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Top 10 most expensive signings in Atletico Madrid’s history

Published at :January 25, 2023 at 10:46 PM
Modified at :January 25, 2023 at 10:46 PM
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Hardik Malhotra

We take a look at the most expensive transfers ever made by the Rojiblancos.

Over the past decade, Atletico Madrid has not only established their presence as a major force in European football but has also emerged as the best team in La Liga, behind Barcelona and Real Madrid. 

Atletico's pedigree as a club is defined by its lush trophy cabinet which includes 11 LaLiga titles, three Europa League cups, three UEFA Super Cups and 10 Copa Del Rey titles.

Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid’s chart-topping performances in recent years haven’t only been a result of their incredible tactics and playing style. The club has also spent a hefty amount on bringing in world-class talents. In their quest for European Glory, and because of their intense competition in LaLiga.

So let’s check out some of the most expensive signings made by Atletico Madrid in their history.

10. Matheus Cunha - €30.00m

In the summer transfer window of 2021, Atletico knocked on Hertha Berlin’s door, and paid a grand total of €30 million, to land the Brazilian attacker Matheus Cunha. 

Cunha had made his name known in the past few seasons. After emerging as a reliable man at the front with Bundesliga sides Leipzig and Hertha Berlin. 

Though Matheus was bought on to boost Atletico’s attack and generate goals for the Red and Whites. But, the Brazilian’s career with Atletico didn’t go as planned. As he scored only 6 goals in the 40 appearances he made for the club, and he was frequently spotted on the bench.

He left Atletico Madrid on loan to join Premier League side Wolves in January 2023.

9. Kevin Gameiro - €32m

Atletico is a club, that has been known for its legendary centre-forwards over the past few years. From Radamel Falcao to Luis Suarez and David Vila, some truly iconic players have previously donned the colours of the Rojiblancos, and Kevin is right there among some of those players.

In 2016, Atletico frittered away a sum total of 32 million euros, to acquire the services of Kevin Gameiro. Kevin joined the club, after 3 profuse years with Sevilla. In which he scored a total of 67 goals in 245 appearances.

With Atletico, the French attacker scored 27 goals and provided 11 assists in 82 appearances. Before being offloaded to Valencia in the summer of 2018.

8. Jackson Martinez - €35m

Not too long after being labelled as the future star of European football, Atletico transpired with a bag full of money, and signed top Portuguese talent Jackson Martinez from FC Porto, for a total fee of 35 million Euros.

After scoring a total of 92 goals in 136 appearances for Porto and being awarded the top scorer of the Portuguese top flight for three consecutive seasons. Finally, Martinez was brought in by Atletico as one of the most promising prospects in European football.

These high aspirations were short-lived, as Martinez’s tenure at the club was a complete Failure. The Portuguese scored only thrice in the 22 appearances he made for the club. Before joining Chinses side Guangzhou Evergrande in January 2016, just 6 months after his hefty signing. 

7. Alvaro Morata - €35m

Few players have wandered around as much as Alvaro Morata in the footballing world. The player is not only known for his intermittent transfers around clubs, but also for the amounts of the sum that clubs are willing to pay to get the Spaniard on their side.

After his disappointing spell with Chelsea in the 2018-19 season, Morata was disburdened to Atletico on a loan deal in the following season, and the striker made a fair impression in the eyes of his gaffer Diego Simeone with his performances and convinced the board to spill some hard cash for bringing him in on a permanent basis.

Unfortunately, Morata’s luck failed to charm off the back of his signing. As he only made 8 more appearances before being loaned out to Juventus for 2 seasons.

6. Rodrigo de Paul - €35m

Rodrigo De Paul was brought into Atletico right after his Copa America victory with Argentina. As the Rojiblancos sought a defensive midfielder after letting go of Saul Niguez.

De Paul had been pretty impressive with Udinese in Serie A. Also he was on the radar of several big clubs around Europe. But, Atletico’s 35 million Euros offer, was too good to be refused by the Bianconeri, and De Paul has ever since been a crucial inclusion in Diego Simeone’s side.

At present, the Argentine international is one of the star players of the club and is very well justifying his heavy transfer.

5. Vitolo - €35.60m 

Signed by the club back in 2017 for a thunderous amount of 35.6 million euros. Vitolo was initially loaned out to his former club Las Palmas right after his signing and was brought back into the club after a spree of impressive performances.

What followed next, were some truly glorious years for Vitolo at the club, as he become an integral part of Simeone’s squad, and together with the club, won La Liga, the Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup. 

After proving his worth for every penny that was spent on his transfer. Vitolo somewhat fell out of favour at the club, and was loaned out to Getafe in his final season with the Red and whites.

4. Radamel Falcao - €40m

A 40 million euro signing back in 2011 in itself poses a pretty justified point of how impressive and sought after Radamel Falcao was. Also perhaps one of the first big money signing made by Atletico Madrid. Falcao’s arrival marked the beginning of Simeone’s incredible era at Atletico.

In the two seasons, he spent at the club, Falcao helped his club to win the LaLiga title, The Europa League and The UEFA Super Cup. With an incredible goal tally of 70 goals in 91 appearances, Falcao further established his legacy at the club.

He left the club in 2013 after Monaco come knocking with 6 million Euros to offer.

3. Diego Costa - €60m

No other player embodies the spirit of Atletico Madrid, as much as Costa does. A tough player, whose commitment is unquestionable, and whose abilities are sumptuous.

His tenure with the Rojiblancos started in the early 2010s, when he was signed by the club for €1 million, loaned out to Rayo Vallecano, and brought back a year later to be the club’s main striker. After a pretty successful journey with Atletico, Costa was then signed by Chelsea.

Also, after 4 incredible years at Stamford Bridge, Atletico spent big, as they paid the Blues a sum total of 60 million Euros, to get the Spaniard back. 

Unfortunately, Costa’s second tenure with Atletico didn’t go as planned, and he was frequently side-lined with injuries, before making a move to Brazil in 2021.

2. Thomas Lemar - €72m

Atletico broke their transfer record in 2018, when they bought Thomas Lemar, and gave away 72 million euros in the process. Lemar has ever since been a key figure in Simeone’s plans and vision and has helped Atletico in winning LaLiga, as well as the UEFA Super Cup.

Lemar’s versatility and incredible technical expertise, help the club in many ways, as they can deploy the player in different positions in accordance with the desired approach to the games. This is why the French internal has been so successful in the rotation-based policy of Simeone.

Though the player at present doesn’t have plenty of game time. He still proves to be decisive and is certainly an important player in Atletico’s squad.

1. Joao Felix - €127.2m

Known as a club that doesn’t spend heavily on young and emerging talents. Atletico shocked the entire footballing world, when they gave up 127 million dollars, to buy Joao Felix from Benfica.

But Felix’s tenure at Atletico hasn’t been able to serve justice to the money that the club spent on his transfer. But the player found the back of the net only 35 times, in the 131 matches he played for the club. He fell out of favour at the club, as the 2022-23 season rolled on.

He was loaned out to Chelsea in January 2023, for €11million. Bringing somewhat of a sore end to his promising career at the club.




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