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.

  1. Most expensive British player
  2. Most expensive teenager
  3. Most expensive defender
  4. Most expensive goalkeeper
  5. Biggest transfer outside of Europe
1NeymarBarcelona – PSG2017€222m
2Kylian MbappeMonaco – PSG2017€145m (+€35m)
3Joao FelixBenfica – Atletico Madrid2019€126m
4Philippe CoutinhoLiverpool – Barcelona2018€120m (+€40m)
4Antoine GriezmannAtletico Madrid – Barcelona2019€120m
6Ousmane DembeleBorussia Dortmund – Barcelona2017€105m (+€45m)
6Paul PogbaJuventus – Manchester United2016€105m
8Gareth BaleTottenham – Real Madrid2013€100.8m
9Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid – Juventus2018€100m
9Eden HazardChelsea – Real Madrid2019€100m (+€40m)
11Cristiano RonaldoManchester United – Real Madrid2009€94m
12Gonzalo HiguainNapoli – Juventus2016€90m
13Harry MaguireLeicester City – Manchester United2019€87.1m
14NeymarSantos – Barcelona2013€86.2m
15Romelu LukakuEverton – Manchester United2017€84.8m
16Virgil van DijkSouthampton – Liverpool2018€84.5m
17Luis SuarezLiverpool – Barcelona2014€82.3m
18James RodriguezMonaco – Real Madrid2014€80m
18Kepa ArrizabalagaAthletic Club – Chelsea2018€80m
18Lucas HernandezAtletico Madrid – Bayern Munich2019€80m
18Romelu LukakuManchester United – Inter2019€80m
22Nicolas PepeLille – Arsenal2019€79m
23Alvaro MorataReal Madrid – Chelsea2017€78.9m
24Zinedine ZidaneJuventus – Real Madrid2001€77.5m
25Matthijs de LigtAjax – Juventus2019€75m (+€10.5m)
25Kevin De BruyneWolfsburg – Manchester City2015€75m
25Frenkie de JongAjax – Barcelona2019€75m
28Angel Di MariaReal Madrid – Manchester United2014€74.6m
29Alisson BeckerRoma – Liverpool2018€73m
30Arthur MeloBarcelona – Juventus2020€72m (+€10m)
31Luka JovicFrankfurt – Real Madrid2019€70m
31RodriAtletico Madrid – Manchester City2019€70m
33Zlatan IbrahimovicInter – Barcelona2009€69.5m
34Raheem SterlingLiverpool – Manchester City2015€69.1m
35Riyad MahrezLeicester City – Manchester City2019€67.8m
36Diego CostaChelsea – Atletico Madrid2018€66m
37Thomas LemarMonaco – Atletico Madrid2018€65m
37KakaAC Milan – Real Madrid2009€65m
37Aymeric LaporteAthletic Club – Manchester City2018€65m
37Joao CanceloJuventus – Manchester City2019€65m (inc. Danilo)
41Edinson CavaniNapoli – PSG2013€64.5m
42Pierre-Emerick AubameyangBorussia Dortmund – Arsenal2018€63.75m
43David LuizChelsea – PSG2014€62.5m
44Angel Di MariaManchester United – PSG2015€61.6m
45OscarChelsea – Shanghai SIPG2017€60.3m
46Miralem PjanicJuventus – Barcelona2020€60m (+€5m)
46Naby KeitaRB Leipzig – Liverpool2018€60m
46Luis FigoBarcelona – Real Madrid2000€60m
46Tanguy NdombeleLyon – Tottenham2019€60m
50Fernando TorresLiverpool – Chelsea2011€59m
51FredShakhtar Donetsk – Manchester United2018€58.9m
51JorginhoNapoli – Chelsea2018€58.9m
53HulkZenit – Shanghai SIPG2016€58.6m
54Benjamin MendyMonaco – Manchester City2017€58.2m
55John StonesEverton – Manchester City2016€58m
56Kyle WalkerTottenham – Manchester City2017€56.7m
57Hernan CrespoParma – Lazio2000€55m
57Bruno FernandesSporting – Manchester United2020€55m (+€25m)
59Alexandre LacazetteLyon – Arsenal2017€53m (+€7m)
59Timo WernerRB Leipzig – Chelsea2020€53m
61Gianluigi BuffonParma – Juventus2001€52m
62Eliaquim MangalaPorto – Manchester City2014€51.7m
63Victor OshimhenLille – Napoli2020€50m
63Alex TeixeiraShakhtar Donetsk – Jiangsu Suning2016€50m
63Bernardo SilvaMonaco – Manchester City2017€50m
63FabinhoMonaco – Liverpool2018€50m
63Eder MilitaoPorto – Real Madrid2019€50m
63Aaron Wan-BissakaCrystal Palace – Manchester United2019€50m
69Anthony MartialMonaco – Manchester United2015€49.3m
70Gylfi SigurdssonSwansea City – Everton2017€49.2m
71Leroy SaneManchester City – Bayern Munich2020€49m (+€11m)
71Christian VieriLazio – Inter1999€49m
73Gaizka MendietaValencia – Lazio2001€48m
73Ferland MendyLyon – Real Madrid2019€48m
75Mesut OzilReal Madrid – Arsenal2013€47m
76Juan Sebastian VeronLazio – Manchester United2001€46m
76Rio FerdinandLeeds United – Manchester United2002€46m
76RonaldoInter – Real Madrid2002€46m
76Juan MataChelsea – Manchester United2014€46m
76Douglas CostaBayern Munich – Juventus2017€46m
81Christian BentekeAston Villa – Liverpool2015€45.8m
82James RodriguezPorto – Monaco2013€45m
82Joao MarioSporting C.P. – Inter2016€45m
82Granit XhakaBorussia Monchengladbach – Arsenal2016€45m
82Tiemoue BakayokoMonaco – Chelsea2017€45m
82RicharlisonWatford – Everton2018€45m
82Vinicius JuniorFlamengo – Real Madrid2018€45m
82RodrygoSantos – Real Madrid2019€45m
82Mateo KovacicReal Madrid – Chelsea2019€45m
82Sebastien HallerEintracht Frankfurt – West Ham2019€45m
91Nemanja MaticChelsea – Manchester United2017€44.7m
92Youri TielemansMonaco – Leicester City2019€44.6m
93Leroy SaneSchalke – Manchester City2016€44m
94Andriy SchevchenkoAC Milan – Chelsea2006€43.9m
95RobinhoReal Madrid – Manchester City2008€43m
95Radamel FalcaoAtletico Madrid – Monaco2013€43m
97Alexis SanchezBarcelona – Arsenal2014€42.5m
98Rui CostaFiorentina – AC Milan2001€42m
98Javier PastorePalermo – PSG2011€42m
98Thiago SilvaAC Milan – PSG2012€42m
98Jackson MartinezAtletico Madrid – Guangzhou Evergrande2016€42m
98Henrikh MkhitaryanBorussia Dortmund – Manchester United2016€42m
98Mohamed SalahRoma – Liverpool2017€42m
98Leonardo BonucciJuventus – AC Milan2017€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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