The 2021 summer transfer window was supposed to be quiet.
The theory went that with clubs still feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and so many top players being out of contract in 2022, there would be few if any blockbuster moves. How wrong we all were...
By the time the window slammed shut both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had new homes, while we also witnessed a string of transfer records being broken.
Now the dust has settled, one question comes to mind: just which teams have the most expensive squads in world football? Well, thanks to the brilliant Football Observatory, we have an answer for you.
Editorial note: Potential add-ons are not included in squad values.
20. Monaco (€326m)
Monaco are best known for their prolific youth academy, which has produced the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Thierry Henry and Emmanuel Petit over the years.
They are not afraid to splash the cash too, though, and currently have the second most expensive squad in Ligue 1.
19. Inter (€341m)
Before cutting their costs significantly in the summer of 2021, Inter went on a spending spree.
That is enough to see them make the top 20, despite the big-money departures of Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku.
18. Borussia Dortmund (€346m)
Borussia Dortmund are experts at selling players on for profit and they secured a big windfall on Jadon Sancho recently.
Another big sale will come in 2022 when Erling Haaland departs, so expect them to reinvest and rise up the list over the next few years.
17. Aston Villa (€351m)
Aston Villa have aspirations to be European contenders and they have backed up this ambition in the transfer market.
They had a busy summer in 2021, selling Jack Grealish for a British record fee and making a string of big-money signings.
16. Roma (€362m)
Roma are not the first name you think of when 'big spenders' are discussed, so you may be surprised to learn that they have a more expensively-assembled squad than both Milan-based Serie A clubs.
Plenty of resources for Jose Mourinho to work with this season then.
15. Leicester City (€411m)
Leicester City are kings of the transfer market. They consistently sell players for inflated prices before investing in even better replacements without missing a beat.
As their squad value goes up, though, so does the expectation level.
14. Napoli (€417m)
They might have the second most expensive squad in Serie A, but Napoli were only good enough for a fifth-placed finish last season.
A good portion of that value is Victor Osimhen who cost an African-record €70m in 2020.
13. Bayern Munich (€421m)
Bayern Munich are normally fairly reserved when it comes to transfer fees, preferring to steal their rivals top talent for nominal amounts of on free transfers.
They are not entirely against a bit of spending, however, as their high squad value shows.
12. Everton (€467m)
Everton are one of European football's biggest underachievers. Despite a string of expensive transfer windows in recent years they are still no closer to breaking into the Premier League top six.
Even after a quiet summer this time around, the Toffees still possess to 12th most costly squad in the world.
11. Atletico Madrid (€482m)
Although Diego Simeone occasionally portrays Atletico Madrid as plucky underdogs, the truth is that Los Rojiblancos have been part of the European elite for some time.
Saying that, they still have a far less expensive squad than both Clasico clubs.
10. Tottenham (€551m)
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy gets a lot of stick for his thriftiness which is perhaps a bit unfair, considering Tottenham kick off our top ten.
They could climb higher next year too if Harry Kane secures his Spurs departure. He will take some replacing.
9. Barcelona (€578m)
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. There have been many indicators of Barcelona's incredible decline recently and here is another - they barely break into the top ten of the most expensive squads in the world.
They might even fall further in the years to come...
8. Arsenal (€630m)
Arsenal are eighth on the list - the same position they finished in the Premier League last season. Oh dear.
They were England's biggest spenders this summer, so we guess it makes sense.
7. Juventus (€657m)
Cristiano Ronaldo's departure sees Juventus drop down a few places on this list.
Despite that, they remain Serie A's biggest spenders by some margin and will be expected to regain the Scudetto this season.
6. Liverpool (€672m)
Liverpool have the least expensive squad out of the Premier League big four and it is not even close.
The Reds' lack of spending has irked fans for several years but there is little sign of their approach changing any time soon.
5. Chelsea (€780m)
Chelsea have enjoyed two big spending summers on the bounce, although in fairness the majority of their buys were funded by player sales.
The £97.5m arrival of Romelu Lukaku has added plenty of value to their squad this time season.
4. Real Madrid (€787m)
Real Madrid would be even higher on this list if their ploy to sign Kylian Mbappe for £150m this summer had been successful.
Even without that pile of cash being blown, Los Blancos still have La Liga's most expensive squad.
3. Paris Saint-Germain (€939m)
Paris Saint-Germain went free agent crazy this summer, bringing in Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and Lionel Messi without spending a penny on transfer fees.
That is enough to keep them off top spot.
2. Manchester United (€1.023bn)
Manchester United's signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane has taken their squad value to the one billion euro mark for the first time ever.
Is it going to be enough to end their trophy drought? Time will tell.
1. Manchester City (€1.080bn)
Their lead at the top is not as high as it has been in previous years, but Manchester City still possess the most expensive squad in the world.
Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Ruben Dias and most recently, Jack Grealish, are just some of the players that have cost the Cityzens hefty sums. There will likely be more names to add to that list in the summer of 2022 as well.
Source : 90min