Champions League Focus: Which Of The Four Semi Finalists’ Squads Cost The Most?


Champions League Focus: Which Of The Four Semi Finalists’ Squads Cost The Most?

Tottenham Hotspur, Ajax, Barcelona and Liverpool contest the first legs of two of the most intriguing Champions League Semi Final match ups in recent memory this week.

In terms of their respective footballing abilities, any of the four competing clubs are capable of beating the other, however, buried within the thick diving line that separates the two sides of the same Champions League Semi Final draw, there are significant differences between each club.

As well matched as the quartet of antagonists seem on the pitch, the disparity between them off it is stark.

Financially, there is a considerable contrast between the haves and have nots – a fiscal inequality that makes Ajax’s and to a lesser extent Tottenham’s appearance at this stage of the competition a minor miracle.

To try to get a better grasp of the economies of scale at play, we’ve calculated the total cost of each of the Semi Finalist’s 25-man Champions League squads, listing them from cheapest to most expensive.

Check out the results below:

4. Ajax – £82m (€95m)

Barcelona favourites to sign Matthijs de Ligt - Summer Transfer Odds as the Catalans mull over another Ajax raid

Thanks to their exceptional youth academy and one of the most prolific in-house production lines in world football, Ajax have been able to assemble their 25-man Champions League squad for a pittance in relative terms.

Current first-team stars Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek and Noussair Mazraoui came through the ranks at the club, while some shrewd transfer market moves brought Frenkie de Jong, David Neres, Hakim Ziyech and André Onana to Amsterdam for nominal fees.

Last summer, Ajax spent £14m and £10m respectively on Premier League imports Daley Blind and Dusan Tadic, adding experience and quality to the spine of their youthful team – though paying fees of that size for players generally falls outside of the club’s philosophy.

Remarkably, one of the Champions League’s other semi-finalists Liverpool, paid close to the entire value of the Ajax squad on their own Dutchman, Virgil van Dijk. The imperious centre half moved north from Southampton for approximately £75m in January last year.

Now both clubs operating at either end of football’s financial pyramid are within touching distance of the competition’s Final in Madrid.

Read our comprehensive Tottenham Hotspur vs Ajax match preview for more predictions and betting tips here.

3. Tottenham Hotspur – £270m (€313m)

Tottenham Hotspur predictions

The £270m splurged by Tottenham Hotspur on their current 25-man Champions League squad seems extremely high for a team often billed as one of the Premier League’s most tight-fisted clubs, though it’s worth nothing that almost all of that outlay has been offset by player sales.

Since Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival at the club in 2014, Tottenham’s net spend on transfers sits at around the £30m mark, and a protracted move to their stunning new North London home has eaten away at large chunks of their cash reserves.

Interestingly, £59.35m or approximately 22% of the money Tottenham paid to assemble their Champions League squad went directly to their Semi Final opponents Ajax.

Spurs signed Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and Davison Sanchez from the Dutch club, while £14.4m was also paid by Tottenham to Atletico Madrid for Ajax academy product Toby Alderweireld.

Colombian defender Sanchez is Tottenham’s current record signing – the 22-year old cost Spurs £36m when he moved to London from Amsterdam in 2017.

Read More: 5 key battles that could decide Tottenham’s Champions League Semi Final first leg clash with Ajax