Paris Saint-Germain shook up the football world in the summer of 2017 when they signed Neymar from Barcelona and then promptly prised Kylian Mbappe away from Monaco.
They remain the two most expensive players of all time but there is no denying that PSG\’s sensational double swoop greatly inflated the transfer market.
Indeed, a number of massive moves quickly followed, with Barcelona looking to try to fill the void left behind by Neymar by signing the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann for nine-figure fees.
Also in Spain, Atletico Madrid splashed b,126m on Benfica\’s prodigious attacking talent Joao Felix, while Real Madrid finally brought Eden Hazard to Santiago Bernabeu for b,100m.
The Covid-19 pandemic briefly had a massive impact on the transfer market, but some clubs have seemingly now recovered, with the likes of Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, Darwin Nunez, Matthijs de Ligt and Aurelien Tchoucameni moving for huge amounts.
More massive deals now look certain to follow, but you can see the current list of the world\’s most expensive footballers below…
On this pageMost expensive British playerMost expensive teenagerMost expensive defenderMost expensive goalkeeperBiggest transfer outside of EuropePos.PlayerClubsYearFee1NeymarBarcelona – PSG2017b,222m2Kylian MbappeMonaco – PSG2017b,145m (+b,35m)3Joao FelixBenfica – Atletico Madrid2019b,126m=4Philippe CoutinhoLiverpool – Barcelona2018b,120m (+b,40m)=4Antoine GriezmannAtletico Madrid – Barcelona2019b,120m6Jack GrealishAston Villa – Manchester City2021b,117m7Romelu LukakuInter – Chelsea2021b,115m=8Ousmane DembeleBorussia Dortmund – Barcelona2017b,105m (+b,45m)=8Paul PogbaJuventus – Manchester United2016b,105m10Gareth BaleTottenham – Real Madrid2013b,100.8m=11Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid – Juventus2018b,100m=11Eden HazardChelsea – Real Madrid2019b,100m (+b,40m)13Cristiano RonaldoManchester United – Real Madrid2009b,94m14Gonzalo HiguainNapoli – Juventus2016b,90m15Harry MaguireLeicester City – Manchester United2019b,87.1m16NeymarSantos – Barcelona2013b,86.2m17Jadon SanchoBorussia Dortmund – Manchester United2021b,85m18Romelu LukakuEverton – Manchester United2017b,84.8m19Virgil van DijkSouthampton – Liverpool2018b,84.5m20Luis SuarezLiverpool – Barcelona2014b,82.3m=21Aurelien TchouameniMonaco – Real Madrid2022b,80m (+b,20m)=21James RodriguezMonaco – Real Madrid2014b,80m=21Kepa ArrizabalagaAthletic Club – Chelsea2018b,80m=21Lucas HernandezAtletico Madrid – Bayern Munich2019b,80m=21Romelu LukakuManchester United – Inter2019b,80m26Nicolas PepeLille – Arsenal2019b,79m27Alvaro MorataReal Madrid – Chelsea2017b,78.9m28Zinedine ZidaneJuventus – Real Madrid2001b,77.5m=29Darwin NunezBenfica – Liverpool2022b,75m (+b,25m)=29Matthijs de LigtAjax – Juventus2019b,75m (+b,10.5m)=29Kevin De BruyneWolfsburg – Manchester City2015b,75m=29Frenkie de JongAjax – Barcelona2019b,75m=29Dusan VlahovicFiorentina – Juventus2022b,75m34Angel Di MariaReal Madrid – Manchester United2014b,74.6m35Alisson BeckerRoma – Liverpool2018b,73m36Arthur MeloBarcelona – Juventus2020b,72m (+b,10m)37CasemiroReal Madrid – Manchester United2022b,71m (+b,11.8m)=38Kai HavertzBayer Leverkusen – Chelsea2020b,70m (+b,9m)=38Luka JovicFrankfurt – Real Madrid2019b,70m=38RodriAtletico Madrid – Manchester City2019b,70m41Zlatan IbrahimovicInter – Barcelona2009b,69.5m42Raheem SterlingLiverpool – Manchester City2015b,69.1m43Ruben DiasBenfica – Manchester City2020b,68m (+b,3.6m)44Riyad MahrezLeicester City – Manchester City2019b,67.8m45Matthijs de LigtJuventus – Bayern Munich2022b,67m (+b,10m)46Diego CostaChelsea – Atletico Madrid2018b,66m47Marc CucurellaBrighton – Chelsea2022b,65.1m (+b,8.2m)=48Alexander IsakReal Sociedad – Newcastle United2022b,65m (+b,5m)=48Thomas LemarMonaco – Atletico Madrid2018b,65m=48KakaAC Milan – Real Madrid2009b,65m=48Aymeric LaporteAthletic Club – Manchester City2018b,65m=48Joao CanceloJuventus – Manchester City2019b,65m (inc. Danilo)53Edinson CavaniNapoli – PSG2013b,64.5m54Christian PulisicBorussia Dortmund – Chelsea2019b,64m55Pierre-Emerick AubameyangBorussia Dortmund – Arsenal2018b,63.75m56David LuizChelsea – PSG2014b,62.5m57Angel Di MariaManchester United – PSG2015b,61.6m58OscarChelsea – Shanghai SIPG2017b,60.3m=59Achraf HakimiInter – PSG2021b,60m (+b,11m)=59Miralem PjanicJuventus – Barcelona2020b,60m (+b,5m)=59Erling HaalandBorussia Dortmund – Manchester City2022b,60m=59Naby KeitaRB Leipzig – Liverpool2018b,60m=59Luis FigoBarcelona – Real Madrid2000b,60m=59Tanguy NdombeleLyon – Tottenham2019b,60m=65RaphinhaLeeds United – Barcelona2022b,59m (+b,6m)=65Fernando TorresLiverpool – Chelsea2011b,59m=67FredShakhtar Donetsk – Manchester United2018b,58.9m=67JorginhoNapoli – Chelsea2018b,58.9m=67HulkZenit – Shanghai SIPG2016b,58.6m=67Ben WhiteBrighton – Arsenal2021b,58.6m71Benjamin MendyMonaco – Manchester City2017b,58.2m=72RicharlisonEverton – Tottenham2022b,58m (+b,12m)=72John StonesEverton – Manchester City2016b,58m74Kyle WalkerTottenham – Manchester City2017b,56.7m75Raheem SterlingManchester City – Chelsea2022b,56.2m76Ben ChilwellLeicester City – Chelsea2020b,55.8m77Lisandro MartinezAjax – Manchester United2022b,55.3m (+b,12.5m)=78Bruno FernandesSporting C.P. – Manchester United2020b,55m (+b,25m)=78Hernan CrespoParma – Lazio2000b,55m=78Ferran TorresManchester City – Barcelona2021b,55m=81Alexandre LacazetteLyon – Arsenal2017b,53m (+b,7m)=81Timo WernerRB Leipzig – Chelsea2020b,53m83Gabriel JesusManchester City – Arsenal2022b,52.3m84Gianluigi BuffonParma – Juventus2001b,52m85Eliaquim MangalaPorto – Manchester City2014b,51.7m86Jules KoundeSevilla – Barcelona2022b,50m (+b,10m)=87Alex TeixeiraShakhtar Donetsk – Jiangsu Suning2016b,50m=87Bernardo SilvaMonaco – Manchester City2017b,50m=87FabinhoMonaco – Liverpool2018b,50m=87Eder MilitaoPorto – Real Madrid2019b,50m=87Aaron Wan-BissakaCrystal Palace – Manchester United2019b,50m=87Thomas ParteyAtletico Madrid – Arsenal2020b,50m=87Victor OshimhenLille – Napoli2020b,50m94Anthony MartialMonaco – Manchester United2015b,49.3m95Gylfi SigurdssonSwansea City – Everton2017b,49.2m=96Leroy SaneManchester City – Bayern Munich2020b,49m (+b,11m)=96Christian VieriLazio – Inter1999b,49m98Kalvin PhillipsLeeds United – Manchester City2022b,48.8m (+b,3.5m)=99Gaizka MendietaValencia – Lazio2001b,48m=99Ferland MendyLyon – Real Madrid2019b,48mMost expensive British playerManchester City
Jack Grealish became the most expensive British player in football history when Manchester City agreed to meet the buy-out clause of b,117m in the England international\’s Aston Villa contract.
The record had previously belonged to Wales winger Gareth Bale, who joined Real Madrid from Tottenham in 2013 for b,100.8m.
Before Grealish\’s move to the Etihad, Harry Maguire was the costliest English player ever, on account of his b,87.1m move from Leicester to Manchester United in 2019.
Most expensive teenager
Kylian Mbappe is the most expensive teenager ever, as he joined PSG on a loan-to-buy deal in 2017 that will be worth b,180m after bonuses.
Joao Felix is the second-most expensive teenager, having been signed by Atletico from Benfica for b,126m in 2019.
Most expensive defenderGetty Images
Harry Maguire became the most expensive defender of all time when Manchester United forked out b,87.1m the England centre-half\’s services in 2019.
Maguire overtook Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk in the process, but only marginally, as the Netherlands international set the Reds back b,84.5m when he arrived from Southampton the year before.
Most expensive goalkeeper
Kepa Arrizabalaga is the most expensive goalkeeper in history. Chelsea spent b,80m to meet his Athletic Club release clause in 2018.
For a long time, former Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon held this mark, having joined the Turin outfit from Parma for b,52m, which is a colossal fee when inflation is taken into account.
Then, within a matter of weeks, Buffon\’s record was shattered twice. First, Liverpool brought in Roma\’s Alisson Becker for b,73m, to temporarily take the mark as the world\’s most expensive keeper.
Not to be outdone, Chelsea snapped up Kepa not even a month later, propelling the Spain international into top spot.
Biggest transfer outside of EuropeGetty Images
The most a non-European club has ever paid for a player is b,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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