Paris Saint-Germain have smashed the world transfer record by signing Neymar from Barcelona for €222 million.
While this stratospheric figure is far in excess of anything any club has ever paid for a player before, it is certainly not the first time the club has been associated with a giant move. Indeed, since Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) took the club over in 2011, PSG have become one of the major players on the transfer scene.
It did not take the club’s Qatari owners to make their presence felt, swooping to sign Javier Pastore for a figure of around €40m from Palermo mere weeks into their reign. Although the Argentine was regarded as one of the game’s up-and-coming stars at that time, bigger and more eye catching deals were to follow.
Thiago Silva, the game’s premier centre-back at the time, arrived a year later for €42m from AC Milan, while PSG actually got his team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic around the same time for €20m - a figure that appears a bargain in hindsight.
QSI have pushed the boundaries almost on an annual basis thereafter.
QSI'S BIGGEST PSG SIGNINGS
|2015-16||Angel Di Maria||Man Utd||€63m|
|2012-13||Thiago Silva||AC Milan||€42m|
|2012-13||Lucas Moura||Sao Paulo||€40m|
In the summer of 2013-14, Edinson Cavani was the big capture, breaking the club’s transfer record and coming in response to Monaco signing prolific forward Radamel Falcao. The striker joined from Napoli for €64m.
Twelve months afterwards, David Luiz was the big capture as the defence received an upgrade. The Brazil international became the most expensive defender in history when he arrived from Chelsea for €50m - still the biggest fee ever paid for a centre-back.
Then came Manchester United flop Angel Di Maria, who commanded a price of €63m - the club’s third-highest signing ever.
Neymar, however, cost more than Cavani, Di Maria, David Luiz and Thiago Silva combined, emphasising the sheer scale of the move that QSI have made with the intention of finally winning the Champions League – the competition that has been their target for the six years they have pulled the strings at Parc des Princes.
His arrival means that QSI have spent approximately €905m in six years on transfer fees since taking over the club.