Football is the most popular sport in the world – it is the most widespread, it has the most fans, and it is played by men and women of all ages in pretty much every country. With such a massive following, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it is also the sport with the most money involved. Participating in a major international tournament brings clubs revenues that beat even the most generous jackpot at the Betway Casino, and players are transferred between teams for amounts that make athletes playing other sports pale with envy. How big, you might ask? Let’s take a look at the most expensive football transfers in the 2010s.
5. Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembélé (tie – €105 million)
In the last ten years, the world record of a football transfer fee was broken several times. Paul Pogba’s transfer from Juventus Turin to Premier League club Manchester United was one of the transfers that did the same: the English club paid €105 million (GHS 663 million) to have him back in 2016.
A year later, Ousmane Dembélé left the German team Borussia Dortmund to play with Spanish side Barcelona for the same amount – his transfer broke the record for the Spanish national league at the time but it was nowhere near the top.
4. Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann (tie – €120 million)
Philippe Coutinho’s transfer from English team Liverpool to Barcelona didn’t break any world records in 2018, and Coutinho wasn’t even the most expensive player of the year (that distinction was reserved for another young player – see below).
This doesn’t make the fact that the Spanish side paid €120 million (GHS 758 million) to have him. A year later, French player Antoine Griezmann joined Coutinho at Barcelona for the same amount, making him one of the most expensive players of last year – still, he was nowhere near the top at the time.
3. João Félix (€126 million)
The most expensive player of 2019 was a 19-year-old wunderkind from Portugal – João Félix, at the beginning of his road, didn’t play many matches with the first team of Benfica but he definitely made an impression.
And the impression was big enough for him to be courted by several major European teams before being signed by Atlético Madrid for a fabulous amount: €126 million (GHS 796 million).
2. Kylian Mbappé (€135 million)
Another youngster that switched teams for a fabulous amount was Kylian Mbappé who, at the age of 19, left Monaco for the French team Paris Saint Germain in a record-breaking transfer. With €135 million (GHS 852 million), he became the most expensive teenage player to be signed by a major team, the most expensive player of 2018, and one of the sensations of the football world. Still, this transfer pales behind the all-time record holder, none other than…
1. Neymar (€222 million)
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, known simply as Neymar, is the all-time world record holder when it comes to transfer fees.
The Brazilian football legend switched teams in 2017 for an amazing €222 million (GHS 1.4 billion), leaving the Spanish team Barcelona to continue playing with Paris Saint Germain. Since then, the 27-year-old forward scored more than 40 goals for his new team, participated at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and was even rumoured to return to Barcelona.