Football is the most followed sport worldwide and there has always been a lot of money associated with it, however, the last few years have seen players being bought and sold for astronomical amounts…and it doesn’t look set to slow down anytime soon. Here is a ‘dream team’ (in a 3-4-3 formation) of some of the most expensive footballers globally.
Gianluigi Buffon – Goalkeeper sold for €52.8 million
Buffon was transferred from Parma to Juventus in 2001 for €52.8m – setting the record for most amount paid for a goalkeeper that remains to this day. The Italian player is also the only goalkeeper to have been named UEFA Club Footballer of the Year.
Benjamin Mendy – Left-back sold for €57.5 million
While the transfer of this Frenchman from Monaco to Manchester City in the 2016/17 season set the bar for most expensive left-back, he is playing a central defender role for this 3-4-3 formation.
Virgil Van Dijk – Defender sold for €78.8 million
A recent record-breaking amount for a football transfer is Van Dijk’s move from Southampton to Liverpool in December 2017 which set the record for most expensive defender. He seems to be worth the money considering former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher described Van Dijk as ‘better in the air than me, quicker than me and more composed’. A worthwhile purchase.
John Stones – Centre back sold for €55.6 million
This Englishman set the previous high-paying record for centre-back before the Van Dijk transfer. Manchester City bought him from Everton for a whopping €55.6m.
Paul Pogba – Central midfielder sold for €105 million
French midfielder, Pogba, was signed by Manchester United in 2016 for the astronomical fee of €105 million which broke the world record back in 2016. He started his career with Man United in 2011 and then went on to play for Juventus in 2012 before re-joining Man United.
Philippe Coutinho – Central midfielder sold for €120 million
To get an idea of how quickly a player can increase in value, consider the case of Brazilian footballer, Philippe Coutinho, who was sold to Liverpool by Inter Milan in January 2013 for €13 million. In just five years, he had increased in value by €107 million with Barcelona paying a reported €120 million for him earlier this year.
Ousmane Dembélé – Right midfield sold for €105 million
This French professional started playing with Dortmund in 2016 and quickly caught the eye of Barcelona, who bought him for €105 million just one year later. This broke the record for most expensive sale for any German football club.
Gareth Bale – Left midfield sold for €100 million
You could probably say this is where it all started. In 2013, Welsh footballer, Gareth Bale, was transferred to Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur for an unbelievable €100 million. Even by today’s standards that is still a lot of money for any footballer.
Romelo Lukaku – Striker sold for €84.7 million
Belgian footballer, Lukaku, was transferred from Everton to Manchester United for €84.7 million, however, despite this making him the most expensive striker in English History, the team is still waiting to get their money’s worth.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Forward sold for €94 million
The man whose face cannot be replicated in statue form spent four years as the world’s most expensive player from 2009 when he was bought by Real Madrid from Manchester United. The team has certainly got its €94 million worth – and then some – with Ronaldo clinching the Ballon d’Or four times, Champions League three times and the La Liga twice.
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior – Forward sold for €222 million
Well, if you want to talk ridiculous amounts of money in football, then Neymar is a standout example. Qatari-owned club, Paris Saint-Germain, bought the Brazilian superstar from Barcelona in 2017 for €222 million – an amount nobody could sniff at. This propelled him into ‘world’s most expensive footballer’ status.
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