Denilson – 1998: £21.5m (Sao Paulo to Real Betis)
A precocious talent in Brazil, Denilson never made the desired impact after his record move and struggled to hold down a place at Betis before moving on.
Christian Vieri – 1999: £32m (Lazio to Inter Milan)
Eight clubs in as many seasons eventually led Vieri to Inter, where they broke the transfer record once again and he would form a formidable partnership with Ronaldo.
Hernan Crespo – 2000: £35.5m (Parma to Lazio)
A year later, Lazio replaced Vieri with Crespo and he ended his first season with the club as Serie A’s top goalscorer.
Luis Figo – 2000: £37m (Barcelona to Real Madrid)
The era of the Galacticos truly began with the acrimonious transfer of Portugal winger Figo between the two El Clasico rivals.
Zinedine Zidane – 2001: £46.6m (Juventus to Real Madrid)
Madrid continued to build their team of superstars by adding France international Zidane from Juventus – and he went on to become coach at the Bernabeu.