Pitchside

The world-class defender who once cost just £24

Pitchside

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This season has been quite something for Uruguay defender Diego Godin.

The Atletico Madrid stopper has seen his value rise after a wonderful campaign which saw Los Rojiblancos win La Liga against all the odds, and come agonisingly close to claiming the Champions League.

Indeed, it was Godin’s header that almost handed Atletico shock European glory: Real Madrid equalised deep into stoppage time, going on to win 4-1 after extra time as they broke their city rivals' resistance.

At least Godin can console himself with a historic Liga winner’s medal, and a place in Uruguay’s starting XI at the World Cup, where they will face England and Italy in the group stage.

But things weren’t always so rosy for Godin.

The Rosario-born defender came through the youth ranks at Defensor Sporting, one of the big clubs in Uruguay’s capital Montevideo.

But things weren’t working out for him so, aged 16, he went home to finish school.

After that though, he was keen to resume his football career. But he was still registered with Defensor, so Cerro had to buy him.

It was 2003 and he cost the club a measly 840 pesos – which converts to just 30 euros (or £24). There was no sell-on clause.

Don’t believe us? Here’s the evidence, a transfer registration document from Uruguay’s FA, posted on Twitter by celebrity Cerro fan Rafael Cotelo:

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Curiosport - Godín costó 37 dólares hace 11 años, ¿cuánto valdría ahora?

Four years later Godin was an established international and, having spent a season at Nacional, was snapped up by Villarreal for an undisclosed fee.

He would go on to join Atletico Madrid for around £7 million and – having been an integral element of Diego Simeone’s Atletico success story – the Liga, Copa del Rey and Europa League winner is now worth closer to £30m than 30 euros.

Not bad for someone who once cost less than the price of a pair of football boots. Poor Defensor must be kicking themselves.

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