The 100 most expensive football transfers of all time

Sporting News

Neymar completed his move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for a staggering fee of €222 million in the summer of 2017 and the big deals haven't stopped since, with Kylian Mbappe joining him in Paris for €145m plus €35m in bonuses.

As a result of his move to the French capital, the Brazilian is now the most expensive player of all time, having smashed the previous record held by Manchester United's Paul Pogba, who arrived at Old Trafford in 2016 from Juventus for €105m. Mbappe, meanwhile, moves to second on the list.

Atletico Madrid's massive outlay for Benfica's Joao Felix of €126m in July of 2019 makes the Portuguese star the third highest on our list.

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Philippe Coutinho's move from Liverpool to Barcelona in January 2018 puts him now fourth, while Barca's captures of France duo Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele from Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund respectively sees them ahead of Pogba.

Eden Hazard's move to Real Madrid from Chelsea for €100m plus add-ons puts him joint-tied for ninth. Cristiano Ronaldo occupies positions nine and 11 on the list, with his move to Juventus in the summer of 2018 eclipsing the cost of his transfer to Real Madrid from Manchester United nine years earlier.

You can see the full list of the world's most expensive footballers below.

  1. Most expensive British player

  2. Most expensive teenager

  3. Most expensive defender

  4. Most expensive goalkeeper

  5. Biggest transfer outside of Europe

Pos.

Player

Clubs

Year

Fee

1

Neymar

Barcelona - PSG

2017

€222m

2

Kylian Mbappe

Monaco - PSG

2017

€145m (+€35m)

3

Joao Felix

Benfica - Atletico Madrid

2019

€126m

4

Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool - Barcelona

2018

€120m (+€40m)

4

Antoine Griezmann

Atletico Madrid - Barcelona

2019

€120m

6

Ousmane Dembele

Borussia Dortmund - Barcelona

2017

€105m (+€45m)

6

Paul Pogba

Juventus - Manchester United

2016

€105m

8

Gareth Bale

Tottenham - Real Madrid

2013

€100.8m

9

Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid - Juventus

2018

€100m

9

Eden Hazard

Chelsea - Real Madrid

2019

€100m (+€40m)

11

Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United - Real Madrid

2009

€94m

12

Gonzalo Higuain

Napoli - Juventus

2016

€90m

13

Harry Maguire

Leicester City - Manchester United

2019

€87.1m

14

Neymar

Santos - Barcelona

2013

€86.2m

15

Romelu Lukaku

Everton - Manchester United

2017

€84.8m

16

Virgil van Dijk

Southampton - Liverpool

2018

€84.5m

17

Luis Suarez

Liverpool - Barcelona

2014

€82.3m

18

James Rodriguez

Monaco - Real Madrid

2014

€80m

18

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Athletic Club - Chelsea

2018

€80m

18

Lucas Hernandez

Atletico Madrid - Bayern Munich

2019

€80m

18

Romelu Lukaku

Manchester United - Inter

2019

€80m

22

Nicolas Pepe

Lille - Arsenal

2019

€79m

23

Alvaro Morata

Real Madrid - Chelsea

2017

€78.9m

24

Zinedine Zidane

Juventus - Real Madrid

2001

€77.5m

25

Matthijs de Ligt

Ajax - Juventus

2019

€75m (+€10.5m)

25

Kevin De Bruyne

Wolfsburg - Manchester City

2015

€75m

25

Frenkie de Jong

Ajax - Barcelona

2019

€75m

28

Angel Di Maria

Real Madrid - Manchester United

2014

€74.6m

29

Alisson Becker

Roma - Liverpool

2018

€73m

30

Arthur Melo

Barcelona - Juventus

2020

€72m (+€10m)

31

Luka Jovic

Frankfurt - Real Madrid

2019

€70m

31

Rodri

Atletico Madrid - Manchester City

2019

€70m

33

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Inter - Barcelona

2009

€69.5m

34

Raheem Sterling

Liverpool - Manchester City

2015

€69.1m

35

Riyad Mahrez

Leicester City - Manchester City

2019

€67.8m

36

Diego Costa

Chelsea - Atletico Madrid

2018

€66m

37

Thomas Lemar

Monaco - Atletico Madrid

2018

€65m

37

Kaka

AC Milan - Real Madrid

2009

€65m

37

Aymeric Laporte

Athletic Club - Manchester City

2018

€65m

37

Joao Cancelo

Juventus - Manchester City

2019

€65m (inc. Danilo)

41

Edinson Cavani

Napoli - PSG

2013

€64.5m

42

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Borussia Dortmund - Arsenal

2018

€63.75m

43

David Luiz

Chelsea - PSG

2014

€62.5m

44

Angel Di Maria

Manchester United - PSG

2015

€61.6m

45

Oscar

Chelsea - Shanghai SIPG

2017

€60.3m

46

Miralem Pjanic

Juventus - Barcelona

2020

€60m (+€5m)

46

Naby Keita

RB Leipzig - Liverpool

2018

€60m

46

Luis Figo

Barcelona - Real Madrid

2000

€60m

46

Tanguy Ndombele

Lyon - Tottenham

2019

€60m

50

Fernando Torres

Liverpool - Chelsea

2011

€59m

51

Fred

Shakhtar Donetsk - Manchester United

2018

€58.9m

51

Jorginho

Napoli - Chelsea

2018

€58.9m

53

Hulk

Zenit - Shanghai SIPG

2016

€58.6m

54

Benjamin Mendy

Monaco - Manchester City

2017

€58.2m

55

John Stones

Everton - Manchester City

2016

€58m

56

Kyle Walker

Tottenham - Manchester City

2017

€56.7m

57

Hernan Crespo

Parma - Lazio

2000

€55m

57

Bruno Fernandes

Sporting - Manchester United

2020

€55m (+€25m)

59

Alexandre Lacazette

Lyon - Arsenal

2017

€53m (+€7m)

59

Timo Werner

RB Leipzig - Chelsea

2020

€53m

61

Gianluigi Buffon

Parma - Juventus

2001

€52m

62

Eliaquim Mangala

Porto - Manchester City

2014

€51.7m

63

Alex Teixeira

Shakhtar Donetsk - Jiangsu Suning

2016

€50m

63

Bernardo Silva

Monaco - Manchester City

2017

€50m

63

Fabinho

Monaco - Liverpool

2018

€50m

63

Eder Militao

Porto - Real Madrid

2019

€50m

63

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Crystal Palace - Manchester United

2019

€50m

63

Victor Oshimhen

Lille - Napoli

2020

€50m

69

Anthony Martial

Monaco - Manchester United

2015

€49.3m

70

Gylfi Sigurdsson

Swansea City - Everton

2017

€49.2m

71

Leroy Sane

Manchester City - Bayern Munich

2020

€49m (+€11m)

71

Christian Vieri

Lazio - Inter

1999

€49m

73

Gaizka Mendieta

Valencia - Lazio

2001

€48m

73

Ferland Mendy

Lyon - Real Madrid

2019

€48m

75

Mesut Ozil

Real Madrid - Arsenal

2013

€47m

76

Juan Sebastian Veron

Lazio - Manchester United

2001

€46m

76

Rio Ferdinand

Leeds United - Manchester United

2002

€46m

76

Ronaldo

Inter - Real Madrid

2002

€46m

76

Juan Mata

Chelsea - Manchester United

2014

€46m

76

Douglas Costa

Bayern Munich - Juventus

2017

€46m

81

Christian Benteke

Aston Villa - Liverpool

2015

€45.8m

82

James Rodriguez

Porto - Monaco

2013

€45m

82

Joao Mario

Sporting C.P. - Inter

2016

€45m

82

Granit Xhaka

Borussia Monchengladbach - Arsenal

2016

€45m

82

Tiemoue Bakayoko

Monaco - Chelsea

2017

€45m

82

Richarlison

Watford - Everton

2018

€45m

82

Vinicius Junior

Flamengo - Real Madrid

2018

€45m

82

Rodrygo

Santos - Real Madrid

2019

€45m

82

Mateo Kovacic

Real Madrid - Chelsea

2019

€45m

82

Sebastien Haller

Eintracht Frankfurt - West Ham

2019

€45m

91

Nemanja Matic

Chelsea - Manchester United

2017

€44.7m

92

Youri Tielemans

Monaco - Leicester City

2019

€44.6m

93

Leroy Sane

Schalke - Manchester City

2016

€44m

94

Andriy Schevchenko

AC Milan - Chelsea

2006

€43.9m

95

Robinho

Real Madrid - Manchester City

2008

€43m

95

Radamel Falcao

Atletico Madrid - Monaco

2013

€43m

97

Alexis Sanchez

Barcelona - Arsenal

2014

€42.5m

98

Rui Costa

Fiorentina - AC Milan

2001

€42m

98

Javier Pastore

Palermo - PSG

2011

€42m

98

Thiago Silva

AC Milan - PSG

2012

€42m

98

Jackson Martinez

Atletico Madrid - Guangzhou Evergrande

2016

€42m

98

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Borussia Dortmund - Manchester United

2016

€42m

98

Mohamed Salah

Roma - Liverpool

2017

€42m

98

Leonardo Bonucci

Juventus - AC Milan

2017

€42m

Most expensive British player

Gareth Bale Perez Real Madrid
Gareth Bale Perez Real Madrid

Gareth Bale is the most expensive British player of all time, having cost Real Madrid €100.8 million in 2013.

At the time, Bale was the most expensive player in history, but he slipped to eighth in the ranking in 2019. He is now behind the likes of Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho.

The costliest English player in history, incidentally, is Manchester United defender Harry Maguire, who joined from Leicester City in 2019 for €87.1m.

Most expensive teenager

Kylian Mbappe France 2017
Kylian Mbappe France 2017

Kylian Mbappe is the most expensive teenager ever after joining PSG on a loan-to-buy deal that will be worth €180 million after bonuses.

Not only is he the most expensive teenage footballer of all time, but Mbappe is also second-most expensive player of all time.

Joao Felix follows Mbappe as the second most expensive teenager, having been signed by Atletico Madrid from Benfica for €126m in 2019.

Most expensive defender

Harry Maguire Manchester United 2019-20
Harry Maguire Manchester United 2019-20

Harry Maguire became the most expensive defender of all time when Manchester United forked out a fee worth €87.1 million to Leicester City for the England international's services in 2019.

Maguire overtook Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk in the process, but only relatively marginally, with the Netherlands centre-back costing the Reds €84.5m

Most expensive goalkeeper

Kepa Arrizabalaga Athletic Bilbao
Kepa Arrizabalaga Athletic Bilbao

Kepa Arrizabalaga is the most expensive goalkeeper in history after Chelsea spent €80 million to meet his release clause with Athletic Club in 2018.

For a long time, former Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon held this mark having joined the Turin outfit from Parma for €52m, which is a colossal fee when inflation is taken into account.

Then within a matter of weeks, the record was shattered twice. First Liverpool brought in Roma's Alisson Becker for €73m, to temporarily take the mark as the world's most expensive keeper.

Not to be outdone, Chelsea matched Kepa's release clause not even a month later, meaning the Spain international has quickly dethroned Alisson for the No.1 spot in transfer history.

Biggest transfer outside of Europe

Oscar Shanghai SIPG
Oscar Shanghai SIPG

33 Zlatan Ibrahimovic Inter - Barcelona 2009 €69.5m

The most a non-European club has ever paid for a player is €60.3m, which Shanghai SIPG handed over to Chelsea for Brazil midfielder Oscar in 2016.

However, with the way the market is going, who knows which record will be shattered next?!

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