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5 Biggest Transfers In Football History

In the transfer market today it is not entirely unusual to watch athletes switch between clubs. It is even more unusual finding out about the humungous fees that are spent on these types of transfers. Spending millions on a single-player transfer is pretty commonplace nowadays.

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Yet transfers are often notable for far more than just monetary value. Fans will frequently express their approval or disagreement with certain transfers and are not shy about doing so.

As a result of this, some transfers in the football world are often hot topics of conversation. Read on to find out more about the 5 biggest transfers in football history.

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  1. Neymar

Transfer: Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, 2017

This is still the number one biggest transfer in the football world – and not just because of the hefty price tag. It is noted for putting an immediate end to the notorious attacking trio of Neymar, Messi, and Suarez at Barcelona.

Barcelona signed the Brazilian player in 2013 and wasn’t going to give up one of their star players so easily. They forced PSG to reach deep into their pockets to sign Neymar and ended up agreeing on a deal of over €220 million.

Neymar has since established himself as one of the greatest players with the Parisian giants and has an incredible list of achievements with the club. His contract now extends his place within the team until 2025.

  1. Kylian Mbappé

Transfer: Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain, 2017

Mbappé is the most expensive teenage transfer in football history. He burst onto the football scene with Monaco in the 2016-2017 season aged just 18 and took the team to the semi-finals round of the UEFA Champions League.

After such a stellar campaign performance, Monaco was confident that other clubs would come looking for an opportunity to sign Mbappé. This was the perfect opportunity to cash in on such raw and fresh talent.

After just one incredible season, the Frenchman was to transfer to PSG with the transfer fee tipping the scale at €180 million. Since then, the young player has continued to prove himself an asset to the PSG team.

He’s signed to the club until 2025 and is also the highest-paid football player in the world.

  1. Gareth Bale

Transfer: Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid, 2013

Bale’s transfer was one of the most expensive at the time. It was the first ever three-digit football transfer in the history of the sport!

The Welshman experienced a remarkable career at Tottenham that showed consistent results. Though he didn’t win many trophies, he managed 138 assists, and 167 goals, and even won an English League Cup title.

His success in terms of his playing style was so distinct that he managed to attract the attention of lots of other clubs around the world, including Real Madrid who would later be the team to send their proposal over for an eye-watering €100.8 million.

It was his transfer to Real Madrid that would solidify the Welshman as one of the world’s greatest football players winning 13 trophies, scoring 105 goals, and contributing 68 assists.

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Transfer: Manchester United to Real Madrid, 2009

You cannot talk about the biggest transfers in football history without mentioning Ronaldo. This is because two of the biggest ever transfers involve him.

His successful transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 broke records. After years of trying to poach the player, the Spanish giants were finally able to fork out €94 million to acquire the player and his talents. This included an aerial prowess, impressive scoring ability at a distance, and a scorching pace.

Ronaldo then moved from Real Madrid to Juventus in 2018 for a €117 million transfer fee. Nowadays, this is the sort of sum that many teams will pay to acquire such phenomenal talent. However, back in 2009, Ronaldo’s transfer fee was huge — despite him being one of the world’s greatest football players.

  1. Lionel Messi

Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, 2021

If you’re looking for a transfer that football fans really cannot get over then look no further! Argentine professional footballer Messi spent over 17 seasons with Barcelona before transferring to PSG in 2021.

This isn’t necessarily the most expensive transfer fee but the impact that Messi’s subsequent move had on the football world makes it worth the mention.

Barcelona wanted to further extend his contract yet due to internal financial rules, the club was unable to keep their star player on the team. Simply put, they couldn’t have accommodated him in the club even if he’d offered to stay and play for free.

When the opportunity arose, PSG jumped in and launched an impressive offer to Messi, which he later accepted. He is signed to the club via a 2-year contract with an average net salary of around €25 million a year.


These are the 5 biggest transfers in football history. From record-breaking transfer fees to causing a huge stir amongst fans everywhere, namely Messi, these are all essential additions to this list.

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