The Top 10 Most Expensive Over 30s of All Time

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With the transfer window opening on Thursday, we have a look back at the most expensive players over the age of 30. Robert Lewandowski, Kalidou Koulibaly, Andrea Pirlo, Cristiano Ronaldo, and more have all made the big bucks. But how much did it cost them? We’ve compiled the list below to help you decide which player is worth the big bucks.

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Robert Lewandowski

With three seasons left on his current contract and over 100 goals in the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has a large price tag. While the striker has no plans to leave the Bundesliga, his contract talks have stalled and he may be available in the summer transfer window. Lewandowski, 33, is a highly desirable player for both clubs and would likely fetch a high fee.

The move of Lewandowski to Bayern was one of the biggest in the history of the club. Lewandowski’s free transfer from Dortmund to Bayern came at the cost of PS42.5 million, making it the biggest transfer in the club’s history. He was a star in Munich, winning trophy after trophy, and would have probably still been in the team if Bayern had not snatched him up. Meanwhile, Pjanic and Koulibaly joined Barcelona in the same summer.

The two players who made the most expensive transfers last season are also nearing the end of their careers. Lewandowski moved to Barcelona for EUR50 million from Bayern Munich in January 2020, and Koulibaly has only played 50 games in the Spanish league. Although Lewandowski and Koulibaly are both well past 30, they’ve both achieved great things in the Bundesliga and are among the most expensive over 30s of all time.

Chelsea and Inter have also splashed cash on older players. Koulibaly recently completed an eight-year stay at Napoli and was one of Europe’s best defenders. However, Chelsea had been looking to strengthen their back-line and Koulibaly has been their top choice. The club have also signed Andreas Christensen.

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Kalidou Koulibaly

If you’re wondering why Kalidou Koulibaly is still playing at the top level, you’re not alone. Among the top European footballers, the French defender is among the most expensive over 30s of all time. Currently on a contract at Naples until 2023, the Frenchman has been linked with a move to the Premier League. While his contract expires in 2023, Naples owner Aurelio de Laurentiis may attempt to sell the defender. Arsenal’s number one transfer target, however, is the Denmark midfielder back at parent club Real Madrid.

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Chelsea have been linked with a move for Koulibaly this summer, with the Senegalese international joining the club for a PS34million fee. He will fill the void left by Antonio Rudiger’s departure to Real Madrid. Chelsea are willing to pay over the odds for quality players, and the move has a clear strategic importance for the club. Chelsea have made similar moves in the past to bring in star players from Europe.

Cristiano Ronaldo

In 2018 alone, Ronaldo cost Juventus 117 million euros, making him the most expensive player over thirty in history. The Portuguese talisman has won five major trophies with Juventus and is the highest scoring player in the history of the game. However, that’s not all he has achieved. Koulibaly and Lewandowski have also cost big clubs millions.

When he was 25, Batistuta became the most expensive player in history, a record that was held by him for 17 years. He later sold his Real Madrid contract to join Juventus for a reported $36.2 million, despite being over 30 years old. Despite the record, Batistuta is still in the top 10 most expensive players over 30 years old.

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Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is almost 34 years old, but he still has a glittering career. The Bayern Munich striker has scored 344 goals in 375 games and is Poland’s all-time record goalscorer. Man United have a history of signing strikers in their 30s, and Mark Ogden of ESPN reports the Red Devils are considering making a bid for the Polish striker.

Pjanic’s move to Juventus was an expensive one. Juve paid EUR60 million for him in the summer of 2018. In addition, Barcelona signed him from Juventus in January. Despite this, the club is currently facing an unprecedented financial crisis. The move is unlikely to come about as the club’s investment in the Bosnian international has not been recouped.

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Despite his age, Juventus have failed to win the Champions League in the last two years and Ronaldo hasn’t managed to help the Bianconeri defend their title. Ronaldo joined Manchester United for EUR23 million at the start of the 2021-22 season, but the club was unable to replicate the exploits of his Real Madrid days. In addition, Juventus had few good players to complement the Portuguese superstar.

Andrea Pirlo

Italy snatched midfielder Andrea Pirlo from AC Milan and made him one of the most expensive over-30 players ever. Juve then won the Serie A title in each of Pirlo’s four seasons. The Italian subsequently spent the final two years of his career with New York City. While his career is over, Juve can boast of having signed one of the best midfielders in history.

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Juventus flocked to snare Pirlo for EUR42million. At that time, he had won five Serie A titles and the European Cup with Juventus. However, the Italian subsequently moved to Inter for his senior career, spending two of his final three seasons with the club. Lewandowski and Koulibaly were among the most expensive over 30s of all time.

During his prime, Cafu won two World Cups with Brazil and joined Milan, which was then bursting with the world’s best players. With a great team spirit, he won the Champions League in 2002 and a Scudetto the following year. This was followed by his ruthless attack and a memorable revenge against Liverpool in the Athens 2002.

Gabriel Batistuta

In a new book, Capello: The Man Behind England’s Dream, Italian football journalist Gabriele Marcotti reveals the story of how Fabio Capello identified Batistuta as an important player for his team. Capello then sought to sign Batistuta but was rejected by the president of Roma, Franco Sensi. Sensi sighed and said the club had to move fast or risk losing the player for nothing. But, after a year-long search, he found a new club, bringing Batistuta to the Roma stadium was not out of reach.

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Despite his age, Robert Lewandowski has completed a EUR50 million move to Barcelona, where he will turn 34. The German striker has an incredible career record, having scored 50 goals in 46 games last season. This week, FootballTransfers looks at the history of the most expensive over 30s. Gabriel Batistuta and Jesper Cillesen are among those who have been at the top of the price list for a while.

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While many people believe that the transfer of Gabriel Batistuta to Chelsea is a waste of money, the player’s longevity in the Premier League means that he is a better option for the Chelsea hierarchy. Unlike Lewandowski, Batistuta has a career length comparable to an outfield player.

In addition to Batistuta, Robert Lewandowski and KoulibaLY are also in the top 10 most expensive over 30s. Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus in the summer of 2015 could be seen as a successful spell. Ronaldo scored 101 goals in 134 matches, but failed to lead the Old Lady beyond the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

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