Juventus paid €90 million for Gonzalo Higuain — the 28-year-old destroyer of Lionel Messi’s dreams and Serie A’s top scorer last season. This is a lot of money for any player, let alone one who is closing in on 30 years old. And so it has prompted the indignant question raised every time there is a transfer fee larger than what is currently accepted to be within the always rising range of normality: Is he worth it?
This question often leads to heated debate, but the answer is simple and it’s always the same. Yes. Gonzalo Higuain is worth €90 million, just as Paul Pogba is worth whatever is paid for him, even if it’s a new world record. Why? Because that’s the amount of money someone is willing and able to pay for them, so that is their value. It doesn’t matter if they fail to meet expectations or if they surpass them. That is what they are worth because that is the amount of currency exchanged for their services.
Any attempt to argue this topic based on opinions or other metrics is an act of nonsense. Then again, this is all nonsense, really. Not just transfer valuations and the many millions involved in the business of football, but even the very concept of money. It’s paper, or, in sums this large, numbers on a screen that only have value because human society conspires to make it so. Just like the footballers it’s spent on.
If the zombie apocalypse starts tomorrow, money will be completely worthless and top footballers will be even more valuable than they are now because they’re agile and they can run fast enough to evade the undead while searching for supplies away from the safety of base camp where the other survivors have fashioned makeshift spears and rediscovered fire. And if transported to just about any other planet in the universe, both money and professional footballers would be worthless because they wouldn’t be able to exist in harsher atmospheres.
Then there’s the possibility that nothing we perceive to be reality is actually real and we are all just fabrications inside the mind of an unknown creature in another dimension of time and space. Given that, assigning value to things on our plane of existence would be like assigning value to things in your dreams. Do you agonize over the monetary value of the dragon made of ice cream you dreamed about last night? No. Because it exists in a realm of nonsense and it would probably be melted by its own fire breath anyway.
With all that said, we are now a few moments closer to the start of the season and/or the zombie apocalypse and thank Zlatan for that.