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Top 5 - Biggest Football Transfers in History

The world of football moves billions of euros, dollars, and pounds sterling every year, with the major clubs willing to pay big money for the best players. In this article, we take a look at the top 5 football transfers in history and other interesting data from the transactions that have set records over time.

Any fan might think that the best footballers in history also appear in the lists of the most expensive transfers in history, but quality and talent do not always equate to heavy transactions. Many players have spent their careers at the same club because the club has no intention of selling, not necessarily because there are no clubs willing to put a pile of money on the table for them. Example number one: Lionel Messi.

We must also consider the question of the market since football has evolved financially over the years and the amounts that are handled today are very different from those of other decades. The services of Pelé, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, or Alfredo Distefano would currently have certain values that are not at all close to those embodied in their respective times.

Line of the biggest transfers


Most expensive football transfers ever

The major European leagues dominate the international market in terms of sales, sponsorships, and income from fan engagement, so it is not surprising that they also occupy the first places in the historical list of football transfers. The heavyweights of the Old Continent have sold and bought many players in search of sporting and monetary results in recent years, as shown by the biggest football transfers.

Neymar from Barcelona to PSG

Kylian Mbappe from Monaco to PSG

Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool to Barcelona

Joao Felix from Porto to Atletico de Madrid

Antoine Griezmann from Atletico to Barcelona

Biggest football transfers outside of Europe

  1. Beyond the transactions carried out by European teams, outside of UEFA there have also been significant investments by top-level footballers. The China Super League has been the preferred destination for prominent players who have reached out to teams that have spent tens of millions to bolster their rosters as they make a significant marketing impact on their operations.
  2. Oscar from Chelsea to Shanghai Port (2017) – 60 million euros
  3. Hulk from Zenit to Shanghai Port (2016) – 55.8m
  4. Alex Teixeira from Shakhtar to Jiangsu (2016) – 50m
  5. Paulinho from Barcelona to Guangzhou FC (2019) – 42m
  6. Jackson Martinez from Atletico to Guangzhou FC (2016) – 42m

Players with the highest combined transfer fees

  1. Depending on the circumstances and the type of management of his agents, a professional footballer may be the subject of multiple transfers throughout his career. Below we see the list of players who have accumulated the most money in their combined transfers. That is, adding all the transfers made in his career.
  2. Neymar – Total 310 million euros
  3. Cristiano Ronaldo – 230m
  4. Romelu Lukaku – 212m
  5. Angel Di Maria – 179m
  6. Antoine Griezmann – 174m
Line of the top transfers

Money spent on transfer by clubs

Before PSG emerged as the world's biggest spender, Real Madrid had an important streak of record transfers in the 2000s, with the arrival of Luis Figo, Zidane, Kaka, Cristiano, and Gareth Bale. Today, in addition to PSG and Barcelona, teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Juventus, Inter, and Bayern Munich, are the great animators of the markets with powerful investments from time to time.

Biggest transfer profits in football history

ust as there are big spenders, there are also clubs that make the best transactions in terms of profits. Beyond the aforementioned transfers that left great profits for the sellers like Barcelona, Liverpool, or Atletico, the margin achieved by not-so-powerful clubs such as Leicester, Southampton, Lille, Monaco, or Wolfsburg in various movements of purchase and subsequent sale of players stands out.

Line end of the transfers
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