51 Most Expensive Football Transfers Ever Made in the World [INFOGRAPHIC]

by Dusan Randjelovic

Football is the most popular sport in the world. More than half of the world’s population has their favorite teams and players. 

As a result, football players sometimes cost as much as the entire yearly budget of some small countries. Spending that much money on a talented footballer means that you have great trust in their performance, ability, and dedication.

Most Expensive Football Transfers in History

In this article, we would like to show you the 51 most expensive football transfers ever made in the history of the sport. Trust us, you’ll find some of the numbers hard to believe. 

If you are a fan of this amazing game, we’re certain you’ll find your football hero somewhere on this list as well. 

Contents show

1. Neymar – Barcelona to Paris Saint–Germain – €222M (2017)

(Source: 90min)

Neymar PSG

When Neymar left Barcelona in 2017 to continue his career at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), the world’s football transfer record was not just broken—it was smashed into pieces. 

In Barcelona, Neymar was in the shadow of Lionel Messi, so when his club received a €222 million offer, he did not have to think twice about what to do. That made him become the most expensive football player in the world.

Interestingly, Neymar’s transfer more than doubled the previous football transfer world record. It turned out that he was without a doubt worth the price, as his results at PSG were fantastic.

2. Kylian Mbappe – Monaco to Paris Saint–Germain – €145M + €35M (2018)

(Source: DW)

Kylian Mbappe

Everyone knew that Kylian Mbappe would do something big with his career, even before he became a World Cup winner with the French national team. 

After a very successful 2016/17 season with Monaco, he was scouted by PSG, which was ready to pay an extraordinary sum for this young talent. 

That’s how Mbappe became the second most expensive player in the world €145 million, plus €35 million in add-ons. 

He is known to be the world’s best player under the age of 21. 

3. Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool to Barcelona – €120M + €40M (2018)

(Source: ESPN)

Philippe Coutinho

The transfer of Philippe Coutinho was one of the most profitable ones in football history, at least for Liverpool. They bought Coutinho in 2013 for €13 million and sold him to Barcelona in 2018 for €120M + €40M in add-ons. 

However, even though Coutinho is the subject of one of the most expensive transfers ever, he has been struggling ever since he came to Barcelona. 

To his dismay, Liverpool won the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League right after he moved to Barcelona. 

4. Joao Felix – Benfica to Atletico Madrid – €126M (2019) 

(Source: Goal)

João Félix

There was a lot of debate about which club Joao Felix would move from Benfica, as a lot of Europe’s biggest clubs were interested in this young talent. 

The transfer is now official. The young Portuguese footballer moved from Benfica to Atletico Madrid for a price tag of €126 million, which is one of the most expensive transfers in 2019.

Joao Felix signed a 7-year contract with Atletico, which is likely to prove to be profitable for the team. 

His initial salary at the team will be €3.5 million, but that is likely to go up when he gets a chance to show his full potential. 

5. Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid to Barcelona – €120M (2019)

(Source: 90min)

Antoine Griezmann

Atletico Madrid took in Joao Felix, but they gave up Antoine Griezmann who went to Barcelona in the summer of 2019 for a hefty sum of €120 million. 

Apart from being one of the most expensive transfers in football history, this is also one of the messiest transfers in the history of sport. 

Namely, Atletico publicly confronted Barcelona for discussing transfer details with Griezmann while he was still under contract with his former club.

The Spanish Football association investigated the matters and fined Barcelona with a total of €300. 

6. Ousmane Dembele – Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona – €105M + €45M (2017)

(Source: Goal)

Ousmane Dembele

In 2017, Ousmane Dembele packed his stuff and got on a flight from Germany to Spain. He was traded by Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona for €105 million, plus another €45 million in add-ons. 

This deal is remembered as the highest transfer fee received for a player in the history of Dortmund. Ousmane played in Germany for just one year before he was scouted by the Spanish champion. 

Right now, his annual gross salary in Barcelona is €12 million, which is much higher than what he earned at Borussia Dortmund, so it seems that the new deal is working well for him. 

7. Paul Pogba – Juventus to Manchester United – €105M (2016)

(Source: Nexter)

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba is a great example of how even the most experienced football managers can make big and costly mistakes. 

Namely, the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson allowed Paul Pogba to leave Manchester United for next to nothing and move to Juventus, which proved to be a massive blunder. 

In 2016, Manchester united decided they wanted Pogba back. At the time, he was already one of the best midfielders in Serie A. 

This time, they had to pay €105 million for his services – one of the highest soccer transfer fees in the history of the club.

8. Gareth Bale – Tottenham to Real Madrid – €100.8M (2013)

(Source: DW)

Gareth Bale

For a short time in 2013, Gareth Bale was the most expensive player in the world after he was sold to Real Madrid by Tottenham for €100.8 million. 

This transfer was a huge success at the time. The Wales international played in four Champions League finals and scored two times in those matches. 

However, since then, it seems that his value has gone down. According to Transfermarkt, his market value in the summer of 2019 was just €60 million. 

His annual salary in 2019 at Real Madrid is €15 million.

9. Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid to Juventus – €100M (2018)

(Source: ESPN)

Ronaldo Juventus

Strangely enough, the best player in the world at the moment is in the ninth position on our list of the most expensive football transfers.

In 2018, he was transferred from Real Madrid to Juventus for €100 million. A bargain, if you ask us. 

Before his move to Juventus, he had already earned four Ballon d’Or, won four Champions League trophies, and two La Liga titles. 

Ronaldo did well during his first season in Serie A. He managed to score 21 goals and a Scudetto to kick start his new spell. 

He is well-rewarded for his efforts though, as his salary at Juventus is a massive €31 million

10. Eden Hazard – Chelsea to Real Madrid – €100M + €40M (2019)

(Source: William Hill)

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard’s move from Chelsea to Real Madrid in 2019 came as no surprise. The Belgian international mentioned on several occasions that he made up his mind to leave Chelsea. He also made it known that his dream has always been to play for Real. 

His dream came true, with Real paying €100 million + €40 million in add-ons, making him one of the most expensive footballers in the league.

His last season at Chelsea was quite prolific, with 21 goals and 17 assists. His first season at Real has been less impressive.

Hopefully, he will step up the game and justify his weekly salary of €220,000.

11. Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United to Real Madrid – €94M (2009)

(Source: 90min)

Ronaldo Real

It’s difficult to claim a deal that costs almost €100 is a bargain, but that’s exactly what Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest transfer is. Real Madrid got the deal of the century by acquiring one of the best football players in the world from Manchester United in 2009.

He arrived as one of the best players in the world and he left in another one of the most expensive soccer transfers.

Ronaldo spent nine seasons in Real Madrid, during which he had 438 appearances, scored 450 goals, won four Golden Balls, and added four Champions League titles to his name. 

12. Gonzalo Higuain – Napoli to Juventus – €90M (2016)

(Source: Goal)

Gonzalo Higuain

In 2016, at the moment when Gonzalo Higuain moved from Napoli to Juventus for €90 million, he was the third most expensive player on the globe. He signed a 5-year contract, which was roughly worth €7 million per season. 

Nonetheless, he managed just two seasons at Juventus, after which he was loaned to Milan. Juventus took him in to help them win the Champions League, which they failed to do again in 2016/2017, even though Higuain scored 5 goals to contribute. 

Six months after Milan, he was on a flight to England to join Chelsea, and now he is back at Juventus again for an annual salary of €13,889,000

13. Harry Maguire – Leicester City to Manchester United – €87.1M (2019)

(Source: Transfermarkt)

Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire is one of the best defenders in the world right now. Even though he did a fantastic job at Leicester City, it made a lot of sense for him to move to the most expensive football team in England. 

In August 2019, he signed a six-year deal with the Red Devils, with the option to extend the contract for another year if both sides are happy with the agreement. 

Maguire is now earning around €200,000 a week. This is surely going to raise in the future since he is showing a lot of promise in the red jersey. 

14. Neymar – Santos to Barcelona – €86.2M (2013)


Neymar Barcelona

Neymar has been the subject of two of the world’s most expensive football transfers so far. 

In 2013, when he moved from Santos to Barcelona for €86.2 million, he was just 21 years old. Therefore, everybody knew that his career would only go upwards from that moment. 

However, this transfer was shrouded in a veil of controversy. Neymar was offered deals both from Real Madrid and Barcelona. Eventually, he decided to play at Camp Nou, for a price of €57.1 million, according to Barcelona.

Further investigation revealed Josep Maria Bartomeu was trying to evade paying taxes, which he was fined for. 

15. Romelu Lukaku – Everton to Manchester United – €84.8M (2017)

(Source: ESPN)

Romelu Lukaku United

Romelu Lukaku made it to our list as the most expensive record player to move from Everton to Manchester United. Unfortunately, he has reasons both to be happy and frustrated about this deal. 

He managed to strike an €84.8 million deal, a weekly salary of almost €200,000, and a yearly salary of around €10,000,000. Sounds good so far, right?

Well, Romelu came under a lot of criticism for his performance at Manchester United. Even though he performed brilliantly, scoring a goal every other appearance, on average, he was criticized to only give his best with lesser opponents. 

Even though he signed a 5-year deal, he was eventually sold to Inter in the summer of 2019.

16. Virgil van Dijk – Southampton to Liverpool – €84.5m (2018)

(Source: The Guardian)

Virgil van Dijk

A lot of people were surprised that Liverpool was willing to pay €84.5 million for Van Dijk, which was the highest transfer fee for a defender in 2018. However, they definitely did not regret it considering that he is one of the most important players in the team at the moment. 

Thanks to the help of this agile Dutchman, Liverpool made it to the Champions League final two years in a row and even won the second time.

According to Transfermarkt, his value at the moment is even higher than what it was several years ago, as he is now worth €100 million. Therefore, Liverpool might need to reconsider his €220,000 weekly salary. 

17. Luis Suarez – Liverpool to Barcelona – €82.3m (2014)

(Source: BBC)

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez is one of the most controversial football players of today. Even so, Liverpool was not happy to hand him over to Barcelona in 2014. Yet, his dream has always been to play at Camp Nou, so they could do nothing to stop him. 

Moreover, after biting Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup, he became a bad marketing asset, which is one of the reasons they didn’t try harder to keep him. 

His €82.3 million move to Barcelona was one of the most expensive transfers of the year. At the time of the transfer, his market value was just €52 million, but Barca definitely did not overpay. At the moment, his annual salary is €23 million, the third-highest in the team.

18. Kepa Arrizabalaga – Athletic to Chelsea – €80m (2018)

(Source: Transfermarkt)

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Finally, we get to say a couple of words about the most expensive goalkeeper transfers. Even though goalies are an integral part of every team, it seems that they are not as expensive as players in other positions. 

The first goalkeeper on our list is Kepa Arrizabalaga who was sold to Chelsea by Athletic Bilbao in 2018, for a nice round sum of €80 million. 

Thus far, he is doing a pretty good job at Chelsea. However, his most memorable moment on the field was when he refused to be substituted at Wembley against Manchester City. It’s safe to say that John Terry was furious because of it. 

19. Lucas Hernandez – Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich – €80m (2019)

(Source: The Guardian)

Lucas Hernandez

The number 19 on our list of top soccer transfers, Lucas Hernandez, is tied with the famous goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. He was transferred from Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich for €80 million in the summer of 2019.

Hernandez is one part of a general overhaul that Bayern has been performing recently. He joined the team along with several other new players such as Ivan Perisic, Benjamin Pavard, and Phillipe Coutinho. 

However, he is yet to show what he knows on the field, wearing Bayern’s jersey. Unfortunately, he injured a ligament in late October and is expected to return to the field in 2020. 

20. James Rodriguez – Monaco to Real Madrid – €80m (2014)

(Source: Telegraph)

James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez was caught several times saying that his biggest dream in life was to play for Real Madrid. Well, after his spectacular performance at the 2014 World Cup, the Spanish team was more than happy to make that dream a reality in one of the top football transfers of the year. 

Moreover, they were willing to pay €80 million to make it happen. He started off quite well with 17 goals and 18 assists during his first season. However, injuries followed and he could not keep up the pace. 

At Real, his yearly salary was around €20 million, which was a big improvement from Monaco. He also endorsed many major brands, such as Adidas, Pepsi, Gatorade, Huawei, and others. 

21. Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United to Inter – €80m (2019)

(Source: Independent)

Lukaku Inter

Romelu Lukaku is another footballer that appears two times on our biggest transfers list. As we have already mentioned above, Lukaku signed a 5-year deal with Manchester United which ended prematurely. Thus, he was sold to Inter in the summer of 2019 for €80 million. 

Based on his contract, he will be earning in excess of €300,000 per week, which should be enough to motivate him to perform better than he did at Old Trafford. 

Interestingly, after signing the new 5-year deal with Inter, Lukaku became the best-paid player in the team. By 2021, his annual salary should reach €8.5 million.

22. Nicolas Pepe – Lille to Arsenal – €79m (2019)

(Source: BleacherReport)

Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe’s transfer from Lille to Arsenal in the summer of 2019 came as an absolute surprise to everyone. It was believed that Arsenal did not have a large budget for transfers, but they proved everyone wrong by spending €79 million on Pepe. It was one of the biggest soccer transfers of the year.

His last season in France was fantastic, but he has yet to prove himself worth the money Arsenal spent. 

But, he should have plenty of time to get back in his former shape and regain confidence, considering that the contract he signed is 5 years long.

23. Alvaro Morata – Real Madrid to Chelsea – €78.9m (2017)

(Source: SkySports)

Alvaro Morata

Antonio Conte’s decision to sign Alvaro Morata in 2017 proved to be a big mistake. Chelsea spent €78.9 million to replace Diego Costa with Morata, but he never managed to play at the same level as his predecessor. The fact that this was one of the team’s record transfer fees did not make things any easier.

At first, Alvaro Morata had a pretty good start, scoring six goals in the first six games. Later on, it appeared as if he had been jinxed, as he scored just 5 more goals during the entire season.

Even though he signed a 5-year contract, he was loaned to Atletico Madrid just two years later, where he still plays. His annual salary at Atletico is close to €10 million, which is not too shabby at all. 

24. Zinedine Zidane – Juventus to Real Madrid – €77.5m (2001)

(Source: Transfermarkt)

Zinedine Zidane

Any list of the best and most expensive football players in the world would not be complete without Zinedine Zidane on it. He is regarded to be one of the best footballers in the history of the world.

In 2001, after he was transferred from Juventus to Real Madrid for €77.5 million, he was the most expensive football player of the era.

While playing for Real Madrid, he scored the winning goal against Bayern Leverkusen during the 2002 Champions League final, helped Real win La Liga three times, and was named player of the year in 2003. 

Today, he is Real Madrid’s head coach, where he earns €12 million a year.

25. Matthijs de Ligt – Ajax to Juventus – €75m + €10.5m in Add–Ons (2019)

(Source: CNN)

Matthijs de Ligt

Matthijs de Ligt is a Dutch professional footballer who is just 20 years old at the time of writing this article. Nonetheless, his talent is obvious, which did not go unnoticed among the best football teams in the world. 

He had a fantastic year at Ajax in 2019 but decided to accept the deal Juventus offered him and move to Serie A. He will be paid €75 million + €10.5 million in add-ons over five years. That makes him the most expensive young football player in the world.

If that comes as a surprise to you, consider that he was the youngest captain at Ajax at 18-years-old and helped the team reach the Champions League final four.

26. Frenkie de Jong – Ajax to Barcelona – €75m (2019)

(Source: The Guardian)

Frenkie de Jong

There was a lot of speculation about whether or not Frenkie de Jong would or would not join Barcelona. However, he eventually decided to do it and leave Ajax for a nice transfer fee of €75 million, which is one of Barcelona’s transfer records when it comes to young players. 

The young Dutch midfielder was just 21 years old at the time of the transfer, but he was already compared to some legendary footballers such as Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff. 

De Jong signed a 5-year contract which might bring him another €11 million in bonuses if everything goes well during his first several seasons. 

All in all, Barcelona should be quite happy with this deal considering that Manchester City and PSG were also interested in this young talent.

27. Kevin De Bruyne – Wolfsburg to Manchester City – €75m (2015)

(Source: Telegraph)

Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin de Bruyne had a rough start in Premier League in Jose Mourinho’s team. He thought that de Bruyne was not good enough for Chelsea, so eventually, the young player ended up in Wolfsburg

Luckily for him, Manuel Pellegrini recognized his talent and brought him back to England for a pretty high sum of €75 million. That was a definite football transfer record for Wolfsburg in 2015.

The deal with Manchester City was set to last for six years, during which his salary was estimated at around €300,000 a week. 

28. Angel Di Maria – Real Madrid to Manchester United – €74.6m (2014)

(Source: BBC)

Angel Di Maria United

Angel Di Maria’s transfer from Real Madrid was the moment when Manchester United broke their previous transfer records. The decision came after Di Maria’s fantastic performance for Real Madrid in the 2014 Champions League final when he was named the man of the match. 

He had a fantastic start at Old Trafford and was even named the player of the month. Therefore, it seemed that he justified the €74.6 million transfer fee. 

However, after a series of slips and a major deterioration in form, he was sold to Paris Saint-Germain for around €60 million. At the moment, his annual salary at PSG is around €13.3 million

29. Alisson Becker – Roma to Liverpool – €73m (2018)

(Source: Bleacher Report)


Alisson Becker’s transfer from Roma to Liverpool is not notable just because it makes our list of world record transfer fees. It’s also unique because it finally broke the world record for the most expensive goalkeeper in the world, previously held by Buffon. 

Becker replaced Loris Karius after his poor performance in the 2018 Champions League final against Real Madrid. So far, it seems that he is worth every cent of the €73 million fee. He is one of the main reasons Liverpool managed to snatch the Champions League title in 2019.

At Liverpool, he has a weekly salary of around €100,000 and a total annual salary of close to €5 million. 

30. Rodri – Atletico Madrid to Manchester City – €70m (2019)

(Source: Manchester Evening News)


Rodri broke two records when he was signed by Manchester City and left Atletico Madrid. He has Manchester City’s first signing in 2019 and was also the team’s football transfer record. They were willing to pay €70 million in the hopes of signing a master midfielder. 

He had a fantastic performance at Atletico Madrid in 2018, which is how he attracted the attention of Pep Guardiola. The fans, the management, and his team players expect him to replace Fernandinho when the time comes. 

At the moment, he is the number 10 most expensive player in the team, earning €7.5 million a year. He is also in the starter position, even though he has just recently joined the team.

31. Luka Jovic – Eintracht Frankfurt to Real Madrid – €70m (2019)

(Source: Bleacher Report)

Luka Jovic

Luka Jovic, the Serbian striker, is part of Zinedine Zidane’s 2018/2019 effort to rejuvenate the team, give it freshness, and new promising talents. 

He came to Real Madrid for €70 million, which was not enough to break the transfer record but was enough to become one of the most expensive football transfers

Luka Jovic moved to Real Madrid from Eintracht Frankfurt after a fantastic season at Bundesliga where he had 48 appearances and scored 27 goals. 

He will earn around €200,000 a week and enjoy a total annual salary of €20,834,000, which is the third-highest in the team.  

32. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Inter to Barcelona – €69.5m (2009)

(Source: The Guardian)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the best and most well-known football players in the world. However, he is not positioned high on our list. How is that possible? Yet, in 2009, he was close to being the world’s most expensive football soccer player, after a €69.5 million transfer from Inter to Barcelona.

During his lengthy professional career, he was involved in 14 transfers. He played for some of the best European teams such as Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG, and Manchester United. 

Right now, he plays in MLS for LA Galaxy, where he earns a $7.2 million salary. That makes him the most expensive football player in 2019 in the team.

33. Raheem Sterling – Liverpool to Manchester City – €69.1m (2015)

(Source: Telegraph)

Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling’s move from Liverpool to Manchester City was a subject of a lot of debate in 2015. Namely, the young player performed for the Reds, who were willing to offer him an extension of the deal. However, he was not happy with the offer and refused. 

Manchester City recognized the youngster’s talent, stepped in, and offered €69.1 million for his services. That was one of the biggest soccer transfers in England and the most that was ever paid for a teenage player. 

At Manchester City, Sterling currently earns around €85,000 a week and has an annual income of €11 million. His estimated net worth is around €39 million and is expected to keep rising.

34. Riyad Mahrez – Leicester City to Manchester City – €67.8m (2018)

(Source: BBC)

Riyad Mahrez

In 2018, Manchester City was a team that won a record number of games, scored a record number of goals, and became the first team to exceed 100 points in the Premier League. 

However, Pep Guardiola believed that the team could do even better, which is why he decided to sign Riyad Mahrez. Mahrez completed one of the biggest transfers in England, moving from Leicester City to Manchester City. 

Riyad has still not reached the heights and the respect he enjoyed at Leicester. Nonetheless, he is earning €12.4 million a year and €142,000 a week.

35. Diego Costa – Chelsea to Atletico Madrid – €66m (2018)

(Source: The Times)

Diego Costa

Diego Costa is a player with a successful history in the sport. However, that was not enough to make him Antonio Conte’s favorite. 

In 2018, he was transferred from Chelsea to Atletico Madrid for a modest price of €66 million, which was not enough to break any records among the top soccer transfers. Moreover, he was notified about being sacked with a text message. 

His performance at Atletico is less than impressive, yet he is still the second-highest-paid player in the team, earning almost €16 million a year

36. Thomas Lemar – Monaco to Atletico Madrid – €65m (2018)

(Source: Independent)

Thomas Lemar

Thomas Lemar is a young French football player who has had a successful professional career thus far. He was born in 1995 and has changed 4 teams up to this point. 

His latest transfer happened in 2018 when Atletico Madrid bought him from Monaco for a hefty sum of €65 million. 

However, Atletico is having second thoughts about whether their decision to make Lemar the most expensive football player in 2018 was right. He has yet to impress the fans and his teammates with his play. 

At the moment, he is earning around €120,000 a week, so he better start acting like it. 

37. Kaka – AC Milan to Real Madrid – €65m (2009)

(Source: The Guardian)


Kaka’s move from AC Milan to Real Madrid was regarded as one of the most expensive transfers in football history, but one of the worst transfers as well.

The problem was Kaka’s performance dropped significantly when he moved from Italy to Spain. He was one of the best midfielders of the time and the winner of the Ballon d’Or in 2007, but injuries messed with his plans.

In 2013, Jose Mourinho decided to send Kaka back to AC Milan, which the footballer agreed to, taking a significant pay cut.

38. Aymeric Laporte – Athletic to Manchester City – €65m (2018) 

(Source: The Guardian)

Aymeric Laporte

After talking about one of the worst transfers ever, it’s time to balance the sentiment out with one of the best ones so far. 

Aymeric Laporte agreed to a transfer from Atletic to Manchester City for a pretty decent price of €65 million. That made him one of the most expensive footballers on the team, which many didn’t believe was a good decision.

However, he quickly became Manchester City’s main defender and continues to hold that position. He is rewarded with a €140,000 weekly salary

39. Joao Cancelo – Juventus to Manchester City – €65m Including Danilo (2019)

(Source: Independent)

Joao Cancelo

Considering all of the recent transfers to Manchester City, it seems that Pep Guardiola is trying to create a bulletproof defense line. 

The latest addition to this unbeatable setup is Joao Cancelo, the Portuguese international. He signed a deal to move from Juventus to Manchester City in 2019, pocketing a generous sum of €65 million. 

He’s earning a weekly salary of €95,000, which amounts to around €5 million a year.

As part of the deal, Danilo was signed to move in the opposite direction, to Juventus. No surprise Manchester City are the most expensive football team in the league.

40. Edinson Cavani – Napoli to Paris Saint–Germain – €64.5m (2013)

(Source: Sports Mole)

Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani arrived at Paris Saint-Germain at the best time for the club. In 2013, when he joined, PSG had just won their first title in two decades. After that, he managed to help them become the best team in French football. 

PSG won 17 out of 20 domestic championships during Edinson’s career at the team, so making him the subject of one of the top football transfers in France was not a mistake.

Sadly for him, he was always overshadowed by more popular teammates such as Ibrahimovic, Neymar, and Mbappe. However, that doesn’t stop him from being the third highest-paid player in the team with an annual salary of €18,417,000

41. Christian Pulisic – Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea – €64m (2019)

(Source: Chelsea FC)

Christian Pulisic

The €64 million Chelsea paid for Christian Pulisic was the highest soccer transfer fee ever paid for a footballer from North America. They snatched him from Borussia Dortmund in 2019, which seems like a good move so far.

Pulisic is an experienced player, even though he is just 20 years old. He has clocked around 100 appearances at Borussia Dortmund, which is quite impressive at that age. 

At Chelsea, he is enjoying a major pay raise, earning €172,500 a week and a total annual salary of €8.9 million. 

42. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal – €63.75m (2018)

(Source: Transfermarkt)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is Arsenal’s most expensive football player in 2018. Even after paying €63.75 million, it still looks as if they stole him from Borussia Dortmund.

His performance in England has been perfect thus far. By the end of the season, he scored 10 goals in 13 appearances, making Sven Mislintat quite happy for signing him. 

Reportedly, he earns a weekly salary of €240,000 and a net worth of €12.5 million. Just his breathtaking collection of cars is estimated to be worth more than €1 million

43. David Luiz – Chelsea to Paris Saint–Germain – €62.5m (2014)

(Source: SCMP)

David Luiz

David Luis is one of the best and the most famous footballers of the modern era. He has broken a lot of records during his lengthy professional career.

One of these is becoming the most expensive defensive record player after moving from Chelsea to PSG on a five-year deal. 

David Luis spent a total of 3 seasons at the club, during which he earned a weekly salary of €140,000 and an annual salary of €7.4 million.

After doing what he could for PSG, he moved back to Chelsea in 2016 and then once again to Arsenal in 2019. 

44. Angel Di Maria – Manchester United to Paris Saint–Germain – €61.6m (2015)

(Source: Bleacher Report)

Angel Di Maria PSG

Angel Di Maria is making his second appearance on our list of the most expensive football transfers ever. This time, we’re talking about his 2015 move from Manchester United to Paris Saint-Germain. 

The deal was worth €61.6 million, which was less than fortunate, considering Di Maria was named the worst player of the season at Manchester United. 

Luckily, his career at PSG was off to a good start. He was even named the best of the season 2018/2019 player. 

45. Oscar – Chelsea to Shanghai SIPG – €60.3m (2017)

(Source: Transfermarkt)


Chinese football is becoming more and more popular worldwide. The reason why there are few top soccer transfers on our list is not that they are cheap, but because they are difficult to track down. 

One that we’re certain about is Oscar’s move from Chelsea to Shanghai SIPG, worth €60.3 million. 

He dropped out of the first team in England and decided to accept both the increase in payment and in appearances by moving to China. 

According to Forbes, he now makes around €26 million a year and another €2 million in endorsements. His biggest sponsor at the moment is Adidas. 

46. Tanguy Ndombele – Lyon to Tottenham – €60m + €10m in Add–Ons (2019)

(Source: Bleacher Report)

Tanguy Ndombele

Since 2017/2018, Tottenham has been on a break from the football transfer market. They didn’t sign any new players for 18 months and decided to break that hiatus with Tanguy Ndombele in 2019. 

Apart from breaking the hiatus, they also broke their record for their most expensive football player of 2019. They signed Ndombele for €60 million and another €10 million in add-ons if everything goes as planned. 

We see no reason why things wouldn’t go well, considering he was one of Lyon’s top players. 

He’s earning a €12.6 million yearly salary, or €240,000 a week.

47. Naby Keita – RB Leipzig to Liverpool – €60m (2018)

(Source: Independent)

Naby Keita

Liverpool reached an agreement about signing Naby Keita in 2017 but were willing to wait for him to actually move to England for one year. 

In 2018, he finally put on the famous red jersey for a generous fee of €60 million. That did not make him the most expensive football player in the world in 2018, but it did make him one of the highest-paid players on the team.

Keita earns around €140,000 a week for the Reds, which means he pockets €7.4 million every year. He has helped Liverpool increase their team’s market value, which now amounts to €1.07 billion.

48. Luis Figo – Barcelona to Real Madrid – €60m (2000)

(Source: Bleacher Report)

Luis Figo

As you can see, the majority of the most expensive soccer transfers on this list are pretty recent. Most of them took place in the last 5 years. 

However, it’s time to travel back in time 20 years and remember one of the most controversial moves in the history of football—Lusi Figo’s transfer from Barcelona to Real Madrid.

At the time, just like now, Barcelona and Real Madrid were heated rivals. When he returned to Camp Nou for the first time, he was met with boos and nicknames such as Traitor and Judas. 

During his career at Real, he won two Spanish Supercups, two La Liga titles, one Champions League, one UEFA Supercup, and the Intercontinental Cup. 

49. Fernando Torres – Liverpool to Chelsea – €59m (2011)

(Source: The Guardian)

Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres was one of the most disappointing transfers Chelsea had ever made. The fans and the team had high hopes, considering he was one of the most expensive footballers on the team, but it seems that he did not manage to fit in. 

Torres moved from Liverpool to Chelsea for a price of €59 million in 2011 and spent three and a half seasons at the team. 

During this time, he did not manage to score a two-digit number of goals, so Chelsea decided to loan him to AC Milan. Later on, he moved again to Atletico Madrid, which is where he finally started to shine. 

50. Fred – Shakhtar Donetsk to Manchester United – €58.9m (2018)

(Source: Independent)


One of the best Ukranian football teams, Shakhtar Donetsk, is well-known for developing young Brazilian stars and sending them off to Europe’s most renowned teams. 

That was exactly the case with Fred. He spent 5 years in Ukraine before he signed one of the most expensive soccer transfers by moving to Manchester United in 2018.

Even though United paid a hefty sum for him, he didn’t manage to impress anyone with his form during the first season. He made just 17 appearances in all competitions. 

Even so, he is still earning €140,000 every week and totaling €7.4 million a year.

51. Jorginho – Napoli to Chelsea – €58.9m (2018)

(Source: Transfermarkt)


Jorginho decided to accept Chelsea’s proposal to leave Napoli and wear the blue jersey. Napoli received a generous fee of €58.9 million. 

The 5-year deal was one of the biggest transfers of 2018. Apart from Chelsea, Manchester City were also interested in the young Italian international. 

Chelsea had lacked a good midfielder for a long time, but Jorginho proved to team up well with N’Golo Kante. 

He earns €140,000 a week, which is less than his teammates in similar positions on the field. But, he still has plenty of time to prove himself and earn a pay raise.


Being a world-class footballer can be quite profitable. They are the most well-paid athletes in the world. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that when we are talking about the most expensive football transfers ever, we talk in hundreds of millions of euros.

Let us know what you think about our list and the players you see on it. How do you think the list will change in the near future? Who is the future king of the most expensive transfers? 


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2. DW
4. Goal
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7. Nexter
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12. Goal
13. Transfermarkt
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15. ESPN
16. The Guardian
17. BBC
18. Transfermarkt
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21. Independent
22. BleacherReport
23. SkySports
24. Transfermarkt
25. CNN
26. The Guardian
27. Telegraph
28. BBC
29. Bleacher Report
30. Manchester Evening News
31. Bleacher Report
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33. Telegraph
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38. The Guardian
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40. Sports Mole
41. Chelsea FC
42. Transfermarkt
43. SCMP
44. Bleacher Report
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46. Bleacher Report
47. Independent
48. Bleacher Report
49. The Guardian
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