Football clubs have long been paying huge sums of money acquiring players. Most of the football history’s expensive transfers are to clubs in the UEFA’s jurisdiction, and most of the acquiring clubs are from France, Italy, England, and Spain. This article lists the highest transfer fees ever paid for football players in different categories. The first recorded historic transfer was of Willie Groves from West Bromwich Albion to Aston Villa club for a whopping £100 in 1893. This occurred just eight years following the introduction of professionalism by the Football Association in 1885.
Here is the list of the top 10 most expensive football players in the world.
Most expensive forward player
Neymar – €222 million
Neymar Jr. matched the most expensive forward player of all time when Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) forked out a fee worth about €222 million to Barcelona in the year 2017.
Most expensive teenage player
Kylian Mbappé: €180 million
Kylian Mbappé is the most expensive youth player ever after joining PSG from Monaco in mid-2018 on a loan-to-buy payment that would be worth about €180 million after bonuses.
Most expensive midfielder
Philippe Coutinho – €145 million
Philippe Coutinho became the most expensive midfielder player of all time when the Barcelona club forked out a fee worth over €148 million to Liverpool in 2018.
- Most expensive Premier League player
Paul Pogba: €106 million
The most a Premier League championship club has ever spent for a player is €105 million, which Manchester United club handed over to Juventus for the French midfielder Paul Pogba in 2016.
The most expensive British player
Gareth Bale: €100 million
Gareth Bale is the most expensive British football player of all time, having cost Real Madrid about €100 million to meet his release clause with Tottenham Hotspur in the year 2013.
- Most expensive striker
Gonzalo Higuaín – €90 million
Gonzalo Higuaín is the most expensive football striker in history after Juventus paid €90 million to meet his release clause with Napoli club in 2016.
Most expensive defender
Harry Maguire – €87 million
Harry Maguire became the most expensive champion of all time when the Manchester United team forked out a fee worth €88 million to Leicester City back in 2019.
- Most expensive winger and African player
Nicolas Pépé – €80 million
Nicolas Pépé is the most expensive wingman and African player of all time, charging Arsenal €80 million to transfer him from Lille in 2019.
Most expensive goalkeeper
Kepa Arrizabalaga: €80 million
Kepa Arrizabalaga is the most expensive goalkeeper in history, following Chelsea paid €80 million to meet his release clause with Athletic Club in late 2018.
The most expensive player outside of Europe
Oscar: €61 million
The most a non-European club has ever given for a player is €61 million, which Shanghai SIPG delivered over to Chelsea for Brazilian midfielder Oscar in 2016.