Football clubs have long been spending huge sums of money buying players. Most of the expensive transfers in football history, are to clubs under UEFA’s jurisdiction, and most of the purchasing clubs are from England, France, Italy and Spain. This article highlights the highest transfer fees ever paid for players in different categories. 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.
Here are the top 10 most expensive football players in the world.
- 1. Most expensive forward player
- 2. Most expensive teenager player
- 3. Most expensive midfielder
- 4. Most expensive Premier League player
- 5. Most expensive British player
- 6. Most expensive striker
- 7. Most expensive defender
- 8. Most expensive winger and African player
- 9. Most expensive goalkeeper
- 10. Most expensive player outside of Europe
1. Most expensive forward player
Neymar – €222 million
Neymar Jr. became the most expensive forward player of all time when Paris Saint-Germain forked out a fee worth €222 million to Barcelona in 2017.
2. Most expensive teenager player
Kylian Mbappé: €180 million
Kylian Mbappé is the most expensive teenager ever after joining PSG from Monaco in 2018 on a loan-to-buy deal that would be worth €180 million after bonuses.
3. Most expensive midfielder
Philippe Coutinho – €145 million
Philippe Coutinho became the most expensive midfielder of all time when Barcelona forked out a fee worth €145 million to Liverpool in 2018.
4. Most expensive Premier League player
Paul Pogba: €105 million
The most a Premier League club has ever paid for a player is €105 million, which Manchester United handed over to Juventus for French midfielder Paul Pogba in 2016.
5. Most expensive British player
Gareth Bale: €100 million
Gareth Bale is the most expensive British player of all time, having cost Real Madrid €100 million to meet his release clause with Tottenham Hotspur in 2013.
6. Most expensive striker
Gonzalo Higuaín – €90 million
Gonzalo Higuaín is the most expensive striker in history after Juventus spent €90 million to meet his release clause with Napoli in 2016.
7. Most expensive defender
Harry Maguire – €87 million
Harry Maguire became the most expensive defender of all time when Manchester United forked out a fee worth €87 million to Leicester City in 2019.
8. Most expensive winger and African player
Nicolas Pépé – €80 million
Nicolas Pépé is the most expensive winger and African player of all time, having cost Arsenal €80 million to transfer him from Lille in 2019.
9. Most expensive goalkeeper
Kepa Arrizabalaga: €80 million
Kepa Arrizabalaga is the most expensive goalkeeper in history after Chelsea spent €80 million to meet his release clause with Athletic Club in 2018.
10. Most expensive player outside of Europe
Oscar: €61 million
The most a non-European club has ever paid for a player is €61 million, which Shanghai SIPG handed over to Chelsea for Brazilian midfielder Oscar in 2016.