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Ranking the 20 most expensive footballers based on their accumulative transfer fees

Transfer fees in football have reached an astronomical level.

Everywhere you look, everything you turn, it’s money that’s dominating the global game.

Whether it’s multi-billion pound TV deals or receiving £200m just for being promoted to the Premier League, it’s become a wacky old world.

The deadly Coronavirus has put extra strain on football clubs, however. While in past years we’ve seen some obscene transfer fees be the centre of attention, this is a transfer window where free acquisitions will be vitally important.

Arsenal picked up Willian on a free while Joe Hart joined Tottenham after running down his contract at Burnley. They are two examples of how the market could operate over the coming weeks.

For clubs like Manchester United, PSG and co, it’s likely they’ll still have the resources to spend. However, will other clubs be more reluctant to sell? It’s likely when you consider the cost of having to replace your star players.

For once, we may not see records broken in 2020.

It’ll come as a relief to the lawmakers at FIFA and UEFA, organisations that have tried hard to put in place policies like financial fair play.

However, the less said about some of those constraints the better.

Hundreds of millions of pounds will still be spent and there is little we can do about it. As history tells us, football is now more about the money.

So without further ado, here’s a list of the 20 most expensive players of all time based on their accumulative fees.

Taking findings from Transfermarkt, there are a few surprises along the way…

20. David Luiz – £106.83m

Shock number one. Yep, that’s Arsenal’s very own calamitous defender sitting pretty at the top. He may have conceded five penalties and received two red cards in 2019/20,  but he is one of the most expensive centre-backs off all time. Shambolic.

19. Juan Sebastian Veron – £107.64m

One of few retirees on this list of 20, Veron was an absolutely fabulous player back in the day, earning seven moves throughout his career and playing for the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.

18: Joao Cancelo – £108.36m

The right-back’s appearance on this list just about sums up modern football. He is only 26 and has played for just three clubs but is one of the most costly defenders in football history. Crazy.

17. Hernan Crespo – £110.65m

Another former Chelsea player on this list, Crespo made a living out of scoring goals, finding the back of the net 245 times in his career.

16. Nicolas Anelka – £111.47m

The man who recently had a Netflix documentary made about himself comes in at 16 on this list after playing for eight clubs in his career. A criminally underrated footballer, he also scored over 200 career goals.

15. Joao Felix – £113.4m

The Atletico Madrid trickster has only ever moved clubs once but he is already one of the most expensive players ever. He joined La Liga for a hefty fee last summer and is still only 20.

14. Paulinho – £114.17m

How on earth does a player like Paulinho end up on this list? I’ll tell you how. The Chinese Super League. The Brazilian has never been genuinely world-class but was clearly rated highly but those in Asia.

13. James Rodriguez – £126.57m

A star of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, James’ career has rather gone downhill after being frozen out at Real Madrid. Still, he is a mighty fine individual.

12. Kylian Mbappe – £130.5m

A star of the modern game, it may be a surprise to see Mbappe not make the top ten in this list. That being said, it wouldn’t be a huge shock that if you look at this again in a few years time, he’s near the top.

11. Eden Hazard – £135m

The Belgian hasn’t found life easy at Real Madrid but was easily one of the best players in the Premier League over the last decade. Hazard scored 110 goals for Chelsea before moving to La Liga.

10. Ousmane Dembele – £137.7m

A victim of Barcelona’s shoddy transfer policy, Dembele is high up on this list because of his quite frankly ridiculous move from Dortmund a few years ago. It’s never really happened for the Frenchman in Spain, predominantly because of injury. Expect his accumulative fee to rise over the years though.

9. Gonzalo Higuain – £143.10m

A talented goalscorer, it’s not a surprise that Higuain has played for some of the best teams around Europe. In playing for Juventus, Chelsea and Real Madrid, among others, he has scored 306 times in his career.

8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – £152.19m

The great Zlatan doesn’t quite make the top five which will come as a surprise given the seven clubs he’s played for throughout his career. If he was in his peak now, that fee would be through the roof.

7. Philippe Coutinho – £153.27m

The Brazilian is one of the most entertaining players in world football but is stuck in limbo. Signed by Barcelona, he didn’t fit their plans and then rather embarrassingly scored against his parent club for Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

6. Antoine Griezmann – £156.6m

The forward has only moved clubs twice in his career but it’s no surprise to see another Barcelona name on here. He was crucial for France during their 2018 World Cup triumph but he has never really looked comfortable at Camp Nou.

5. Angel Di Maria – £161.10m

It’s often forgotten just how good Di Maria is. There’s a reason he’s played for Real Madrid, Manchester United and PSG – because he creates goals. He has 214 career assists.

4. Alvaro Morata – £161.10m

This is absolutely ridiculous. Morata couldn’t hit a barn door in the Premier League but is the fourth-most expensive footballer accumulatively ever to play the game.

3. Romelu Lukaku – £191.3m

Some truly ludicrous fees have been shipped out to pay for Lukuku but he’s recently been showing why. He has scored in ten successive Europa League matches and was a star as his Inter side reached the final this year. He is now 27 and already has 227 goals to his name. Impressing stuff.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo – £207m

For a period of time, Ronaldo was one of the most expensive players to ever kick a ball. He needs no introduction and with a potential move to PSG on the cards, he may become number one on this list in the not too distant future.

1. Neymar – £279.18m

Mindblowing. That’s the only word to describe Neymar’s transfer fees. He cost PSG a world-record fee a few years ago as Brazilian swapped Spanish shores for the streets of Paris. Like Ronaldo, his price could only grow.


Rex Nseobong

Owner and founder of Just that simple guy with great vision...

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