing history is arguably also the greatest, and definitely the only player to have his own position.

Makelele left Real Madrid’s Galacticos for an equally rich project on the King’s Road when he moved to Chelsea in 2003 for £18million.

Money. Well. Spent.

Name a more iconic trio

Times Newspapers Ltd
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Name a more iconic trio

2 Claudio Bravo (33)

You’ve just started your new job. You need to make a statement. You’re not sure about your current no.1. What do you do?

Well, if you’re Pep Guardiola, you pay Barcelona £16.2mil for Bravo, only to realise that it’s not worth having a heart attack every time the ball goes back to the keeper’s feet.

Did you keep the receipt?

We’re no experts but we’re sure this isn’t how goalkeeping is meant to work

EPA
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We’re no experts but we’re sure this isn’t how goalkeeping is meant to work

3 Roberto Soldado (30)

Nope, you’re eyes aren’t going. That really does say Roberto Soldado.

Villarreal decided to spend £14.4m on the Spaniard having watched Soldado score seven goals in two Premier League seasons for Spurs.

In return they got five league goals out of an injury-hit season.

When you realise you’re not playing with Mousa Dembele any more

AFP
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When you realise you’re not playing with Mousa Dembele any more

4 Graziano Pelle (31)

Southampton must have thought someone was pulling their leg when they got offered £13.7m for a faltering Pelle.

But Shandong Luneng, giddy in the bliss of Chinese Super League money, weren’t joking around.

To be fair, his haircut alone was probably worth £10m.

Trying hard not to look mildly terrified

Refer to Caption
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Trying hard not to look mildly terrified

5 Ruud van Nistelrooy (30)

After getting on the wrong side of Sir Alex Ferguson there was no shortage of takers for Van Nistelrooy.

He chose Real Madrid, signing for £13.5m and linking up with Postman Pat, sorry, Fabio Capello.

Ruud’s four seasons in Madrid saw the Dutchman win two La Liga titles and a Spanish Super Cup, as well as being crowned Spain’s top goalscorer in 2007.

The camera is over here mate

AP:Associated Press
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The camera is over here mate

NOT PICKED YOUR FANTASY FOOTBALL TEAM YET? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

6 Ashley Williams (31)

Big Ronald Koeman decided his first act as Everton manager would be to sign a similarly classy centre-back in his mould.

Unfortunately Williams was the only person who picked up the phone, so Everton shelled out £12.6m to take him from Swansea.

Just kidding, Ash.

That badge is nearly as big as his chest

Getty - Contributor
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That badge is nearly as big as his chest

7 Petr Cech (33)

Everyone knows you take seven years off a goalkeeper’s age to find their real age.

Chelsea didn’t need Cech, with Thibaut Courtois’s rapid rise shoving him to the side, and Arsenal desperately needed a keeper whose wrists weren’t made of biscuits.

One of the few occasions when everyone was happy.

Arsenal really went all out to make Cech feel at home

Getty - Contributor
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Arsenal really went all out to make Cech feel at home

8 Andrew Cole (30)

Andrew? Andy? To avoid offending anyone we’ll stick to Cole.

Cole left Man United for Blackburn in 2001 for a fee of just under £11m, breaking up his partnership with Dwight Yorke.

You can never keep a good partnership apart though, with the pair reunited the very next season. Lovely stuff.

You don’t say no to Graeme Souness

PA:Press Association
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You don’t say no to Graeme Souness

9 Asmir Begovic (30)

As with Cech, take off seven years and Begovic is a relatively youthful keeper.

Bournemouth paid Chelsea £10.3m to save him from the Stamford Bridge bench, and presumably spent the next month teaching him how to walk again.

At least he won’t have to deal with the stress of playing behind David Luiz any more.

Why do we feel like he’s about to vanish

Getty - Contributor
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Why do we feel like he’s about to vanish

10 Emmanuel Petit

‘We’ll pay you £10m for the ponytail and £300k for the rest of him’.

So the conversation went between Chelsea and Barcelona when Petit moved back to England.

After three trophyless seasons in London he left to pursue his true calling of being a hair model. Who can blame him?

Luscious

EPA
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Luscious

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