From The Creators Project:
In terms of money, 2015 was a great year for art. In February, Paul Gauguin's When Will You Marry? became the most expensive work of art ever when it sold for nearly $300 million (€275 million). A few months later, Les Femmes d’Algers (Version “O”) by Pablo Picasso set records as the most expensive painting ever sold at auction, when it was bought for $179 million (€164 million).
When Will You Marry? by Paul Gauguin, 1892, via Wikimedia Commons, and Gareth Bale, via Wikimedia Commons
So for now, art is winning. The most expensive soccer player in the world, Welsh winger Gareth Bale, was sold to Real Madrid for €100 million in 2013. In 2015, the most expensive player was Belgian Kevin de Bruyne, who was sold to to Manchester City for €75 million—which amounts to a quarter of the price of that Gauguin painting.
But for how much longer will Picassos out-price players? Clubs are increasingly able to establish a total player value no Gauguin can match—Manchester City recently established a team worth upwards of €400 million. Thanks to a mix of corrupt bosses, lack of controls, and soccer sugar-daddies from abroad, transfer fees seem to be increasing exponentially in recent years. And while soccer is the world’s favorite sport, no one player’s career value is as timeless as that of a Picasso or a Van Gogh.
This upward drift in transfer fees can easily be visualized in a graph. If current trends hold, then the most expensive soccer player in 2025 will cost more than €160 million.
From left to right: Denilson (1998: 30.9 million), Vieri (1999, 43 million), Figo (2000, 62 million), Zidane (2001, 75 million), Ferdinand (2002: 44.8 million), Beckham (in 2003, 35.9 million), Rooney (2004, 39.4 million), Wright-Phillips (2005, 30.5 million), Shevshenko (in 2006, 43.8 million), Robben (2007, 36 million), Robinho (in 2008, 42.5 million), Cristiano Ronaldo (2009, 94 million), Villa (2010, 40 million), Torres (2011, 58 million), Thiago Silva (2012, 44.4 million), Bale (2013, 100 million), Suarez (2014, 93.7 million) and De Bruyne (2015, 75 million)
The art market is on an upward trend, too. Besides the two aforementioned paintings, Paul Cezanne's The Card Players and Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucien Freud also set records in recent years. Here’s a graph of record-breaking art sales over the past 20 years or so....MORE