Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Euro 2012: The most expensive players

Cristiano Ronaldo - £80m (Portugal)
The world's most expensive player will be captaining Portugal at this summer's tournament. Real Madrid took him off Manchester United's hands in the summer of 2009 for an eye-watering £80m. Incredibly, three years down the line it looks like money well spent, with CR7 rivalling Lionel Messi for the mantle of world's best player. The first of three Real Madrid players on this list, his contribution was the greatest as Jose Mourinho's team regained La Liga from Barcelona's clutches this season.
Fernando Torres - £50m (Spain)
Money not so well spent, at least not so far anyway. In a huge deal on transfer deadline day in January last year, El Nino left Liverpool for Stamford Bridge. But the Spaniard has failed to live up to his billing, scoring just 12 times in all competitions. The former Atletico Madrid striker was one of the stars of Euro 2008, and will be hoping that this summer's competition can revive his fortunes.
Mario Gomez - £30m (Germany)
The striker joined Bayern Munich from Stuttgart in 2009 and after settling in his first season, has become prolific for the German giants. In the season just gone, he scored 26 league goals and 12 in the Champions League. Germany will be hoping he can continue in his rich vein of form this summer having failed to live up to expectations at previous international tournaments.

Euro 2012 kicks-off in just a matter of weeks and in anticipation the Belfast Telegraph is running down the key factors and people to keep an eye on in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

From free-kick takers to hot-heads, blasts from the past to the youngsters, we'll have it all covered before things kick-off in Warsaw.

Here, we bring you the ten most expensive players bound for Euro 2012. Only players' most recent transfers have been taken into account, meaning that the once £50m-plus Zlatan Ibrahimovich misses out due to his less eye-popping subsequent transfer to AC Milan. Arjen Robben, who once cost in the region of £30m is another who misses out. Yet even without those particular galacticos, the ten here still cost in excess of a staggering total of £350m.

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