Football Transfer Fee Records

Football transfer fees are always the subject of heated debate – is a club spending too much, are they spending too little, is the player worth 80m, or is he a steal at 5m?

Here’s a look at the players who have, at one time or another, held the title of ‘most expensive footballer ever’.

World Football Transfer Record

All prices are in British pounds.


Year  ↓ Player  ↓ From  ↓ To  ↓ Fee (Pounds sterling (£))  ↓
1893 Flag of Scotland Willie Groves Flag of England West Bromwich Albion Flag of England Aston Villa 100
1904 Flag of Scotland Andy McCombie Flag of England Sunderland Flag of England Newcastle United 700
1905 Flag of England Alf Common Flag of England Sunderland Flag of England Middlesbrough 1 000
1922 Flag of England Syd Puddefoot Flag of England West Ham United Flag of Scotland Falkirk 5 000
1922 Flag of England Warney Cresswell Flag of England South Shields Flag of England Sunderland 5 500
1928 Flag of England David Jack Flag of England Bolton Wanderers Flag of England Arsenal 10 890
1932 Flag of Argentina Bernabé Ferreyra Flag of Argentina Tigre Flag of Argentina River Plate 23 000
1952 Flag of Sweden Hans Jeppson Flag of Italy Atalanta Flag of Italy Napoli 52 000
1954 Flag of Uruguay Juan Schiaffino Flag of Uruguay Peñarol Flag of Italy Milan 72 000
1957 Flag of Argentina Enrique Omar Sivori Flag of Argentina River Plate Flag of Italy Juventus 93 000
1961 Flag of Spain Luis Suárez Flag of Spain Barcelona Flag of Italy Internazionale 152 000
1963 Flag of Italy Angelo Sormani Flag of Italy Mantova Flag of Italy Roma 250 000
1968 Flag of Italy Pietro Anastasi Flag of Italy Varese Flag of Italy Juventus 500 000
1973 Flag of the Netherlands Johan Cruyff Flag of the Netherlands Ajax Flag of Spain Barcelona 922 000
1975 Flag of Italy Giuseppe Savoldi Flag of Italy Bologna Flag of Italy Napoli 1 200 000
1976 Flag of Italy Paolo Rossi Flag of Italy Juventus Flag of Italy Vicenza 1 750 000
1982 Flag of Argentina Diego Maradona Flag of Argentina Boca Juniors Flag of Spain Barcelona 3 000 000
1984 Flag of Argentina Diego Maradona Flag of Spain Barcelona Flag of Italy Napoli 5 000 000
1987 Flag of the Netherlands Ruud Gullit Flag of the Netherlands PSV Eindhoven Flag of Italy Milan 6 000 000
1990 Flag of Italy Roberto Baggio Flag of Italy Fiorentina Flag of Italy Juventus 8 000 000
1992 Flag of France Jean-Pierre Papin Flag of France Marseille Flag of Italy Milan 10 000 000
1992 Flag of Italy Gianluca Vialli Flag of Italy Sampdoria Flag of Italy Juventus 12 000 000
1992 Flag of Italy Gianluigi Lentini Flag of Italy Torino Flag of Italy Milan 13 000 000
1996 Flag of England Alan Shearer Flag of England Blackburn Rovers Flag of England Newcastle United 15 000 000
1997 Flag of Brazil Ronaldo Flag of Spain Barcelona Flag of Italy Internazionale 19 500 000
1998 Flag of Brazil Denílson de Oliveira Araújo Flag of Brazil São Paulo Flag of Spain Real Betis 21 500 000
1999 Flag of Italy Christian Vieri Flag of Italy Lazio Flag of Italy Internazionale 32 000 000
2000 Flag of Argentina Hernán Crespo Flag of Italy Parma Flag of Italy Lazio 35 500 000
2000 Flag of Portugal Luís Figo Flag of Spain Barcelona Flag of Spain Real Madrid 37 000 000
2001 Flag of France Zinedine Zidane Flag of Italy Juventus Flag of Spain Real Madrid 46 000 000
2009 Flag of Brazil Kaká Flag of Italy Milan Flag of Spain Real Madrid 56 000 000
2009 Flag of Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo Flag of England Manchester United Flag of Spain Real Madrid 80 000 000

If you want to see the top 10 most expensive players in football (and the top 10 most expensive players in England), check out this article:

Most Expensive Transfers in Football.

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11 Comments

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