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Adding up the Cost of a Failed Superteam, As Mbappé Plans PSG Exit

  • The superteam that wasn’t is officially no more.
  • PSG spent hundreds of millions for two league banners.
Kylian Mbappé
Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Paris Saint-Germain’s superteam-that-wasn’t appears to be over. Star forward Kylian Mbappé will reportedly leave the French powerhouse this summer to sign with Spanish power Real Madrid, ending a nearly seven-year run with the team. In 2021, the club seemed on the brink of assembling a soccer dynasty after acquiring former Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi and Neymar to complement Mbappé, creating one of the most talented scoring trios the game has ever seen. Here’s what it cost PSG:

  • Mbappé: PSG paid $194 million to Monaco in 2017, with a mandatory purchase option. He earned $80 million over three years on his first contract with PSG. In ’22, Mbappé signed a three-year, $235 million extension with $65 million in bonuses. 
  • Messi: In 2021 he signed a two-year deal for $36 million a year, with the option for a third season at the same rate.
  • Neymar: He transferred from Barcelona for a record $239 million in 2017. The Brazilian star earned $217 million over four years from his first PSG contract, plus $122 million more through two years on a five-year extension signed in ’21 worth more than $300 million total.

However, money can’t buy a championship, as the team struggled to get its three stars on the field together through a combination of injuries, international commitments, and conditioning issues. Messi broke up the trio last summer when he left for MLS, and Neymar followed shortly afterward. Paris Saint-Germain never made a deep run in the Champions League in the two seasons they were together and didn’t even see a full season with the trio. Here’s what PSG got: 

  • 0 Champions League titles (eliminated in the round of 16 each time) 
  • 2 Ligue 1 titles
  • 39 total matches played together, out of 100 possible matches
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