Why Maradona's biggest transfer cost 10% of Neymar's trip to PSG. Why Maradona's biggest transfer cost 10% of Neymar's trip to PSG. - Gistmattaz Ng : Nigeria News | Latest Naija News Today 24/7

Why Maradona's biggest transfer cost 10% of Neymar's trip to PSG.

 Maradona's death caused a stir in the world and in Argentina for being a character that marked an era of football . A time before the expansion of the commercialization of the sport that transformed it into a global entertainment business. Precisely for this reason, the biggest transfer of the Argentine player represented a small fraction of the big transaction of "new football".

It should be noted first that Maradona was not a player sold at any price: he was recognized as one of the greatest stars of the 80s and valued according to that qualification. It was not cheap for Barcelona to take him away from Argentino Juniors and Boca Juniors (who divided him and traded him for $ 7 million). And it was even more expensive for Napoli to take him to shine in Italy.

Take this last transfer as a reference. According to former Napoli president Corrado Ferlaino, in an interview with the newspaper "AS", the transaction with Barcelona cost the club between US $ 10 million and US $ 11 million at the time. A calculation of inflation in the period in the American currency updates the value to $ 27 million (or 22.6 million euros).

Well, as you know, Neymar left Barcelona for PSG for a € 222 million fine. That figure has not yet been broken, although it has become relatively common to pay fines over 100 million euros in European transactions.

And how did this discrepancy in values ​​come about? In the 90s, therefore when Maradona was nearing the end of his career, European competitions were reformulated. The Champions League, as we know it today, emerged in 1993 in a partnership between UEFA and the marketing company Team. A year earlier, the revolution in English football led to the creation of the Premier League, basically idealized for capitalist reasons, of some money.

The transformation of competitions caused an explosion in revenues from television, marketing and tickets. Currently, the Champions League generates 3 billion revenues today, with two thirds distributed to clubs.

Since then, European and world football has been experiencing an acceleration of revenues and, consequently, of money earmarked for team formation. A survey by the company Deloitte shows that the richest club in the world in 2004/2005, Real Madrid , had won 275 million euros. Last season, the same report pointed out that Barcelona, ​​the club with the highest revenue, reached 841 million euros in revenue. In other words, club revenue has tripled in 15 years.

Napoli, Maradona's Italian home, had an income of 200 million euros in the last year of European football. That is, he would have money to buy nine Maradonas. When he signed the Argentine, the transaction was a huge financial effort for the club and its player.

In the last seven years alone, the amount spent on signings in world football has tripled. From 2012 to 2019, that amount jumped from $ 2.7 billion to $ 7.3 billion, according to FIFA's annual transfer report.

Even Brazilian and South American football has experienced an expansion of revenue in the last ten years, especially after Libertadores started to have a more commercial logic.

The era in which Maradona was the protagonist is the first one in which player transfers reach millions of dollars and the European continent starts to attract more South American players. The Brazilian team of 1982 had a stampede of its stars to end up in Italian teams. But the commercial revolution that followed this movement means that those brilliant players are priced at the maximum of average athletes in today's football.

In an article in the New York Times, journalist Rory Smith argued that Maradona's loss was so felt because he was the symbol of an era prior to today's corporate football. "Maradona, and everything he represents, would be relegated to the past. He would become, in his later years, an avatar of what football was once, to inspire nostalgia for what we have lost."

The comparison between the transfers of Neymar and Maradona, 33 years apart, shows that his point is correct. And Maradona's death may represent the epilogue of this romantic football before executives turn it into big business, for better or for worse.

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