Clubs have dug deep into their pockets in this year’s summer transfer window, with several players changing clubs for big price tags. But who is the most expensive player of all time?
10 — Virgil van Dijk
In the 2017-18 season, Jürgen Klopp desperately needed a defender. Liverpool found a way to supply him with one, spending a reported 75 million pounds (€84.2 million, $101.3 million) on Virgil van Dijk in January, making the Dutchman the most expensive defender of all time.
9 — Romelu Lukaku
After Lukaku scoring 26 goals for Everton in the 2016-17 season, Manchester United shelled out a reported 75 million pounds (€84.8 million, $96.8 million) for the Belgian striker. He rewarded the Red Devils for their investment right away, scoring seven goals in his first seven Premier League games.
8 — Gonzalo Higuain
Scoring 36 goals in 35 league appearances, Gonzalo Higuain had memorable 2015-2016 season at Napoli. Italy’s record champions Juventus were eager to sign the Argentinian striker, paying €90 million ($99 million) for his services. After two seasons in Turin, he moved to AC Milan on loan, a deal which could become permanent in 2019.
7 — Gareth Bale
Welsh superstar Gareth Bale became the world’s most expensive player in 2013 after he transferred to Real Madrid for a fee of €100 million (then $132 million) after a six-year stint at Tottenham Hotspur. His move remains the most costly signing ever finalized by the Spanish club.
6 — Paul Pogba
Three years after Bale’s mega-move, Paul Pogba dethroned the Welshman as the world’s most expensive player when he moved from Juventus to Manchester United for €105 million ($116.6 million). Pogba had come through the Red Devils’ youth setup before leaving on a free transfer.
5 — Ousmane Dembele
Dembele was one of Dortmund’s most exciting and promising players, so much so that only after a year of playing in Germany, Barcelona came knocking for his services. The French forward transferred to Barca for €105 million ($123.9 million) with up to €42 million in bonus payments. The deal is the most expensive sale by a German club in football history.
4 — Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal’s most capped player could appear on this list twice. His €94 million (then $132.5 million) move to Real Madrid shattered the world transfer record. After four Ballon d’Or, four Champions League and two La Liga titles with the Galacticos, he completed a €117 million ($136.9 million) move to Juventus in July.
3 — Philippe Coutinho
Want to talk about profit? Liverpool purchased Philippe Coutinho from Inter Milan in January 2013 for €13 million ($17.3 million at the time). Five years later, the English club sold the Brazilian playmaker for a reported €120 million ($145.2 million) fee, which could increase to €160 million with bonuses. A pretty good turnover, right?
2 — Kylian Mbappe
Before he was a World Cup winner with France, Mbappe was a highly coveted teenage talent. After a bursting onto the season with Monaco in 2016-17, the French forward moved to Paris Saint-Germain for a total package worth €180 million (€214 million) — a €45 million loan for 2017-18 followed by a €135 million transfer.
1 — Neymar
Who could afford to buy a player for €222 million ($262 million)? Qatari-owned French giants Paris Saint-Germain are one of the very few clubs in the globe capable of it. In the summer of 2017, Brazilian star Neymar received an offer he could just not refuse from PSG. The Brazilian left Lionel Messi’s shadow in Barcelona for the French capital, becoming the world’s most expensive footballer.