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List of most expensive association football transfers

Neymar, currently the most expensive footballer

The following is a list of most expensive football association transfers, which details the highest transfer fees ever paid for players as of the summer transfer window of 2017.

As well as the most expensive transfers of all time, the page also lists transfers which broke the world transfer record. The first recorded record transfer was of Willie Groves from West Bromwich Albion to Aston Villa for £100 in 1893. This occurred just eight years after the introduction of professionalism by The FA in 1885.[1] The current transfer record was set by the transfer of Neymar from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for €222 million (£198 million) on 3 August 2017.[2][3][4][5]

Contents

Highest feesEdit

Most of the highest-value transfers on this list are to clubs under UEFA's jurisdiction, and most of the purchasing clubs are from England, Spain, Italy and France. However, in the mid 2010s a few Chinese teams have made expensive purchases.

The default order in this table is based on the transfer amount in euros. Due to exchange rate fluctuations the order is different in pound sterling, which are also shown in the table. Transfers that took place before the adoption of the euro are given in their approximate euro equivalent. The list includes only the top fifty disclosed transfer fees.

Three players appear on the list twice: Neymar, James Rodríguez and Ángel Di María. All of the players on the list are of either European (UEFA) or South American (CONMEBOL) origin. There are no players from the remaining regions, namely Africa (CAF), Asia (AFC), North America (CONCACAF) and Oceania (OFC).

As of 1 September 2017; after the 2017 summer transfer window.

  Fee broke the world football transfer record at the time of the transfer
  Fee broke the national league record at the time of the transfer
  Fee broke the record for a South American player at the time of the transfer
  Fee broke the record for an African player at the time of the transfer
  Fee broke the record for a teenager at the time of the transfer
Top 50 transfers
R Player From To Position Fee
(M £)
Fee
(M )
Year Year of birth Ref.
1   Neymar   Barcelona   Paris Saint-Germain Forward £198 €222 2017 1992 [2][6][7][4][5]
2   Dembele, OusmaneOusmane Dembélé   Borussia Dortmund   Barcelona Forward £97 €105[a] 2017 1997 [8][9][10]
  Pogba, PaulPaul Pogba   Juventus   Manchester United Midfielder £89 €105[b] 2016 1993 [11][12][13][14]
4   Bale, GarethGareth Bale   Tottenham Hotspur   Real Madrid Forward £86 €100 2013 1989 [15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22]
5   Ronaldo, CristianoCristiano Ronaldo   Manchester United   Real Madrid Forward £80 €94 2009 1985 [23][24][25]
6   Higuaín, GonzaloGonzalo Higuaín   Napoli   Juventus Striker £75.3 €90 2016 1987 [26][27][28]
7   Lukaku, RomeluRomelu Lukaku   Everton   Manchester United Striker £75[c] €85 2017 1993 [29][30][31][32]
8   Suárez, LuisLuis Suárez   Liverpool   Barcelona Striker £75 €82.3 2014 1987 [33][34]
9   Rodríguez, JamesJames Rodríguez   Monaco   Real Madrid Midfielder £63 €78 2014 1991 [35][36][37][38]
10   Zidane, ZinedineZinedine Zidane   Juventus   Real Madrid Midfielder £46.6 €77.5[d] 2001 1972 [40][41][42]
11   Di María, ÁngelÁngel Di María   Real Madrid   Manchester United Midfielder £59.7 €75.6 2014 1988 [43][44]
12   De Bruyne, KevinKevin De Bruyne   Wolfsburg   Manchester City Midfielder £55 €75 2015 1991 [45][46]
13   Ibrahimović, ZlatanZlatan Ibrahimović   Internazionale   Barcelona Striker £56 €69.5[e] 2009 1981 [47][48][49][50]
14   Kaká   Milan   Real Madrid Midfielder £56 €67[f] 2009 1982 [51][52][53][54][55]
15   Morata, ÁlvaroÁlvaro Morata   Real Madrid   Chelsea Striker £58[g] €65.5 2017 1992 [56][57]
16   Oscar   Chelsea   Shanghai SIPG Midielder £60[h] €65 2017 1991 [58][59][60]
17   Cavani, EdinsonEdinson Cavani   Napoli   Paris Saint-Germain Striker £55 €64.5 2013 1987 [61][62][63][64]
18   Di María, ÁngelÁngel Di María   Manchester United   Paris Saint-Germain Midfielder £45 €64 2015 1988 [65][66][67]
19   Sterling, RaheemRaheem Sterling   Liverpool   Manchester City Forward £44[i] €62.5 2015 1994 [68][69]
20   Figo, LuísLuís Figo   Barcelona   Real Madrid Midfielder £37 €62 2000 1972 [70][71]
21   Falcao, RadamelRadamel Falcao   Atlético Madrid   Monaco Striker £51 €60[j] 2013 1986 [72][73]
22   Torres, FernandoFernando Torres   Liverpool   Chelsea Striker £50 €59 2011 1984 [74][75]
23   Crespo, HernánHernán Crespo   Parma   Lazio Striker £35[k] €58.5 2000 1975 [76][77]
24   Mendy, BenjaminBenjamin Mendy   Monaco   Manchester City Defender £52 €58.1 2017 1994 [citation needed]
25   Neymar   Santos   Barcelona Forward £48.6 €57.1[l] 2013 1992 [78][79][80][81]
26   Walker, KyleKyle Walker   Tottenham Hotspur   Manchester City Defender £50[m] €57 2017 1990 [82][83]
  Costa, DiegoDiego Costa   Chelsea   Atlético Madrid Striker £48.8[n] €57 2018 1988 [84]
28   David Luiz   Chelsea   Paris Saint-Germain Defender £50[o] €56 2014 1987 [85][86][87]
  Keïta, NabyNaby Keïta   RB Leipzig   Liverpool Midfielder £48 €56 2018 1995 [88]
30   Hulk   Zenit Saint Petersburg   Shanghai SIPG Forward £46.4 €55.8 2016 1986 [89][90]
31   Stones, JohnJohn Stones   Everton   Manchester City Defender £47.5 €55.6 2016 1994 [91][92][93][94]
32   Lacazette, AlexandreAlexandre Lacazette   Lyon   Arsenal Striker £46.5 €53[p] 2017 1991 [95][96]
33   Buffon, GianluigiGianluigi Buffon   Parma   Juventus Goalkeeper £33 €52[q] 2001 1978 [97]
34   Martial, AnthonyAnthony Martial   Monaco   Manchester United Forward £36[r] €51 2015 1995 [98][99][100]
35   Sigurðsson, GylfiGylfi Sigurðsson   Swansea City   Everton Midfielder £45 €50 2017 1989 [101]
36   Silva, BernardoBernardo Silva   Monaco   Manchester City Midfielder £43 €49.5 2017 1994 [102][103]
  Teixeira, AlexAlex Teixeira   Shakhtar Donetsk   Jiangsu Suning Midfielder £42.5 €49.5 2016 1988 [104][105]
  Özil, MesutMesut Özil   Real Madrid   Arsenal Midfielder £42.5 €49.5 2013 1988 [106][107][108]
39   Vieri, ChristianChristian Vieri   Lazio   Internazionale Striker £32 €49[s] 1999 1973 [109][110]
40   Mendieta, GaizkaGaizka Mendieta   Valencia   Lazio Midfielder £31 €48 2001 1972 [111][112]
41   Ferdinand, RioRio Ferdinand   Leeds United   Manchester United Defender £30 €47 2002 1978 [113][114]
42   Benteke, ChristianChristian Benteke   Aston Villa   Liverpool Striker £32.5 €46.3 2015 1990 [115][116]
43   Mata, JuanJuan Mata   Chelsea   Manchester United Midfielder £37.1 €46 2014 1988 [117][118]
  Ronaldo   Internazionale   Real Madrid Striker £29 €46 2002 1976 [119][120]
45   Tiémoué Bakayoko   Monaco   Chelsea Midfielder £40 €45 2017 1993 [121]
  Vinícius Júnior   Flamengo   Real Madrid Forward £39.6 €45 2018 2000 [122]
  Rodríguez, JamesJames Rodríguez   Porto   Monaco Midfielder £38.3 €45 2013 1991 [123][124]
  Lucas Moura   São Paulo   Paris Saint-Germain Forward £38.3 €45 2013 1992 [125][126]
  Agüero, SergioSergio Agüero   Atlético Madrid   Manchester City Striker £38 €45 2011 1988 [127][128][129][130]
  Verón, Juan SebastiánJuan Sebastián Verón   Lazio   Manchester United Midfielder £28.1 €45 2001 1975 [131][132]

Notes

  1. ^ Initial €105 million plus reported €40 million bonuses
  2. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial €105 million, plus another €5 million in additional bonuses; Pogba's agent Mino Raiola also received a reported €27m from Juventus, from a portion of aforementioned transfer fee from Manchester United.
  3. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial £75 million, plus another £15 million in additional bonuses.
  4. ^ fee originally in 150 billion lire; the fixed exchange rate between euro and lire was 1:1936.27. The fee was paid in 4 annual installments;[39] on accounting purpose, the fee was listed as approx. €75m[39]
  5. ^ Initial transfer fee for Ibrahimović is indeterminable. According to Barcelona's press release, Ibrahimović signed a 5-year contract, for €46 million fee in installments and the exchange of Eto'o (valued at €20 million) and the loan of Alexander Hleb (with an option to buy for a €10 million fee), with a €250 million release clause, making Ibrahimović worth €66 million plus the undisclosed loan fee of Hleb. However, the Hleb deal collapsed. Eventually Ibrahimović cost Barcelona €69.884 million according to their financial report, which included other fees. As per the Inter book the fee was €69.5 million, but part of the Inter fee (max. 5% according to FIFA regulation) were deducted and distributed by Barcelona to youth clubs of Ibrahimović: Malmö FF and AFC Ajax as solidarity contribution.
  6. ^ The fee broke the world record in pound sterling, but not in euro; as the fee was paid in installments, the accountant that prepared the financial report adjusted the value to €66.073 million as the present value to reflect the loss in interest
  7. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial £58 million, plus another £12 million in additional bonuses.
  8. ^ Estimated figure. The transfer fee has not been disclosed.
  9. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial £44 million, plus another £5 million in additional bonuses.
  10. ^ Estimated figure. The transfer fee has not been disclosed.
  11. ^ Lazio broke the then-world transfer record by paying £35 million (£16 million upfront and transferred Matías Almeyda and Sérgio Conceição) to acquire Crespo. The total transfer fee later amounted to £40 million.
  12. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial €57.1 million, plus another €2 million in additional bonuses. Neymar received a €10 million signing bonus. Neymar's agent also received €4 million.
  13. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial £50 million (€57m), plus another £3 million in additional bonuses.
  14. ^ £48.8m with £8.8m in add-ons.
  15. ^ Estimated figure. The transfer fee has not been disclosed.
  16. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial €53 million (£46.5m), plus another €7 million (£6.1m) in additional bonuses.
  17. ^ Part of the fees was paid via the transfer of Jonathan Bachini to Parma for a total of 100 billion lire; the fixed exchange rate of lira to euro was 1936.27 lire to 1 euro.
  18. ^ Manchester United paid £36 million up front for Martial, but his contract contains three bonus clauses worth £7.2 million each, taking the potential fee to £57.6 million. The clauses each relate to certain accomplishments being achieved in the next four years, including if Martial scores 25 goals during that span, racks up 25 caps for France or wins the Ballon d'Or before June 2019.
  19. ^ An indeterminate size of the fee was paid via the transfer of Diego Simeone to Lazio that totaled €45 million.

World football transfer recordEdit

The first player to ever be transferred for a fee of over £100 was Scottish striker Willie Groves when he together with Jack Reynolds (£50) made the switch from West Bromwich Albion to Aston Villa in 1893,[133] eight years after the legalisation of professionalism in the sport. It took just twelve years for the figure to become £1000, when Sunderland striker Alf Common moved to Middlesbrough.[134][135]

It was not until 1928 that the first five-figure transfer took place. David Jack of Bolton Wanderers was the subject of interest from Arsenal, and in order to negotiate the fee down, Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman got the Bolton representatives drunk.[136][137] Subsequently, David Jack was transferred for a world record fee when Arsenal paid £10,890 to Bolton for his services, after Bolton had asked for £13,000, which was double the previous record made when Sunderland signed Burnley's Bob Kelly a fee of for £6,500.[135]

 
Diego Maradona, David Jack and Ronaldo are the only players to twice be transferred for world record fees.

The first player from outside Great Britain to break the record was Bernabé Ferreyra, a player known as La Fiera for his powerful shot. His 1932 transfer from Tigre to River Plate cost £23k,[137] and the record would last for 17 years (the longest the record has lasted) until it was broken by Manchester United's sale of Johnny Morris to Derby County for £24k in March 1949. The record was broken seven further times between 1949 and 1961, when Luis Suárez Miramontes was sold by FC Barcelona to Inter Milan for £152k, becoming the first ever player sold for more than £100k.[135]

In 1968, Pietro Anastasi became the first £500k player when Juventus purchased him from Varese,[137] which was followed seven years later with Giuseppe Savoldi becoming the first million pound player when he transferred from Bologna to Napoli.[135][137]

The second player to twice be transferred for world record fees is Diego Maradona.[135][137] His transfers from Boca Juniors to Barcelona for £3m, and then to Napoli for £5m, both broke the record in 1982 and 1984 respectively. The third became Ronaldo with his record-breaking move from PSV Eindhoven to Barcelona in 1996 for £13.2m, although Alan Shearer's transfer to Newcastle broke the record the same summer. A year later Inter Milan paid £19.5m for Ronaldo and again he became the player with the highest transfer fee.

In the space of 61 days in 1992,[137] three transfers broke the record,[135] all by Italian clubs: Jean-Pierre Papin transferred from Marseille to A.C. Milan, becoming the first ever £10m player.[137] Almost immediately, rivals Juventus topped that with the signing of Gianluca Vialli for a fee of £12m from Sampdoria. Milan then completed the signing of Gianluigi Lentini for a fee of £13m which stood as the record for three years.

The 1996 transfer of Alan Shearer from Blackburn Rovers to Newcastle United, for a fee of £15m,[138] kickstarted a year-by-year succession of record breaking transfers: Ronaldo moved the following year to Inter Milan from FC Barcelona for a fee of £17m,[139] which was followed in 1998 by the shock transfer of his fellow countryman Denílson from São Paulo to Real Betis for a fee of approximately £21m.[135][137][140]

In 1999 and 2000, Italian clubs returned to their record-breaking ways, with Christian Vieri transferring from Lazio to Inter Milan for £28m,[141] while Hernán Crespo's transfer from Parma to Lazio ensured he became the first player to cost more than £30m.[135][142] The transfer prompted the BBC to ask "has the world gone mad"?[143] It took two weeks for the record to be broken when Luís Figo made a controversial £37m move from Barcelona to rivals Real Madrid.[135][144] A year later, Real increased the record again with a signing of Zinedine Zidane for £48 million (150 billion lire).[145]

Zidane's record stood for 8 years, the longest since the 1940s. Real Madrid continued with the Galácticos policy by buying Kaká from Milan for €67 million (£56 million),[146] which was the world record in pound sterling. However, both world record in euro and in pound sterling were broke by Real themselves when signing Cristiano Ronaldo for £80m (€94m) from Manchester United in the same transfer window,[135][147] 4 years later Real Madrid broke the record again after completed the signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013. Although Real initially insisted that the transfer cost €91.59 million, slightly less than the Ronaldo fee, the deal was widely reported to be around €100 million (around £85.1 million).[148][149] Documents leaked in 2016 by Football Leaks revealed that installments brought the final Bale fee up to a total of €100,759,418.[135][150] In 2016, Manchester United eventually took the record away from Real Madrid, signing French midfielder Paul Pogba for €105 million (£89 million), [151] four years after having released him to Juventus for training compensation.

A year after the Pogba transfer, however, there was a major jump in the record fee. Paris St. Germain matched the €222 million buyout fee of Barcelona's Neymar, converted to a reported £198 million[4][5] or £200 million[2][7] by different sources. This was the first time that the record fee was paid by a French club.

Historical progressionEdit

Comparison of fees in different nations is complicated by varying exchange rates. This table uses British Pound Sterling prior to 1999 and Euro for transfers since then.

[173][174]

Year Player Selling club Buying club Fee (£) Fee (€) Fee (UK£, after adjusted inflation) Percentage change from last record (+ %)
1893   Willie Groves   West Bromwich Albion   Aston Villa 100[133] 10,003 N/A
1903   Ben Green   Barnsley   Small Heath 500[152] 48,421 400
1904   Andy McCombie   Sunderland   Newcastle United 700[153] 68,018 40
1905   Alf Common   Sunderland   Middlesbrough 1,000[154] 96,843 42
1913   Daniel Shea   West Ham United   Blackburn Rovers 2,000[155] 177,483 100
1913   Tommy Barber   Bolton Wanderers   Aston Villa 2,000[156] 177,483 0
1914   Percy Dawson   Heart of Midlothian   Blackburn Rovers 2,500[157] 216,374 25
1920   David Jack   Plymouth Argyle   Bolton Wanderers 3,500[158] 126,787 40
1922   Syd Puddefoot   West Ham United   Falkirk 5,000[159] 246,231 43
1922   Warney Cresswell   South Shields   Sunderland 5,500[160] 270,854 8
1925   Bob Kelly   Burnley   Sunderland 6,500[161] 334,339 18
1928   David Jack   Bolton Wanderers   Arsenal 10,890[162] 591,734 68
1932   Bernabé Ferreyra   Tigre   River Plate 23,000[162] 1,439,897 111
1949   Johnny Morris   Manchester United   Derby County 24,000[161] 764,707 4
1949   Eddie Quigley   Sheffield Wednesday   Preston North End 26,500[161] 844,363 10
1950   Trevor Ford   Aston Villa   Sunderland 30,000[161] 927,018 13
1951   Jackie Sewell   Notts County   Sheffield Wednesday 34,500[161] 977,275 15
1952   Hans Jeppson   Atalanta   Napoli 52,000[162] 1,349,363 51
1954   Juan Schiaffino   Peñarol   Milan 72,000[162] 1,777,783 38
1957   Enrique Omar Sivori   River Plate   Juventus 93,000[162] 2,022,112 29
1961   Luis Suárez   Barcelona   Internazionale 152,000[162] 3,051,347 63
1963   Angelo Sormani   Mantova   Roma 250,000[162] 4,721,133 64
1967   Harald Nielsen   Bologna   Internazionale 300,000[163] 4,910,674 20
1968   Pietro Anastasi   Varese   Juventus 500,000[162] 7,820,235 67
1973   Johan Cruyff   Ajax   Barcelona 922,000[162] 10,055,731 84
1975   Giuseppe Savoldi   Bologna   Napoli 1,200,000[162] 9,077,920 30
1976   Paolo Rossi   Juventus   Vicenza 1,750,000[162] 11,359,184 46
1982   Diego Maradona   Boca Juniors   Barcelona 3,000,000[162] 9,548,044 71
1984   Diego Maradona   Barcelona   Napoli 5,000,000[162] 14,493,244 67
1987   Ruud Gullit   PSV Eindhoven   Milan 6,000,000[162] 15,220,148 20
1990   Roberto Baggio   Fiorentina   Juventus 8,000,000[162] 16,397,930 33
1992   Jean-Pierre Papin   Marseille   Milan 10,000,000[162] 18,662,944 25
1992   Gianluca Vialli   Sampdoria   Juventus 12,000,000[162] 22,395,532 20
1992   Gianluigi Lentini   Torino   Milan 13,000,000[162] 24,261,827 8
1996   Ronaldo   PSV Eindhoven   Barcelona 13,200,000[162] 22,344,943 2
1996   Alan Shearer   Blackburn Rovers   Newcastle United 15,000,000[164] 25,391,980 14
1997   Ronaldo   Barcelona   Internazionale 19,500,000[162] 32,005,465 30
1998   Denílson   São Paulo   Real Betis 21,500,000[165][166] 34,118,507 10
1999   Christian Vieri   Lazio   Internazionale 32,000,000[167] 49,000,000 50,166,554 49
2000   Hernán Crespo   Parma   Lazio 35,500,000[167] 55,000,000 53,886,592 11
2000   Luís Figo   Barcelona   Real Madrid 37,000,000[167] 62,000,000 56,163,490 4
2001   Zinedine Zidane   Juventus   Real Madrid 46,600,000[167][42] 77,500,000 68,608,983 26
2009   Kaká   Milan   Real Madrid 56,000,000 [168] 67,000,000 67,740,849 20
2009   Cristiano Ronaldo   Manchester United   Real Madrid 80,000,000 [169][170] 94,000,000 96,772,641 43
2013   Gareth Bale   Tottenham Hotspur   Real Madrid 86,000,000[171][172] 100,800,000 88,890,498 8
2016   Paul Pogba   Juventus   Manchester United 89,000,000[175][176] 105,000,000 89,000,000 3
2017   Neymar   Barcelona   Paris Saint-Germain 198,000,000[2][7][4][5] 222,000,000[2][7][4][5] 198,000,000 125

Number of records by countryEdit

Country Player records Record selling Record buying
  England 14 17 16
  Italy 8 14 18
  Argentina 5 3 1
  Brazil 5 1 0
  France 3 1 1
  Scotland 2 1 1
  Netherlands 2 3 0
  Wales 2 0 0
  Portugal 2 0 0
  Spain 1 5 9
  Uruguay 1 1 0
  Denmark 1 0 0
  Sweden 1 0 0

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

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