Top 10 most expensive signings in football history


The European football transfer window is one that every stakeholder in the world always looks forward to because this is a time when players make their move from one club to another.

What is a transfer fee?

A transfer in football is a business transaction between two clubs which sees a player move from one club to the other. If a player is under contract, the club wishing to secure his or her services are usually expected to pay compensation to the selling club otherwise known as a transfer fee.

Here are the top ten most expensive signings in football history

(10) Cristiano Ronaldo:

Real Madrid broke the all-time transfer record in 2009 when it paid Manchester United €116 million for Cristiano Ronaldo. He went on to win four Champions League titles, two La Liga titles and four domestic cups in nine years as Real Madrid's star forward. He also won the Ballon d'Or four times during his time at Madrid.

(9) Jack Grealish:

Grealish is the second most expensive English player in history. Manchester City paid €116.8 million to Aston Villa for the midfielder, he struggled to hit the ground running in his first season but he was in blistering form last season helping the Cityzens to win a treble. He scored five goals and 11 assists in all competitions, compared to his six goals and four assists in the 2021/22 season.

(8) Antoine Griezmann:

Barcelona triggered Antoine Griezmann's €119 million buyout clause from Atlético Madrid in 2019. However, Griezmmann's time in Barcelona didn't last long, as he returned to Atléti on loan in 2021 after failing to be impressive after two seasons at the Camp Nou. Atléti made the transfer permanent in 2022 by paying €11 million for Griezmann, €98 million less than what Barcelona paid for him two years.

(7) Enzo Fernandez:

The Argentine showed his class at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, he was named the best young player of the tournament. Chelsea paid €120.5 million to Benfica during the January 2023 transfer window.

(6) Declan Rice:

The English midfielder is the sixth player on the list following his transfer from West Ham United to Arsenal Football Club. The Gunners paid €122 million for Rice making him the most expensive player in the club's history.

(5) Joao Felix:

Atletico Madrid broke their transfer fee in the club's history for Joao Felix, they paid Benfica €127 million, and the transfer was also Benfica's biggest sale in their history. Unfortunately, Felix failed to meet the expectations of the Madrid club.

(4) Ousmane Dembele:

The French midfielder is fourth on the list following his move from Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona for €135 million in 2017. However, he has been a victim of injuries since he made his move to the La Liga.

(3) Phillipe Coutinho:

The Brazilian is the third-most expensive transfer in the history of football and possibly one of the worst transfers in football history. He was transferred to Barcelona from Liverpool for a fee of €135 million in 2018. He played just his first season at Barcelona before he was loaned out before the start of his third season, the midfielder currently plays Aston Villa in the English Premier League.

(2) Kylian Mbappe:

The captain of the French national team completed his move from Monaco to PSG for €184 million, the second-highest in foot history. The 24-year-old was brought in by the Parisian club as they look to win the UEFA Champions League but they have failed to win their missing trophy despite after many attempts. He's also been named Ligue 1 Player of the Year four times as a PSG player.

(1) Neymar:

Neymar famously left Barcelona in 2017 when Qatari-owned PSG smashed the world transfer record by activating his €222 million but injuries have made it even harder for him to justify it by winning a Champions League (€232 million) release clause.