Barcelona have once again signed a big money player in Antoine Griezmann but only six years ago Gerard Pique claimed that the La Liga champions wouldn’t do that regularly.
On Friday Barcelona finally announced Antoine Griezmann had joined them from Atletico Madrid for £107 million, in one of the least surprising transfers in a while.
Whilst the news would have put a smile on the faces of many at the Nou Camp it may leave Gerard Pique feeling a little embarrassed.
In 2013 talking to Marca, via Goal, about how much Real Madrid spent on transfers the centre back claimed Barcelona could never spend so much, saying, “Barcelona can’t do that, we know that we are different because we can compete with them without having to spend so much.
“Real Madrid had a year without winning titles and spend €160 million on three players – Illarramendi, Isco and Gareth Bale.
“Obviously, we can sign Neymar for 60 or €70m, but not three or four players. We are not a poor club, but we are competing with the richest club of all.”
However in the last few years Barcelona have made a habit of spending big on their transfers, following up the signing of Neymar and proving the Brazilian wasn’t a one off.
The following summer the Catalan giants added Luis Suarez to their team, spending £150 million in total, they spent £45 million in the 2015/16 season, another £112 million in the next season, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele joined the year later amongst a big spending spree, £116 million was spent last summer and this year they’ve already spent £200 million.
It gets worse for Pique too. Despite the fact that Real have gone on a huge spending spree this summer, signing Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy and Eder Militao, Barca have still spent more in the six years since the defenders statement.
According to Transfermarkt, the Spanish champions have spent £1.06 billion since 2013 whilst Los Blancos, who have won the Champions League four times since then, have spent ‘just’ £837 million.
Pique realising how silly his statement is now. Image: PA
The 32-year-old defender would have expected Barca’s academy to continue producing talent, saying, “The day we do not have La Masia, things won’t be the same,” however the academy has barely produced a first team member since Sergi Roberto.
Will Barcelona further add to their transfer spend by signing Neymar this summer?