The hardest part of a breakup is moving on.
But what happens when that breakup involves the exchange of a world record amount of money, say in the region of £90million?
How were the last six world transfer records prior to Neymar replaced? Was that even possible? Let’s find out.
Barcelona (Sold Luis Figo to Real Madrid for £37m in 2000)
Barcelona had plenty of money to be spend once they’d sold Figo and bought a pig’s head from the local butcher for £7.
The chosen one was Marc Overmars, who arrived from Arsenal for a fee of around £25mil, making him the most expensive player in Dutch history.
He was a like for like replacement, and with the money left over Barcelona signed Overmars’ former team-mate Emmanuel Petit.
Nothing like a two-for-one sale at Arsenal.
Juventus (Sold Zinedine Zidane to Real Madrid for £46m in 2001)
When you get raided by a bigger club, what do you do? In true circle of life fashion you just bully a club further down the food chain.
Juventus signed Pavel Nedved, and his perfectly coiffured hair, from Serie A rivals Lazio in an effort to replace Zidane’s creativity.
That would have been a successful window for most clubs, but Juventus weren’t done there.
The Old Lady also signed Nedved’s former team-mate Marcelo Salas, as well as Gianluigi Buffon and Lilian Thuram from Parma.
Now that’s just downright greedy.
AC Milan (Sold Kaka to Real Madrid for £56m in 2009)
Is anyone spotting a pattern? Something about Real Madrid? No, only us? We’ll carry on then.
Milan’s efforts to replace Kaka were, and there’s no other way to say this, piss poor.
Clarence Seedorf continued as Milan’s no.10 while his compatriot Klaas-Jan Huntelaar came in to score all of seven goals that season.
Having realised they might be slightly short in terms of creativity Milan’s board went in search of a playmaker.
After scouring the globe they came back with Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Man United (Sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80m in 2009)
Sir Alex Ferguson famously declared he wouldn’t sell Madrid a virus, but he did sell them Ronaldo in the end.
That’s probably because he knew he had an epic replacement up his sleeve. He got on the blower, scrolled through his contacts, breathing heavily, before settling on Wigan Athletic Football Club.
Eight years later and Antonio Valencia is still at Old Trafford, where he’s carved out a career as a more-than passable right-back.
In fact he’s arguably been United’s best defender of the last five years, although he hasn’t had too much competition.
Spurs (Sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for £86m in 2013)
Madrid sure do like breaking their own transfer records.
Spurs lost goals and assists when they sold Bale to Madrid in 2013, so one signing was never going to be enough.
Daniel Levy put the feelers out and ended up with Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli.
You couldn’t find a more perfect trio to play ‘keep, make disappear and sell to West Brom’ with.
Juventus (Sold Paul Pogba to Man United for £89m in 2016)
A world transfer record that doesn’t involve Madrid. What is this madness?
After they were done laughing to the bank with an £89m profit on a player they’d signed for free four years earlier, Juventus needed to find a replacement.
That replacement came in the shape of Miralem Pjanic who, and we’re going to go out on a limb here, is the best player ever to represent Luxembourg’s Under-19s.
Want a fun fact to round this all off? Pjanic speaks five languages. Six if you’re counting football.