Romelu Lukaku, €343 million
Following his €8 million loans, Lukaku increased his lead as the most expensive player in history in terms of combined transfer costs.
The striker has already changed clubs on a permanent basis six times since he has never stayed at one club for more than three years.
Lukaku joined Chelsea in 2011 and later spent time on loan at West Brom and Everton before being traded to the latter for €33 million when Diego Costa moved to Stamford Bridge. After that, he joined Manchester United for an original fee of €88.65 million, which increased to €106.4 million with add-ons.
Inter came next, and after succeeding in Italy, he returned to Chelsea, where he made an immediate impact by scoring his second debut goal against Arsenal.
Since then, things have not gone well for him, and after toying with the idea of returning to Inter in the middle of the season, he has finally made the trip back.
Neymar, €308 million
As was already noted, Neymar is presently the record holder.
When Neymar left Santos in 2013, he not only broke the record amount, but he also transferred to Barcelona for a staggering €86.2 million.
Thus, Neymar has a total price tag of almost €308 million. For someone who has missed over 20 league starts each of the previous four seasons, this is a significant number.
He is undoubtedly one of the top players in the world and has exceptional onal skills, both of which are expensive qualities.
Cristiano Ronaldo, €221 million
Cristiano Ronaldo had three transfers, compared to Neymar’s two for his total cost. His transfer to Manchester United, nevertheless, is unquestionably insignificant in light of the subsequent costs.
Ronaldo smashed the transfer record at the time when Real Madrid paid €94m for his services after he won the 2008 Ballon d’Or and became a global superstar.
He later lit up the Santiago Bernabeu, winning four Champions Leagues, before leaving in 2018, hoping to continue Los Blancos’ glory at Juventus.
In every season since leaving Manchester United, Ronaldo has scored 25 or more league goals. He was still the leading scorer at Euro 2020 at the age of 36.
Alvaro Morata, €180 million
Alvaro Morata is a bit unexpected name to be mentioned so highly since he has made six transfers, which is why his costs have accumulated so considerably.
His transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus and returned cost over €50 million, and he subsequently cost Chelsea almost €60 million. While Juventus reportedly spent €21 million to take him on a two-year loan, Atletico Madrid paid an outrageous sum to get him back to Spain.
Morata is a talented but often ineffective striker who has amassed some significant payments in his short career.
5. Kylian Mbappe ($180 million)
Although the costs involved in Kylian Mbappe’s transfer from Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain vary, it is estimated to have cost €180 million with numerous add-ons and caveats.
He is the only player on this list who has only made one move, making him the second most costly signing of all time thanks to the transfer.
That demonstrates the financial commitment PSG made to the superstar and their faith in his abilities. Mbappe, a World Cup champion, has shown why he was so expensive, even if he has yet to bring Paris a Champions League championship.
6. Eden Hazard — $175 million
The two moves of Eden Hazard have met with varying degrees of success. He was the standout player and the key figure at Chelsea. He’s been a nightmare at Real Madrid in terms of injury and form.
In his last year, Hazard won both Ligue 1 and became the youngest player to ever win the Player of the Year title in France. He then joined Champions League champion Chelsea, which marked the start of a magnificent period in his career.
He was among the top performers in England, and the 2018–19 season was his finest statistically. He led Chelsea into the top four and to a victory in the Europa League while scoring 16 goals and providing 15 assists in the league.
For an initial €100 million, it secured him his ideal transfer to Real Madrid. Injury problems have plagued him throughout his tenure in Spain, and he has failed to contribute to more than five league goals in a single season.
7. Philippe Coutinho ($194 million)
Philippe Coutinho was outstanding in the Premier League, much like Hazard, but hasn’t reached the same heights in La Liga.
Coutinho shined in Italy after joining Inter as a youngster from Vasco de Gama, which piqued Liverpool’s attention. The Reds eventually discovered their new creative outlet after making one wise acquisition.
At Anfield, Coutinho flourished and established himself as a powerful force in the English Premier League.
Barcelona saw his form and saw him as the ideal substitute for the late Andres Iniesta.
The deal didn’t pan out, however, as he was never able to get into the Barcelona squad despite a loan stint at Bayern Munich in 2019–20.
In 2022, he moved on loan to Aston Villa, then earlier this summer, he completed the switch permanently, paying €20 million to join Steven Gerrard’s team.
8. Antoine Griezmann ($174 million)
Barcelona’s latest endeavor has failed. Following the acquisitions of Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, the Blaugrana chose to spend even more money on Antoine Griezmann.
The Frenchman had made a name for himself at Atletico Madrid after switching from Real Sociedad, but he struggled to fit in at Barcelona. Although he played in areas where Lionel Messi often played, the transfer hasn’t been a success despite his 20 goals and 12 assists in 2020–21.
In reality, Barcelona could have been able to afford to retain Messi through the 2021/22 season and beyond if they hadn’t purchased Griezmann.
9. Angel Di Maria: $170 million
Angel Di Maria, a talented but erratic player, is undoubtedly one of his generation’s most underappreciated athletes.
He was forced to leave Real Madrid when James Rodriguez was signed after a standout 2014 World Cup, despite the fact that he flourished there. And even if he underwhelmed after moving to Manchester United for €70 million—a British record at the time—he has recovered at PSG.
He has changed clubs a total of four occasions, the latter two of which each cost over €60 million.
When his PSG contract expires at the conclusion of the 2021/22 season, he may make his next transfer to Italy as Juventus looks to finalize a deal for him.
10. €160 million for Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The player who has played for so many clubs that it is difficult to keep track of him is next. Ibrahimovic, one of the top scorers over the previous 15 years, is more well-known for his ego than for his skill. But there’s a reason he’s represented some of Europe’s top teams.
His list of teams includes Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, Milan, PSG, and Man United. Although he has never cost more than €27 million in a single transfer, with the exception of his Barcelona transfer, the sheer number of clubs he has represented raises his overall total.