With Ronaldo setting the trend, will mega transfers become the norm?

cristiano-ronaldo unveiled MadridDuring the mid-naughties,  a period of time when footballers were beginning to earn more money than rock stars, average players were commanding ridiculous fees and the transfer market was on the verge of spiralling into oblivion, Cristiano Ronaldo moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid for a world record fee.

Although the eye-watering £80m seemed an absurd amount to pay for a footballer, it was the best thing to happen to the game with regards to buying and selling players.

The Portuguese star, along with his Argentinian counterpart Lionel Messi, were by far the two best footballers on the planet.

In 2009, at 24 years old, the transfer of Ronaldo set a precedent.  With the greatest player on the planet moving for £80m it meant every single transfer thereafter would be measured against it.

Messi aside, nobody would be going for more money. Hardly anybody would be worth anywhere near the fee of Ronaldo – with Gareth Bale being the only player to move for more money since.

However as we enter the summer of 2016, it appears the footballing world is finally moving on from Ronaldo, and a whole different and simply frightening game of finances are about to sweep over Europe.

Both Ronaldo and Messi have been the best two players on the planet for the best part of ten years.

In the history of the game, this has never happened. Zinedine Zidane was replaced by Ronaldinho who was replaced by Kaka all in quick succession.

In the football world, three seasons is usually the maximum stay for a ‘world’s best’ before somebody new comes along.

However in the case of Ronaldo, he has been performing at such an exceptionally high level for so long it appears to have kept transfer fees in check.

With Napoli asking for £80m for Gonzalo Higuain, Juventus asking for £100m for Paul Pogba and West Ham wanting £100m for Payet, who are nowhere near the level of footballer Ronaldo is, it seems the world expects the Portuguese talisman to have a limited shelf life from here on out.

With no obvious selection on who will take over from Ronaldo and Messi as the dominant forces in the game; there are a host of players who might step up.

Neymar and Bale look the obvious choices – however Renato Sanches as well as Pogba and his fellow Frenchman Antoine Griezmann might be in with a shout.

At this stage, it seems every club is hiking up the price of their star players in order to cash in before the next world star moves club and regulates prices for another five years.

The only problem is at this stage, who on earth will this player be?

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