Real Madrid continues spending big: an analysis and records

After having spent 12 years forming a new superstar team, Real Madrid won the Champions League for the tenth time in May of this year (2014). In the final, Real Madrid’s first 11 had a combined transfer value of €380.5M (*see list at the end of article) and Casillas, almost costing them the cup, was the only player to come from Madrid’s youth academy.

This summer they continued spending: €80M on James and €30M on Kroos (what a steal!), and Real Madrid crossed the 100 million euro barrier for the sixth time this millennium, meanwhile securing their top spot in the transfer expenditures list since 2000, in which Chelsea impeded to come close. Since 2000, when Florentino Pérez started his first term as director at the club, ‘Los Merengues’ have already spent €1,442,550,000 on buying players.

Captura de pantalla 2014-07-30 a la(s) 10.06.38 PM  Captura de pantalla 2014-07-30 a la(s) 10.13.06 PM

Time for an analysis of those dazzling numbers.

Return on investments: cups?

Although some players might have been purchased for marketing reasons (Beckham), let’s suppose than the main goal of bringing players to the Bernabéu stadium is to win prices. In order to analyze this we will consider the amount spent at the beginning of a season and the prices (Champions League, La Liga and/or Copa del Rey) at the end of the season.

In those 14 years Real Madrid won 9 prices: 2 Champions Leagues, 5 times the Spanish league and 2 Copas del Rey. As mentioned, this year’s Champions League shows that the € 174M spent last summer (second highest in their history) worked out pretty well for them!

However, in 2009, the year they spent more money on transfer than any football club in the history did in one year, they did not manage to win a single price. They became second in the league, lost in the round of 16 of the CL against Lyon and did not manage to pass the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey after suffering a 4-0 defeat at AD Alcorcón. But then, also in the two fewest spending years they did not win a cup.

In the other 4 of the 5 highest spending years Madrid did manage to win a price each time (3 leagues, 1 champions, 1 spanish cup).

Captura de pantalla 2014-07-30 a la(s) 11.37.57 PM

Player performance in comparison to their transfer fee

From the players who continue playing at Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos was the first one to arrive at Bernabéu. He was transferred in from Sevilla in 2005 for €27M. He has already played 9 seasons, in which he summed 390 games and 47 goals. Apart from his salary, that is only €70,000 per game and €575,000 per goal, which is very reasonable for a defender.

The ‘cheapest’ goals came from Gonzalo Higuaín. He came over from River Plate for only €12M and managed to score 119 goals, making the value of his goal just over €100,000 per goal. To reach that value Cristiano Ronaldo (€94M) needs to add 681 more goals to his current total of 252. For Gareth Bale (€101M) this point is only 980 goals away.

Captura de pantalla 2014-07-31 a la(s) 12.11.22 AM

(Note: selling fees are not taken into account)

Transfer fees per position

Not surprisingly the average paid price for an attacker was the highest, followed by midfielders, defenders and last goalkeepers. The average age of a signing has the reversed sequence: attackers, with on average 23.6 years, are the youngest to join the Real Madrid team.

Captura de pantalla 2014-07-31 a la(s) 1.15.44 AM

Seven of the 18 defenders that have been bought since 2000 continue playing for Real, and the average amount of games per defensive reinforcement is the highest of the 4 positions. Only 3 of the 24 for strikers that have been bought managed to stay until now.

Records (this list IS updated to now)

A list of some impressive records since 2000:

  • Most expensive player: Gareth Bale (€101M)
  • Most expensive defender: Pepe and Coentrao (€30M)
  • Most expensive midfielder: James (€80M)
  • Most expensive attacker: Gareth Bale (€101M)
  • Most expensive player to never score: Casemiro (€6M, 25 games)
  • Most expensive player to only stay 1 season: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (€27M)
  • Cheapest player to play 50+ matches: Santiago Solari (€3.5M, 204 games)
  • Cheapest player to score 10+ goals: Santiago Solari (€3.5M, 25 goals)
  • Cheapest player to score 50+ goals: Gonzalo Higuaín (€12M, 119 goals)
  • Biggest gain on player who stayed 2 years or less: Michael Owen (€ 13M)
  • Biggest loss on player who stayed 2 years or less: Arjen Robben (€ 12M)
  • Youngest player bought: Ødegaard (16.0 years old – Strømgodset IF – 2015 – €3M)
  • Youngest player to cost over €20M: Fernando Gago (20.4 years old – Boca – 2006 – €20.5M)
  • Youngest player to cost over €30M: Isco (21.4 years old – Málaga – 2013 – €20.5M)
  • Oldest player to cost over €20M: Zinedine Zidane (29.2 years old – Juventus – 2001 – €74M)
  • Club with highest amount of fees received from RM: Manchester United (4 players – €159M)
  • Club with most players sold to RM: Manchester United and Liverpool (4 players)
  • Nationality with highest transfer value: Portuguese (6 players – €247M)
  • Non-spanish nationality with most players transferred to RM: Brazil (10 players)

*2014 Champions League Final line-up:

Casillas: €0M
Carvajal:€6.5M
Ramos: €27M
Varane: €10M
Coentrao: €30M
Khedira: €14M
Modric: €30M
Di María: €33M
Bale: €101M
Ronaldo: €94M
Benzema: €35M

(Note: all transfer fees originate from http://www.transfermakt.de. Loan fees (e.g. Adebayor) are not included in the data, and all transfers are considered to have been closed on the 31/aug of the corresponding year)

(Note2: article is updated until the end of July 2014 and does not (yet) include new transfers like Keylor Navas)

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