Johannesburg – A transfer beyond calculation and beyond rationality is how Wenger described Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona to Paris St-Germain, a thought that would have resonated with many South Africans as a figure of two hundred million pounds had been confirmed as the final transfer fee.

The abnormality of the transfer is further exacerbated for many South Africans by the fact that, to get a proper context of the ridiculousness of the amounts thrown around, one would have had to convert the currency into Rands and secondly have a benchmark.


Transfer figures for the football laymen without a benchmark remain just that figures in the same denotation of text without context being pretext. It is only once you break things down when you begin to see the bigger picture.

The Neymar transfer fee of two hundred million pounds is more than twice the value of that of Paul Pogba when he moved from Juventus to Manchester United for a fee of eighty-nine million pounds. Here is some context for you, a season ago the Pogba transfer fee was considered ridiculous leading to an outcry amongst the footballing fraternity.

The Neymar transfer fee is more than twice the value Christiano Ronaldo’s move from Manchester United to Real Madrid was, at eighty million pounds. Ronaldo is the only Ballon Dor winner in the top ten list of most expensive transfers, which is a shift from the days when the top ten list was reserved for the elite, the majority being world cup winners and Ballon Dor winners.

In the South African context Neymar’s transfer fee of two hundred million pounds which when converted to South African currency is three billion, five hundred twelve million rands is fourteen times the cost of Nkandla which was two hundred and forty-six million rands.

The value of the entire deal for Neymar including the transfer fee, wages and addons is worth four hundred and fifty millions pounds which when converted to South African currency is roughly eight billion rands.

Neymar’s figures when it comes to wages are even more astonishing as he will earn twenty eight million pounds per year which when transferred to the South Africa currency is four hundred and ninety-one million rands excluding addons.

According to Soccer Laduma’s list of PSL most valuable clubs 2016/17 released on July 9 2017, the top three clubs are Mamelodi Sundowns at two hundred and twenty-four million rands, Kaizer Chiefs at one hundred and seventy-two million rands and Orlando Pirates at one hundred and sixty-nine million rands at an aggregate total of five hundred and forty one million rands.

In one season Neymar will earn the equivalent value of our top three teams combined. Forget how much our top player earns compared to him as it is incomparable when he is worth more than the top three teams themselves combined.

As Julius Malema once said, it is still a long way to Uhuru.

Mncedi Mabona