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The price of human flesh

Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City, €32,000,000

The top 10 transfer fees of 2017 are:

  1. Neymar, PSG, €222,000,000
  2. Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United, €85,000,000
  3. Oscar, Shanghai SIPG, €70,000,000
  4. Álvaro Morata, Chelsea, €65,500,000
  5. Benjamin Mendy, Manchester City, 58,100,000
  6. Kyle Walker, Manchester City, 57,000,000
  7. Bernardo Silva, Manchester City, €50,000,000
  8. Tiémoué Bakayoko, Chelsea, €45,000,000
  9. Nemanja Matić, Manchester United €44,700,000
  10. Mohammed Salah, Liverpool, €42,000,000

A non-exhaustive list of things the above people can’t do:

  • Brain surgery
  • Pilot an interstellar spaceship
  • Stop climate change
  • Cure cancer
  • Spin straw into gold
  • End poverty
  • Negotiate peace in the Middle East
  • Invent flying cars

A reasonably exhaustive list of things they can do:

  • Kick a football
  • That’s basically it

I love football. Obviously I do. But this is the most ridiculous thing in a world that has Donald fucking Trump in it.


Football is important but not this important. If a cure for cancer is ever discovered, I doubt very much that the university researcher who does it will be earning a 300th of Neymar’s rumoured salary of €60,000,000 per year. Where are our priorities as a civilisation?

I’ve done a few calculations based on Neymar’s transfer fee…

First of all, it’s seriously the GDP of an actual country – Palau.

According to Google it costs about US$12,500 to build a school in Africa. You could build 20,800 of them with Neymar’s transfer fee. You could feed 17,301 US families of four a healthy diet for a year. That’s just under 70,000 people, which happens to roughly be the population of Barnsley in the UK, where their home town Championship club has a total squad value of €8,000,000 – Neymar’s transfer fee alone could buy the entire Barnsley squad 28 times over.

Currently my favourite club, Roma, is haggling with Leicester over Riyad Mahrez. They reportedly want €40,000,000 for him. We are only offering €35,000,000. The difference is 62.5% of one entire Barnsley squad, 400 African schools and 333 US annual family food bills.

Most Romanisti are desperate for him to come. I say “meh”. I don’t care how good he is, nobody is worth that big a chunk of the world’s resources. Unless he can invent a flying car in between training sessions, we should move on.

Categories: English/UK Football

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

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