Today's Fun Fact: Zlatan Ibrahimovic And Thiago Silva Edition

MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 27: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (L) and Thiago Silva (R) of AC Milan celebrates scoring the first goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan v AC Chievo Verona at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on November 27, 2011 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Right. Unless you've been under a rock (you should probably go to hospital, because being crushed is generally considered bad for your health), you'll have seen the news that AC Milan have sold both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain today. The cost? Milan made €62M in transfer fees, and new contracts for the pair bring the combined commitment by PSG to roughly €170M*.

*The contracts haven't been confirmed, but that's about €21M per year between the pair, which looks like a very rough doubling of their current wages. Seems reasonable to me.

That is a lot of money by any stretch of the imagination. It's more money thrown around at once that I've ever seen -- I don't even think Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Real Madrid ended up being worth a combined €170M. Paris Saint-Germain are spending an absolutely awesome amount of cash here.

But obviously, they're getting two very good players in return. Thiago Silva is probably the best central defender on the planet, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the sort of striker who can absolutely transform matches on his own. Both would have been clear starters had Chelsea acquired them, and this move (combined with some other great buys) makes PSG a potential dark-horse candidate for the Champions League.

That's not the fun fact. Also, the fact is not actually fun. It might be the opposite of fun. Check this out:

  • Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, two world class players, cost PSG a combined total of €170M today.
  • Fernando Torres, a striker in decline with Liverpool, cost Chelsea £100M in transfer fees and wages eighteen months ago. Converted to Euros that's about €127M (without even taking into account inflation).

Sure, that's still a €43M (£34M) cost differential*, but frankly, that's not a lot of money when you look at the production difference between the pair. Fernando Torres, by himself, cost Chelsea the equivalent of three-quarters of this blockbuster.

*About one David Luiz, actually.

I'm not saying this to pick on Torres, because obviously he didn't sign himself to a crazy contract or agree an absurd transfer fee for himself, but when you compare two the transfer of genuinely elite (but nonetheless overprice) players to the amount we paid for Torres, it becomes abundantly clear just how absurd the decision to drop that much money on him was.

Never forget.


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