Tuesday 23 January 2018

Robbie Keane finishes ahead of Ronaldo, Torres and Falcao on list of most expensive transferred players

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Robbie Keane has played for ten clubs during an almost 20 year career in a fantastic odyssey that has seen him ply his trade in England, Scotland, Italy and America.

The former Ireland captain, who recently retired from international football, was marked for stardom from a young age, becoming British football's most expensive ever teenager when Coventry bought him from Wolves for £6m in 1999.

Read more: Alex Ferguson 'put the boot in' on a Man United legend playing for Ireland at USA 94

A succession of big money transfers followed, as Keane moved on to Inter Milan, Leeds, Spurs, Liverpool, Spurs again, Celtic, West Ham, Aston Villa and LA Galaxy.

A new list from the Telegraph puts the money spent on Keane into context, with the Ireland legend ranked as the 14th most expensive player of all time in terms of cumulative fees paid.

Football teams have spent a total of €97.79m on Keane since he made his first move, a figure which puts him ahead of players like Falcao, Neymar, Ronaldo, Arjen Robben, Zinedine Zidane and Fernando Torres - and just one spot behind Paul Pogba, who was recently signed from Manchester United for a world record fee.

Given how few Irish players now play for top teams or secure big money moves, it is interesting to look back on how many times teams paid substantial fees for Keane.

Here is the top most expensive players ever in cumulative fees:

5. James Rodriguez €120m

4. Hulk €122m

3. Gonzalo Higuain €132m

2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic €159

1. Angel Di Maria €169

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