5 record-breaking football transfers of all-time

The summer of 2022 saw football clubs breaking the bank and going for their favourite players. If Manchester City got the likes of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez, then Barcelona pulled every possible lever to get Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde and a bunch of other guys. Well, this is not a new thing. During the 2009-10 season, current UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid had the most epic football transfer season of all time. Los Blancos went all guns blazing in the transfer market that summer. They pillaged eight players away to Santiago Bernabeu, including some really high-profile ones, with net expenditure amounting to a staggering €261 million! The players they bought included Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Raul Albiol, Xabi Alonso, and Karim Benzema, among others. Although the club bought this bunch of players, they couldn’t click as a team. The team managed to reach the Round of 16 stage in the Champions League but got eliminated by Lyon. Also, their fiercest rivals, Barcelona, managed to pip them in La Liga. Thus proving that sometimes money is not enough to win. That is the sad truth in today’s world. Like the record-breaking transfer of Real Madrid in 2009, there have been times when football clubs have broken the bank to buy their favourite players. In this article, we will be having a look at the 5 record-breaking transfers of all time that broke the Internet.

Neymar Jr. (Barcelona to PSG)

This was on the expected lines. The Brazilian sensation Neymar Jr. set the streets in Barcelona on fire with his dribbling and goal-scoring abilities. The trio of Messi-Suarez-Neymar were the reason for sleepless nights for a lot of European teams.

So, when the French club Paris St. Germain decided to rebuild their team, they went all the way to get the Brazilian player. During the 2017 summer, the Brazilian left Camp Nou for PSG in a move worth €222m (£200m), ending an impressive four-year stay with Barcelona. This is the biggest transfer ever to happen in the footballing world.

Kylian Mbappe (AS Monaco to PSG)

The wonder kid from France who set the 2018 World Cup stage on fire with his skills managed to follow in the footsteps of Neymar Jr. by joining PSG. PSG paid Monaco €180m when they bought Kylian Mbappe from their Ligue 1 rivals in 2018 after an initial loan spell.  Taking the concept of making a loan switch permanent to new extremes, PSG made Mbappe the most expensive European player of all time in the summer of 2018.

Phillippe Coutinho ( Liverpool to Barcelona)

Spanish giants Barcelona have made some disastrous buys in the recent past that have impacted the club in a very negative way. In the January transfer window of 2018, Barcelona purchased Phillippe Coutinho from Liverpool for a reported fee worth €160m

However, as time progressed, the midfielder didn’t quite justify his price. Hence, he was sent on a loan to the English club Aston Villa. However, as the English club was impressed by their newest loanee, they decided to buy Coutinho for a fee of €20 million. Barcelona decided to add a sell-on clause of 50% for any future transfer of Phillippe Coutinho.

Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona)

You get it why Barcelona are in shambles right now? The club bought a few players at an astonishing price who didn’t quite justify their price tag. Ousmane Dembele was one among them.

The French footballer was a part of the German football team Borussia Dortmund. He was creating quite the noise with his pitch-perfect football skills. Dembele, 25, joined Barcelona in 2017 from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €140 million ($165 million). It is one of the biggest transfer fees in football history. However, it is not a successful one. During his stint with Barcelona, the winger was marred with injuries and spent half of his time on the bench.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea to Real Madrid)

Real Madrid is known for going all the way for the players they want. The recent controversy surrounding Kylian Mbappe is a prime example of that.

During the 2019 summer, Chelsea star Eden Hazard made a shocking move to Real Madrid in a transfer worth €100 million (£88m/$112m). It was reported the deal was worth €140m (£124m/$146m) with all the incentives. As was the case with Barcelona superstar Ousmane Dembele, Eden Hazard, too, spent a lot of time in the hospital dealing with injuries.

Other notable mentions:

Player Name Former Club Club that bought him Year of the transfer Transfer Fee
Joao Felix Benfica Atletico Madrid 2019 €126m
Antoine Griezmann Atletico Madrid Barcelona 2019 €120m
Jack Grealish Aston Villa Manchester City 2021 €117m
Romelu Lukaku Inter Milan Chelsea 2021 €115m
Paul Pogba Juventus Manchester United 2016 €105m
Gareth Bale Tottenham Spurs Real Madrid 2013 €100.8m
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Juventus 2018 €100m
Antony Ajax FC Manchester United 2022 €95m (+€5m)
Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United Real Madrid 2009 €94m

(stats provided by Goal.com)

Woah, a lot of money was splurged on buying the footballers. The number is going to shoot up as the years go by. Who do you think will be the next “superstar” who will become the most expensive signing eclipsing Neymar’s price tag? Drop the names in the comment section.


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