Top 10 World's Most Expensive Players: Featuring superstars Neymar, Falcao and more

21 April 2014 09:41

The January and summer transfer windows are an essential part of football. They allow managers to tweak their squads ahead of the new season. Whether it be big money buys or astute loan signings to bolster their current roster. Billions have been spent on luring other players away from their current club. This is the top 10 most expensive per Transfermarkt

#10 – NEYMAR – SANTOS TO BARCELONA - £48.6m (€57.1)

At number ten is the highly controversial transfer of Neymar to Barcelona. The Brazilian goldenboy was snapped up by Barcelona under the noses of rivals Real Madrid who instead moved for Gareth Bale. The initial transfer fee was around £48m but it has now been revealed that the transfer could cost Barca up to £78m due to payments to family members and other parties. The transfer has also brought up a tax case which led to President Sandro Rosell resigning. The Brazilian has scored nine goals in 25 league appearances this season.


Fernando Torres takes the number nine slot following his huge £50m transfer from Liverpool to Chelsea. The figure stands as the British transfer record beating Liverpool’s £35m purchase of Andy Carroll. Roman Abramovich splashed out a huge amount on a player who has failed to impress in a Chelsea shirt and rumours persist over a summer exit for the Spaniard with Jose Mourinho losing patience with his poor performances.


Luis Figo made a surprising €60m from Barcelona to bitter rivals Real Madrid in July 2000. Barcelona fans felt betrayed as the Portuguese legend turned his back on the club where he had many seasons of success and developed into a fan favourite at the Nou Camp. Matches between the two when Figo was involved, he got a heated reception with a pig’s head being thrown on to the field during a corner. Figo won La Liga in 2001 and 2003 as well as the UEFA Champions League.


Radamel Falcao developed a reputation as one of the world’s deadliest strikers during his time with Atletico Madrid and big spenders Monaco forked out £53m to bring him to France. Falcao signed a five year deal with the Ligue 2 champions as they build a team hoping to challenge PSG in Ligue 1. Falcao nets a salary of around €14m per annum and gave an emotional farewell to his former club stating it was ‘the best time of his career’. His time in France has been injured marred with the Colombian bagging nine goals in 17 games.


Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani broke the French club record signing for Paris St Germain for around £57m. Cavani left Napoli as top scorer in the league with 29 strikes; winning the Italian Cup in 2012 and guiding his side to a second placed finish in Serie A. The Parisians hoped to form a potent partnership with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the duo has led the club to another Ligue 1 title this season. Cavani has been linked with a summer departure after being deployed out wide consistently this season but the striker has quelled rumours stating his happiness at the capital.

#5 – KAKA – AC MILAN TO REAL MADRID - £57m (€65m)

AC Milan maestro Kaka moved to Real Madrid for £57m after turning down a move to Manchester City who offered a world record amount to the Italian club. On June 8, Kaka signed a six year contract at the Bernabeu. His spell in Spain was disappointing and the Brazilian left the club returning to Milan on a free transfer. The former Ballon d’Or winner scored 32 goals and clocked 32 assists in 120 appearances for Los Blancos.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the most expensive player of all time when you combine transfer fees. The money spent on the big Swede over the years has surpassed £134m and his transfer to Barcelona was the biggest of them all. Ibrahimovic ended a three year spell at Inter Milan transferring to Spain with Samuel Eto’o moving to the San Siro as part of the deal. Ibra had a poor relationship with manager Pep Guardiola which eventually led to the former Ajax striker moving the AC Milan on loan before completing a permanent switch back to Italy.


Zinedine Zidane broke the world transfer record joining Real Madrid from Juventus for a fee of around €75m and signed a four year deal with the Galaticos. Zidane went on to become a legend in a white shirt and is widely recognised as one of the best players to have ever played. The Frenchman won the FIFA World Player of the Year for the third time as Real Madrid won the league in the 2002/03 season. Zidane is now assistant manager at the club and is expected to one day take over the managerial reigns.

* The top two of this list is still unconfirmed. Many claim Gareth Bale’s transfer fee was around the £85m mark therefore making the Welshman the most expensive transfer in the world but many claim including Real Madrid president Florentino Perez claims that the fee was under £80m making Cristiano Ronaldo the most expensive player. For the sake of this list, they are equal.


Cristiano Ronaldo had stated that his heart was in Madrid and Manchester United fans received the news they had been dreading on June 11 2009 when United accepted a world record £80m bid for their Portuguese hero. Ronaldo completed his move to the Spanish capital on 1 June 2009 agreeing terms and signing a six year contract. It has since been revealed that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson angled Ronaldo towards Barcelona but the former Sporting Lisbon man chose Madrid. Ronaldo has won La Liga on one occasion as well as two Copa del Reys. He also won the FIFA Ballon d’Or for his outstanding performances last campaign.

#1-2 – GARETH BALE – TOTTENHAM TO REAL MADRID - £80-86m (€94m)

Real Madrid again splashed out a huge transfer fee in order to bring Tottenham’s Gareth Bale to Spain. The Wales international agreed a £300,000 per week contract with Tottenham banking a figure of around £80-85m for their star man. Bale’s start to the season was plagued by injuries but the former Southampton winger has scored 14 goals in 25 league games. Bale also won Real Madrid a historic Copa Del Rey with an astounding goal in the 2-1 win over Barcelona.

Source: DSG