List of most expensive association football transfers

Neymar, currently the most expensive footballer

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

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 Football Association 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]

Highest fees

Most of the transfers on this list are to clubs under UEFA's jurisdiction, and most of the purchasing clubs are from England, France, Italy and Spain. However, since the mid 2010s two Chinese clubs have paid large fees for three Brazilian players.

Three players appear on the list twice: Neymar, Ángel Di María and Cristiano Ronaldo. All of the players on the list are of European (UEFA), South American (CONMEBOL) and African (CAF) origin. There are currently no players from the remaining regions - Asia (AFC), North America (CONCACAF) and Oceania (OFC).

As of 19 July 2018

  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 (at most at the age of 20 years old)
  Fee broke the record for a goalkeeper at the time of the transfer
Top 50 transfers
R Player From To Position Fee
(€ mln)
Fee
(£ mln)
Year Year of birth Reference
1 Brazil Neymar Spain Barcelona France Paris Saint-Germain Forward €222 £198 2017 1992 [2][6][7][4][5]
2 France Kylian Mbappé France Monaco France Paris Saint-Germain Forward €135[a] £120 2018[b] 1998 [8]
3 Brazil Philippe Coutinho England Liverpool Spain Barcelona Midfielder €120[c] £106 2018 1992 [9]
4 France Ousmane Dembélé Germany Borussia Dortmund Spain Barcelona Forward €105[d] £97 2017 1997 [10][11][12]
France Paul Pogba Italy Juventus England Manchester United Midfielder €105[e] £89 2016 1993 [13][14][15][16]
6 Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo Spain Real Madrid Italy Juventus Forward €100[f] £88.5 2018 1985 [17]
Wales Gareth Bale England Tottenham Hotspur Spain Real Madrid Forward €100 £86 2013 1989 [18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]
8 Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo England Manchester United Spain Real Madrid Forward €94 £80 2009 1985 [26][27][28]
9 Argentina Gonzalo Higuaín Italy Napoli Italy Juventus Striker €90 £75.3 2016 1987 [29][30][31]
10 Belgium Romelu Lukaku England Everton England Manchester United Striker €85 £75[g] 2017 1993 [32][33][34][35]
11 Netherlands Virgil van Dijk England Southampton England Liverpool Defender €84.5 £75 2018 1991 [36]
12 Uruguay Luis Suárez England Liverpool Spain Barcelona Striker €82.3 £75 2014 1987 [37][38]
13 France Zinedine Zidane Italy Juventus Spain Real Madrid Midfielder €77.5[h] £46.6 2001 1974 [40][41][42]
14 Colombia James Rodríguez France Monaco Spain Real Madrid Midfielder €76 £63 2014 1991 [43][44][45][46]
15 Argentina Ángel Di María Spain Real Madrid England Manchester United Midfielder €75.6 £59.7 2014 1988 [47][48]
16 Belgium Kevin De Bruyne Germany VfL Wolfsburg England Manchester City Midfielder €75 £55 2015 1991 [49][50]
18 Sweden Zlatan Ibrahimović Italy Internazionale Spain Barcelona Striker €69.5[i] £56 2009 1981 [51][52][53][54]
18 Algeria Riyad Mahrez England Leicester City England Manchester City Forward €67.8 £60 2018 1991 [55]
19 Brazil Kaká Italy Milan Spain Real Madrid Midfielder €67[j] £56 2009 1981 [56][57][58][59][60]
20 Spain Álvaro Morata Spain Real Madrid England Chelsea Striker €65.5 £58[k] 2017 1992 [61][62]
21 France Aymeric Laporte Spain Athletic Bilbao England Manchester City Defender €65.2 £57 2018 1994 [63]
22 France Thomas Lemar France Monaco Spain Atlético Madrid Midfielder €65 £52.7 2018 1995
23 Uruguay Edinson Cavani Italy Napoli France Paris Saint-Germain Striker €64.5 £55 2013 1987 [64][65][66][67]
24 Argentina Ángel Di María England Manchester United France Paris Saint-Germain Midfielder €64 £45 2015 1988 [68][69][70]
25 Gabon Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Germany Borussia Dortmund England Arsenal Striker €63.7 £56.1 2018 1989 [71][72]
26 Brazil Alisson Italy Roma England Liverpool Goalkeeper €62.5 £56[l] 2018 1993 [73][74]
England Raheem Sterling England Liverpool England Manchester City Forward €62.5 £44[m] 2015 1995 [75][76]
28 Portugal Luís Figo Spain Barcelona Spain Real Madrid Midfielder €62 £37 2000 1972 [77][78]
29 Brazil Oscar England Chelsea China Shanghai SIPG Midfielder €61[n] £52 2017 1991 [79][80][81]
30 Colombia Radamel Falcao Spain Atlético Madrid France Monaco Striker €60[o] £51 2013 1986 [82][83]
Guinea Naby Keïta Germany RB Leipzig England Liverpool Midfielder €60 £52.75 2018 1993 [84]
32 Spain Fernando Torres England Liverpool England Chelsea Striker €59 £50 2011 1984 [85][86]
Brazil Fred Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk England Manchester United Midfielder €59 £47 2018 1993 [87]
34 Argentina Hernán Crespo Italy Parma Italy Lazio Striker €58.5 £35[p] 2000 1975 [88][89]
35 France Benjamin Mendy France Monaco England Manchester City Defender €58.1 £52 2017 1993 [90]
36 Brazil Neymar Brazil Santos Spain Barcelona Forward €57.1[q] £48.6 2013 1992 [91][92][93][94]
37 England Kyle Walker England Tottenham Hotspur England Manchester City Defender €57 £50[r] 2017 1990 [95][96]
38 Spain Diego Costa England Chelsea Spain Atlético Madrid Striker €56.9 £48.8[s] 2018 1988 [97]
39 Brazil David Luiz England Chelsea France Paris Saint-Germain Defender €56[t] £40 2014 1987 [98][99][100]
40 Brazil Hulk Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg China Shanghai SIPG Forward €55.8 £46.4 2016 1986 [101][102]
41 England John Stones England Everton England Manchester City Defender €55.6 £47.5 2016 1994 [103][104][105][106]
42 France Alexandre Lacazette France Lyon England Arsenal Striker €53[u] £46.5 2017 1991 [107][108]
43 Italy Gianluigi Buffon Italy Parma Italy Juventus Goalkeeper €52[v] £33 2001 1978 [109]
44 France Anthony Martial France Monaco England Manchester United Forward €51 £36[w] 2015 1995 [110][111][112]
45 Germany Leroy Sané Germany Schalke England Manchester City Forward €50.5 £37 2016 1995 [113]
46 Iceland Gylfi Sigurðsson Wales Swansea City England Everton Midfielder €50 £45 2017 1989 [114]
Germany Mesut Özil Spain Real Madrid England Arsenal Midfielder €50 £42.5 2013 1988 [115][116][117]
48 Portugal Bernardo Silva France Monaco England Manchester City Midfielder €49.5 £43 2017 1993 [118][119]
Brazil Alex Teixeira Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk China Jiangsu Suning Midfielder €49.5 £42.5 2016 1988 [120][121]
50 Italy Christian Vieri Italy Lazio Italy Internazionale Striker €49[x] £32 1999 1972 [122][123]

Notes

  1. ^ Initial €135 million plus reported €45 million bonuses
  2. ^ On loan since 2017, permanent move in July 2018
  3. ^ Initial €120 million plus reported €40 million bonuses
  4. ^ Initial €105 million plus reported €40 million bonuses
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Plus additional fees of €12m
  7. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial £75 million, plus another £15 million in additional bonuses.
  8. ^ 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]
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial £58 million, plus another £12 million in additional bonuses.
  12. ^ Initial fee of £56 million with reported performance related bonuses of £9 million.
  13. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial £44 million, plus another £5 million in additional bonuses.
  14. ^ Estimated figure. The transfer fee has not been disclosed.
  15. ^ Estimated figure. The transfer fee has not been disclosed.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial £50 million (€57M), plus another £3 million in additional bonuses.
  19. ^ £48.8m with £8.8m in add-ons.
  20. ^ Estimated figure. The transfer fee has not been disclosed.
  21. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial €53 million (£46.5M), plus another €7 million (£6.1M) in additional bonuses.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ 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, amasses 25 caps for France or wins the Ballon d'Or before June 2019.
  24. ^ An indeterminate size of the fee was paid via the transfer of Diego Simeone to Lazio that totaled €49 million.
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