This is the most expensive soccer team ever assembled – MarketWatch

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Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus (from left), Benjamin Mendy and Kevin De Bruyne celebrate one of their side’s five goals vs. Liverpool on Saturday.

The most expensive soccer team ever assembled will play in England this season.

Manchester City FC is the costliest squad the world has ever seen, based on the total transfer fees — the payments teams pay each other to purchase players — spent to assemble it, according to a new report from the Neuchâtel, Switzerland–based CIES Football Observatory.

Manchester City spent a total of €853 million, or about $1.023 billion, to acquire the members of its 2017-18 team, according to CIES. Its latest acquisitions included two players from France’s Monaco — Benjamin Mendy, the team’s most expensive new player at about $68 million, and Bernardo Silva, who cost $59 million. Kyle Walker, who came over from Tottenham, cost some £46 million, or about $60 million.

Paris Saint-Germain wasn’t far from the top of the list at €850 million, much of that coming via the roughly $264 million it spent to pry Brazilian superstar Neymar from Barcelona and another deal with Monaco — a two-step, $220 million purchase of Kylian Mbappe that combines a loan for this season with a purchase next year.

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Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar.

Neymar was reportedly a potential target of Manchester City’s, too, though the team ultimately decided to buy another Brazilian attacker, Gabriel Jesus, who cost about $42 million to acquire from Brazilian club Palmeiras.

Transfer fees amount to cash payments — which mostly go to the teams themselves, though players often get a cut — to buy out players’ contracts. Trades, which are far more common in American professional sports, are relatively rare in high-level world soccer.

PSG’s Neymar purchase was the summer’s biggest deal by far, followed by Barcelona’s $125 million acquisition of Ousmane Dembele from Germany’s Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United’s £76 million, or about $100 million, buy of Romelu Lukaku from Everton.

The Mbappe deal and Liverpool’s $63 million acquisition of Naby Keita from Red Bull Leipzig, which will also officially close next year, were the third- and fifth-most expensive deals of the summer, respectively.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Barcelona rounded out the top five most expensive squads, according to CIES, with Real Madrid next on the list.


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