Record soccer transfers: player transfers by value 2019

The 222 million euro transfer of Brazilian player Neymar from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in August 2017 is the all-time highest fee for a soccer transfer. The transfers of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona and Kylian Mbappe to PSG are second and third in the list respectively.

The rise of the big-money transfer

The transfer of Neymar to PSG shocked the soccer world: it was more than twice as much as the previous record of 105 million euros that Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba. The transfer was made possible by the owners of PSG, Qatar Sports Investments, who have provided significant funds to strengthen the playing squad since their acquisition of the club in 2011. The Neymar transfer created a domino effect that saw recipients Barcelona spend a total of 265 million euros on Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho during the 2017/2018 season – both signings feature in the top five all-time highest transfer fees. In fact, eight of the top ten highest transfer fees have happened since the summer of 2017, highlighting the growing sums of money being made in revenue by clubs within the top European soccer leagues.

The evolution of the transfer record

Mega-money moves have been taking place in soccer throughout the years. Spanish giants Real Madrid have been known to splash the cash, notably breaking the transfer record to sign Zinedine Zidane in 2001 (75 million euros), Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 (94 million euros), and Gareth Bale in 2013 (100 million euros). It could be some time before a fee eclipses the 222 million euros that PSG paid for Neymar, but if the transfer record is to be broken in the future, an English Premier League team could be the most likely to do so: the English Premier League generates the most revenue of the biggest European soccer leagues.
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Soccer player transfers by highest all-time transfer fee worldwide as of September 2019
(in million euros)
Transfer fee in million euros
Neymar (17/18)222
Philippe Coutinho (17/18)145
Kylian Mbappé (18/19)135
João Félix (19/20126
Ousmane Dembélé (17/18)120
Antoine Griezmann (19/20)120
Christiano Ronaldo (18/19)117
Paul Pogba (16/17)105
Gareth Bale (13/14)101
Eden Hazard (19/20)100
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