Top 5 most expensive flops in football history

Check out the reason behind the top Five most expensive flops in the football history purely based on their performance only on

Rohit Kumar
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Top 5 flops in football history

Top 5 flops in football history (Image source: Twitter)

Football is a game of skill on the face of it but there are many other factors that contribute massively to the sport. One such factor is money; something that clubs use to their advantage and make a better team than others.

Many a time, however, expensive signings do not perform as expected. Sometimes they also fail spectacularly thereby writing their name into the history books for all the wrong reasons. Let us look at the 5 most expensive flops in football history.

5. Paul Pogba (Juventus to Manchester United)- €105M

Paul Pogba Paul Pogba (Image source: Twitter)

The loss of Paul Pogba for nothing in 2022 came as a disappointment for Manchester United despite the mixed feelings of the fans towards the player. Pogba's re-signing in 2016 had cost the club a world-record fee of £89.5m, but his performances and behaviour during his second stint at Old Trafford failed to live up to expectations. Despite winning the Europa League and Carabao Cup, Pogba's string of poor performances and public transfer demands resulted in disappointment and frustration from fans.

The midfielder was even booed by some during a Premier League match against Norwich. While many fans were glad to see Pogba depart, losing such a valuable asset for nothing still stung for the club. Pogba's return to Juventus marked the end of a disappointing chapter for Manchester United and offered a chance for the club to move forward and rebuild their squad.

4. Eden Hazard (Chelsea to Real Madrid) - €100M

Eden Hazard Eden Hazard (Image source: Twitter)

Belgian footballer, Eden Hazard's move to Real Madrid was a highly anticipated transfer that had been in the making for 10 years. However, the transfer appeared to be doomed from the start, as Hazard showed up overweight for pre-season training.

Despite his unfortunate run of injuries, Hazard has struggled to perform to his highest level in Spain. He has been unable to live up to his previous success at Chelsea and has looked like a cheap imitation of the player that once illuminated the Premier League. Although Hazard has won important trophies with Real Madrid, including the Champions League, his limited contributions have made the situation even sadder.

Overall, Hazard's move to Real Madrid has been a major disappointment and is considered one of the biggest flops in the history of football transfers.

3. Romelu Lukaku (Inter- Chelsea) - €115M

Romelu Lukaku Romelu Lukaku (Image source: Twitter)

Romelu Lukaku's return to Chelsea was highly anticipated, with the Belgian striker eager to prove himself after his failed stint at Stamford Bridge earlier in his career. However, his second spell proved to be a huge disappointment. Despite finishing the 2021-22 season as the club's top scorer, Lukaku's return of 15 goals from 44 appearances was a dismal return, given the club-record investment of £97.5 million in his services.

The striker's relationship with the club and coach, Thomas Tuchel, took a major hit after he conducted an unsanctioned interview in which he expressed his love for his former club, Inter, and criticized Tuchel's tactics. This loss of trust made his loan return to Inter inevitable, and Lukaku will now be remembered as one of the most expensive flops in the history of football transfers.

2. Joao Felix (Benfica to Atletico Madrid)- €126M

Joao Felix Joao Felix (Image source: Twitter)

Joao Felix is widely regarded as one of the biggest flops in the history of football transfers. At the age of 19, he was signed by Atletico Madrid for a staggering fee of €126 million in the summer of 2019, making him one of the most expensive young talents in the game.

Despite having many offers, Felix elected to play under Diego Simeone, who demanded hard work from his attackers. This proved to be a poor fit, and Felix struggled to live up to his transfer fee, scoring just 25 goals in 96 Liga appearances.

Atletico agreed to loan Felix to Chelsea for the remainder of the 2022-23 season, hoping that he would regain his form and they could recoup some of their investment. Felix has since extended his contract with Atletico, but his time at the club will be remembered as a disappointment, making him one of the most expensive flops in the history of football transfers.

1. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool- Barcelona)- €145M

Philippe Coutinho Philippe Coutinho (Image source: Twitter)

Phillipe Coutinho is widely regarded as one of the biggest flops in the history of football transfers. Barcelona signed the Brazilian in January 2018 for a hefty fee of €120 million, plus potential bonuses of €40 million.

Despite being a highly-rated player, Coutinho failed to live up to expectations at Camp Nou and struggled to make an impact on the team. His time at the club was marked by inconsistent performances, and he was loaned out to Bayern Munich in 2020, where he scored two goals against his parent club.

After several attempts to offload him, Barcelona finally sold Coutinho to Aston Villa for a fraction of his original transfer fee, €20 million, as they tried to restore their financial stability. The transfer was a significant disappointment for Barcelona, who invested a large amount of money in a player who failed to deliver. Coutinho's time at Barcelona is often cited as an example of poor transfer planning and a failed transfer policy.

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