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Most expensive LaLiga signings outside the Big Three

Most expensive LaLiga signings outside the Big Three

Most expensive LaLiga signings: Spanish football has been dominated by the three biggest clubs in Spain. They are Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Therefore it is no surprise that they have dominated the transfer records as well. However, an unfathomable stat is that no club outside the big three falls within the first 32 rankings in most expensive LaLiga signings. Hence, we will take a look at the most expensive signings made by LaLiga clubs excluding Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.


Player: Denílson
Position: Left Winger
Age: 20
Transfer Season: 1998-1999
From: São Paulo Futebol Clube (Brazil Série A)
To: Real Betis Balompié (Spain LaLiga)
Transfer Fee: €31.50 million

Denílson, a highly promising left-winger from Brazil, completed a groundbreaking transfer during the 1998-1999 transfer season, moving from São Paulo Futebol Clube to Real Betis Balompié for an astounding transfer fee of €31.50 million. The transfer set a new record at the time, making Denílson the most expensive footballer in the history of the sport.

Denílson’s transfer to Real Betis garnered worldwide attention, and the expectations surrounding the hefty price tag was sky high. The relatively inexperienced forward, however, was one of the biggest flops in football history even until today. The club were relegated in the 1999-2000 season. The Brazilian after he had managed just three league goals in seven years with the club. Betis parted ways with him in 2005. The managed to get € 480,000 for him from Bordeaux.


Player: Iñigo Martínez
Position: Centre-Back
Age: 26
Transfer Season: 2017-2018
From: Real Sociedad (Spain LaLiga)
To: Athletic Bilbao (Spain LaLiga)
Transfer Fee: €32.00 million

Iñigo Martínez, a talented center-back from Spain, completed a notable transfer during the 2017-2018 transfer season, moving from Real Sociedad to Athletic Bilbao for a transfer fee of €32.00 million. The transfer marked a significant move between two prominent LaLiga clubs and showcased Martínez’s capabilities as a top-class defender in Spanish football.

The transfer to Athletic Bilbao saw Martínez leave his boyhood club, Real Sociedad, after spending several seasons there. While at Real Sociedad, he had been an integral part of their defense and emerged as one of the most promising young defenders in LaLiga. However, the opportunity to join a prestigious club like Athletic Bilbao and take on new challenges prompted his move.

Iñigo Martínez’s arrival at Athletic Bilbao brought a valuable addition to their defensive line. Renowned for his strong defensive attributes, aerial prowess, and impressive ball-playing skills, Martínez quickly established himself as a key player in the team’s backline.

His ability to read the game and make crucial interceptions, coupled with his commanding presence in aerial duels, made him a formidable force in defending set-pieces. Additionally, Martínez’s composure on the ball and excellent distribution skills allowed Athletic Bilbao to initiate attacks from the back, aligning well with the club’s playing style.

Throughout his tenure at Athletic Bilbao, Martínez displayed consistent performances and became a leader in the team’s defensive organization. His contributions were vital in helping the club maintain a strong defensive record in LaLiga.

His performances not only earned him recognition as one of the standout center-backs in Spain but also caught the attention of the national team selectors, leading to his inclusion in the Spanish national squad on several occasions. This summer the defender joined FC Barcelona on a free transfer.


Player: Jasper Cillessen
Position: Goalkeeper
Age: 30
Transfer Season: 2019-2020
From: FC Barcelona (Spain LaLiga)
To: Valencia CF (Spain LaLiga)
Transfer Fee: €35.00 million

Jasper Cillessen, the seasoned goalkeeper made a transition from FC Barcelona to Valencia CF in a significant €35.00 million move. This transfer presented Cillessen with an exciting prospect – the chance to secure a starting position at a prominent Spanish club and continue displaying his exceptional goalkeeping talents in LaLiga.

The move to Valencia CF followed a three-year stint at FC Barcelona, where he had served as a reliable backup goalkeeper behind the acclaimed Marc-André ter Stegen. Despite limited playing time at Barcelona, Cillessen remained poised and capable, proving his mettle whenever called upon. Eager for more regular playing opportunities, the transfer to Valencia provided him with the perfect platform to reclaim a starting role and continue his illustrious career at the highest echelons of the sport.

At Valencia CF, Jasper Cillessen’s arrival brought much-needed stability and experience to the team’s goalkeeping position. With his wealth of experience as a shot-stopper, he exuded a calming aura within the defense, instilling unwavering confidence in his teammates. Recognized for his agility, lightning reflexes, and impeccable positioning, Cillessen executed crucial saves that often proved pivotal in decisive moments during matches.

A notable aspect of his game was his impressive distribution skills, which enabled Valencia to efficiently build play from the back, seamlessly integrating the goalkeeper into their offensive movements. His exceptional displays earned him accolades, cementing his status as one of the league’s premier goalkeepers.

Following three seasons at the Mestalla, the Dutchman left the club to join his childhood club NEC. The transfer involved is reported to be €1 million.


Player: Jules Koundé
Position: Centre-Back
Age: 20
Transfer Season: 2019-2020
From: FC Girondins Bordeaux (France Ligue 1)
To: Sevilla FC (Spain LaLiga)
Transfer Fee: €35.00 million

Jules Koundé, an immensely talented and youthful center-back from France, embarked on a momentous journey during the 2019-2020 transfer season. He made a big money move from FC Girondins Bordeaux to Sevilla FC. Securing a notable transfer fee of €35.00 million. The transfer stood as a testament to the belief Sevilla had in Koundé’s vast potential.

The transfer of Jules Koundé proved to be a shrewd move for Sevilla FC. His presence fortified the team’s defense and infused their playing style with added depth and versatility. With each passing match, his performances soared to new heights, making him an indispensable figure in Sevilla’s quest for glory in domestic and European competitions alike.

Noteworthy was Koundé’s exceptional speed and agility, attributes that enabled him to keep pace with swift attackers, thereby making him an effective deterrent to opposing offensive threats. Moreover, his remarkable passing proficiency allowed him to initiate potent attacks from deeper positions. Thereby contributing significantly to Sevilla’s playing style.

Koundé’s exceptional displays did not go unnoticed, as they earned him well-deserved opportunities to represent the French national team. He was eventually signed by Barcelona in 2022. Los Nervionenses received a fee of €50 millions for the transfer.


Player: Gonçalo Guedes
Position: Left Winger
Age: 21
Transfer Season: 2018-2019
From: Paris Saint-Germain (France Ligue 1)
To: Valencia CF (Spain LaLiga)
Transfer Fee: €40.00 million

Gonçalo Guedes, the highly promising left-winger hailing from Portugal. Completed a momentous transfer to Valencia CF during the 2018-2019 transfer season. The young talent was procured from Paris Saint-Germain at an esteemed transfer fee of €40.00 million. The move presented a significant opportunity for Guedes to solidify his position as a pivotal player in Spain’s esteemed top-tier league, LaLiga.

During his tenure at Valencia CF, Guedes exhibited glimpses of immense potential and captivated audiences with his captivating displays. Operating as a left-winger, he infused the team’s attacking line with a blend of artistic flair, inventive creativity, and a keen eye for finding the back of the net.

Despite his flashes of brilliance, Guedes encountered challenges in maintaining consistent form and encountered occasional struggles with injuries during his stay at Valencia. While his remarkable talent was evident, he grappled with reaching peak performances on a regular basis, leading to fluctuations in his impact on the team.

Consequently, after a few fruitful seasons with the club, Valencia CF amicably permitted him to embark on a new journey with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer of 2022 for a significant sum of £27.5 million.

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