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The 100 most expensive football transfers of all time

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. 

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.

Most expensive British playerMost expensive teenagerMost expensive defenderMost expensive goalkeeperBiggest transfer outside of EuropePos.
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
68
Anthony Martial
Monaco – Manchester United
2015
€49.3m
69
Gylfi Sigurdsson
Swansea City – Everton
2017
€49.2m
70
Christian Vieri
Lazio – Inter
1999
€49m
71
Gaizka Mendieta
Valencia – Lazio
2001
€48m
71
Ferland Mendy
Lyon – Real Madrid
2019
€48m
73
Mesut Ozil
Real Madrid – Arsenal
2013
€47m
74
Juan Sebastian Veron
Lazio – Manchester United
2001
€46m
74
Rio Ferdinand
Leeds United – Manchester United
2002
€46m
74
Ronaldo
Inter – Real Madrid
2002
€46m
74
Juan Mata
Chelsea – Manchester United
2014
€46m
74
Douglas Costa
Bayern Munich – Juventus
2017
€46m
79
Christian Benteke
Aston Villa – Liverpool
2015
€45.8m
80
James Rodriguez
Porto – Monaco
2013
€45m
80
Joao Mario
Sporting C.P. – Inter
2016
€45m
80
Granit Xhaka
Borussia Monchengladbach – Arsenal
2016
€45m
80
Tiemoue Bakayoko
Monaco – Chelsea
2017
€45m
80
Richarlison
Watford – Everton
2018
€45m
80
Vinicius Junior
Flamengo – Real Madrid
2018
€45m
80
Rodrygo
Santos – Real Madrid
2019
€45m
80
Mateo Kovacic
Real Madrid – Chelsea
2019
€45m
80
Sebastien Haller
Eintracht Frankfurt – West Ham
2019
€45m
89
Nemanja Matic
Chelsea – Manchester United
2017
€44.7m
90
Youri Tielemans
Monaco – Leicester City
2019
€44.6m
91
Leroy Sane
Schalke – Manchester City
2016
€44m
92
Andriy Schevchenko
AC Milan – Chelsea
2006
€43.9m
93
Robinho
Real Madrid – Manchester City
2008
€43m
93
Radamel Falcao
Atletico Madrid – Monaco
2013
€43m
95
Alexis Sanchez
Barcelona – Arsenal
2014
€42.5m
96
Rui Costa
Fiorentina – AC Milan
2001
€42m
96
Javier Pastore
Palermo – PSG
2011
€42m
96
Thiago Silva
AC Milan – PSG
2012
€42m
96
Jackson Martinez
Atletico Madrid – Guangzhou Evergrande
2016
€42m
96
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Borussia Dortmund – Manchester United
2016
€42m
96
Mohamed Salah
Roma – Liverpool
2017
€42m
96
Leonardo Bonucci
Juventus – AC Milan
2017
€42m

Most expensive British player

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 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 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 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

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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