The Frenchman has transferred to Barcelona for a fee of 20 million euros, joining an elite group of players who cost big sums of money despite nearing their latter playing days.
Gabriel Batistuta's move from Fiorentina to Roma in 2000 remains the highest transfer fee paid for a player over the age of 30. The Italian capital outfit splashed out €32.5 million for the then 31-year-old, but the Argentine immediately helped his new side to its first Scudetto in 18 years.
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Samuel Eto'o is the second costliest as he departed Inter for Anzhi in 2011 for €30 million at the age of 30. This recouped some of the €25 million that the Italians paid Genoa for a 30-year-old Diego Milito two years earlier. The striker was instrumental in winning Inter the treble in his first season, scoring twice in the Champions League final.
Paris Saint-Germain paid AC Milan €21 million for a 30-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2012, and the Swede has repaid his current employer with two Ligue 1 titles and goals galore.
Mathieu enters at equal fifth place in the list. He is level with Claude Makelele, who moved from Real Madrid to Chelsea in 2003 at the age of 30 and enjoyed great success at Stamford Bridge.
Italian goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi cost Lazio €17.9 million when he left Inter in 2000, while Fernando Redondo will go down as the most expensive failure for a player over the age of 30. Milan paid Real Madrid €17.5 million for the 31-year-old in the summer of 2000, but the Argentine barely played at San Siro due to injury.
In ninth place is Ruud van Nistlerooy, a 30-year-old Madrid paid €15 million for in 2006 who immediately brought the club two Liga titles. Finishing the top 10 is Oliver Bierhoff, who Milan splashed out €12.5 million for in 1998 as a 30-year-old. The Euro '96 hero scored the goals that took the Rossoneri to the Scudetto in his first season.
Source for figures: Transfermarkt