It can be said that football has changed for the better since 2000. The game has become more attractive, players have more control over their destiny and clubs are happier than ever to invest in the personnel they need.
The action no longer stops at the end of the campaign, as fans can look forward to some tantalizing action in the transfer market during the off-season.
Today, we’re going to take a look at a few teams that have dominated offseason conversations since the turn of the century. We’re going to take a look at five massive clubs that have made the biggest spend and signed the biggest players since 2000.
Now, without further ado, let’s go.
Source: Transfermarkt (2)
Special note: We have only counted transfers from the summer of 2000. Loans have also been taken into account.
#5 Real Madrid – €2,268 million
Real Madrid have a reputation of being one of the biggest spending clubs in the world. Dressed in their famous white kit, the Whites have bewitched generations of footballers, luring them in with their history and promising future.
Since 2000, Real Madrid have spent 2,268 million euros to strengthen their squad, making 224 transfers.
Eden Hazard, who was signed in 2019 from Chelsea for a fee of €115m, is the club’s most expensive acquisition of all time. Gareth Bale, who left Tottenham Hotspur for the Whites in 2013, is second on the list, with a €101m price tag.
Signed from Manchester United for 94 million euros in 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo, who is widely regarded as the best transfer of all time, is the third most expensive arrival in Madrid history.
Carried by their Galacticos, the Merengues have won 32 trophies since 2000, including eight Ligas and six Champions Leagues, among other distinctions.
#4 Juventus – €2,300m
Italian powerhouse Juventus are one of the most decorated teams in the business.
Thanks to their excellent academy and sound finances, Juventus have always had a steady supply of talented individuals and players who have helped them win important trophies. Since 2000, Juventus have spent 2,300 million euros on starters, for a total of 815 signings.
Signed from Real Madrid for a fee of 117 million euros in 2018, Ronaldo is the most expensive transfer in the history of Juventus. Ronaldo’s former Real Madrid partner Gonzalo Higuain is in second place. He signed for the astronomical sum of €90m from Napoli in 2016.
In third place is Matthijs de Ligt, who joined the club from Ajax for €85.5m in 2019.
Juventus have won 24 trophies since 2000, including 11 Serie A titles and five Italian Cups.
#3 Barcelona – 2,341 million euros
Thanks to its excellent academy, La Masia, FC Barcelona has long had the privilege of training and fielding some of the best players in the world.
When talented academy graduates are in short supply, they tend to turn to the market and bring home some of the world’s most sought-after stars. Since 2000, Barca have spent €2,341m on arrivals, making 225 transfers.
Unfortunately, the Blaugrana haven’t had much luck with the big-money signings as their three biggest buys haven’t lived up to their expectations. Bought from Borussia Dortmund for 140 million euros in the summer of 2017, Ousmane Dembele is the most expensive player in the club’s history.
In second position, we find Philippe Coutinho, who arrived from Liverpool for 135 million euros in 2018. Antoine Griezmann is the third most expensive player in the history of FC Barcelona, since he signed in 2019 from the Atletico Madrid for the staggering sum of 120 million euros.
The Catalans have been wildly successful, both domestically and continentally, since 2000.
They have won 35 trophies this century, including 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and seven Spanish Cups.
#2 Manchester City – €2,453 million
From two Premier League titles in 132 years to six titles in the past decade, Premier League holders Manchester City have come a long way.
Their recent success is due to Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development Limited, which took ownership of the club in 2008. allowed the Cityzens to achieve unprecedented national success.
Manchester City’s most expensive acquisition is Jack Grealish, who was signed for a record €117.5million last summer.
In second place is club legend Kevin de Bruyne, who was bought for 76 million euros from Wolfsburg in 2015.
Central defender Ruben Dias is in third place with his €68m price tag. He was signed from Benfica ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.
Manchester City have won 17 trophies since the turn of the century, including six Premier League titles and six EFL Cups.
#1 Chelsea – 2,537 million euros
Premier League giants Chelsea have been the top-spending club since the turn of the century.
Before Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich took over the club in 2003, Chelsea had a much more humble past. The club had some great players, but was rarely talked about during transfers. Since 2003, it’s a completely different story.
The Blues have spent 2,537 million euros on transfers so far, confirming 497 arrivals since the summer of 2000. Romelu Lukaku, who was signed last summer from Inter Milan for a whopping 113 million euros, is the most expensive acquisition in the history of the Blues.
Kai Havertz, who joined Bayer Leverkusen for €80m in the summer of 2020, is the second most expensive player in the club’s history.
Raheem Sterling, meanwhile, is the biggest signing in the ongoing Todd Boehly era, sitting in third place with a €70m price tag.
Their lavish spending has seen them lift 22 trophies since 2000, including five Premier League and two Champions League.