Football is constantly moving forward, and so are the amounts for players. Hundred million euro transfers often fly through the air, and a 30 million euro player is now considered cheap. Let’s take a look at what talented youngsters were worth in 2004.
6. Cristiano Ronaldo – 19 years old – Manchester United
Market value in 2004 – €18 million
Highest career market value – 120 million euros
Cristiano Ronaldo shone at the 2004 domestic EURO, then had a successful 5 years at Manchester United and went on to become one of the best players in history at Real Madrid. He had the most successful career of the lot, although he was only the sixth most valuable youngster in 2004.
5. Arjen Robben – 20 years old – Chelsea
Market value in 2004 – €20 million
Highest career market value – €40 million
The Dutch winger transferred to Chelsea in the summer of 2004, from where he moved to Real Madrid after three seasons. However, he didn’t make much of a breakthrough at either club, so he moved to Bayern Munich in 2009. There he helped create the Munich machine and spent a wonderful 10 seasons.
4. Robinho – 20 years old – Santos
Market value in 2004 – €22 million
Highest career market value – €36.5 million
Eternal talent. Robinho had a godsend, but he never fulfilled his great potential, as evidenced by his highest transfer value. Three seasons at Real Madrid, two at Manchester City, then an attempt to kick on at AC Milan, but from then on, the club’s fame declined significantly. Santos, Guangzhou, Atletico-MG, Sivasspor, Basaksehir.
3. Fernando Torres – 20 years old – Atlético Madrid
Market value in 2004 – 25 million euros
Highest career market value – 50 million euros
Fernando Torres has certainly had a wonderful career. He was part of Spain’s golden generation, but the peak of his career was at Liverpool from 2007-2011, when he netted 64 goals in the Premier League. He never returned to top form after his move to Chelsea.
2. José Antonio Reyes – 21 years old – Arsenal
Market value in 2004 – €35 million
Highest career market value – €35 million
The Spanish midfielder was an extraordinary footballer. He was brought up by Sevilla, from where he moved to Arsenal, where he was probably at the peak of his career. Subsequently, he also played for Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid before returning to his native Sevilla. Sadly, he was unfortunately killed in a car accident in 2019.
1. Wayne Rooney – 18 years old – Manchester United
Market value in 2004 – €37 million
Highest career market value – €65 million
The youngest member of the squad, but also the most expensive. Wayne Rooney came into the Premier League like a big water, moving to Manchester United after two seasons at Everton and 12 league goals.
There, he subsequently became an absolute icon for the Red Devils and despite interest from other clubs, he never left, only returning to Everton towards the end of his career. He then went on to play in the MLS for DC United and the Championship for Derby County.
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