20 Most Expensive Football Transfer Fees Of All Time

The following is a list of 20 Most Expensive Football Transfer Fees Of All Time, which details the 20 highest transfer fees ever paid for players as of the end of the winter transfer window of 2016.


The list contains seven transfers which broke the world transfer record: those of Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Luís Figo, Hernán Crespo, Christian Vieri and Denílson, with the former five signing for Spanish clubs and the latter two signing for Italian clubs. The list also features a further 15 players who, at the time of the transfer, broke the national record for the club they were signing for: Ángel Di María, Edinson Cavani, Radamel Falcao, Fernando Torres, Carlos Tevez, Hulk, Rio Ferdinand, Thiago Silva, Juan Sebastián Verón, Robinho, Javier Pastore, Javi Martínez, Mario Gómez and Nicolas Anelka. Three of the top 100 became the most expensive teenager in history upon their transfer: Wayne Rooney, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial all broke the record when they signed for English club Manchester United.

Spanish team Real Madrid have held the record for purchasing the most expensive player since 2000, when Luís Figo made a controversial £37 million move from Barcelona. Since then, the only player purchases to break the record have been Zinedine Zidane in 2001, when he was signed for £46 million from Juventus, the £80 million transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United in 2009, and Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013.

Highest fees

All the highest-value transfers on this list are to clubs under UEFA’s jurisdiction, and most involve clubs in the Eurozone and/or the United Kingdom. The order in this table is based on the transfer amount in euros. Due to exchange rate fluctuations the order is different in pound sterling, which are also shown in the table.

As of 3 February 2016; after the winter 2016 transfer window.
Rank Player From To Fee
(M £)
(M €)
1 Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo England Manchester United Spain Real Madrid £80 €106 2009
2 Wales Gareth Bale England Tottenham Hotspur Spain Real Madrid £82.8 €101 2013
3 Uruguay Luis Suárez England Liverpool Spain Barcelona £82 €95.6 2014
4 Brazil Neymar Brazil Santos Spain Barcelona £71.5 €90.2 2013
5 Argentina Ángel Di María Spain Real Madrid England Manchester United £71.2 €90 2014
6 Belgium Kevin De Bruyne Germany Wolfsburg England Manchester City £69.7 €88.2 2015
7 Colombia James Rodríguez France AS Monaco Spain Real Madrid £71 €79.5 2014
8 France Zinedine Zidane Italy Juventus Spain Real Madrid £59.2 €75 2001
9 England Raheem Sterling England Liverpool England Manchester City £55.2 €70 2015
10 Sweden Zlatan Ibrahimović Italy Inter Spain Barcelona £59 €69 2009
11 Brazil Kaká Italy Milan Spain Real Madrid £56 €65 2009
12 Uruguay Edinson Cavani Italy Napoli France Paris Saint-Germain £55 €64 2013
13 Argentina Ángel Di María England Manchester United France Paris Saint-Germain £49.7 €63 2015
14 Brazil David Luiz England Chelsea France Paris Saint-Germain £50 €62.6 2014
15 Portugal Luís Figo Spain Barcelona Spain Real Madrid £49 €62 2000
16 Ivory Coast Yaya Toure Spain Barcelona England Man City £51 €60 2010
17 Spain Fernando Torres England Liverpool England Chelsea £50 €58 2011
18 Argentina Hernán Crespo Italy Parma Italy Lazio £44.6 €56.5 2000
19 Argentina Carlos Tevez England MSI England Manchester City £47.5 €53 2009
20 Germany Mesut Özil Spain Real Madrid England Arsenal £42.5 €50 2013
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