It is needless to say that so much money exchanges hands in the most popular sport in the world. Well over 1 billion US dollars was spent during the summer transfer window, with Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool spending nine digit figures on signings.
All across Europe, over $3 billion US dollars exchanged hands, with Manchester United being the team with the highest transfer payday for a single player. Clubs spending big on players is no big issue, and for clubs with the financial prowess to sign anyone on the increase, there is no telling who the next big transfer will happen. Here are the most expensive football players in the world in 2018.
Table of Page Contents
- 10. Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg to Manchester City, 2015) £51m
- 9. Kaká (AC Milan to Real Madrid, 2009) £56m
- 8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Internazionale to Barcelona, 2009) £57m
- 7. Ángel Di María (Real Madrid to Manchester United, 2014) £59.7m
- 6. James Rodríguez (Monaco to Real Madrid, 2014) £63m
- 5. Luis Suárez (Liverpool to Barcelona, 2014) £75m
- 4. Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli to Juventus, 2016) £75.3m
- 3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United to Real Madrid, 2009) £80m
- 2. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid, 2013) £86m
- 1. Paul Pogba (Juventus to Manchester United, 2016) £89.2m
10. Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg to Manchester City, 2015) £51m
Perhaps one of the most underrated midfielders in the game, Kevin De Bruyne is currently playing football for English side Manchester City FC. The Belgian kicked off his professional career at Belgian side Genk. Four seasons and 17 goals later he made a loan move to Werder Bremen, scoring 10 times in 34 appearances. His eye for goal and amazing assist tally gathered interest from English giants Chelsea FC, and a move to Stamford Bridge was imminent.
In one of the most flopped signings for the club, Chelsea released him to German side Wolfsburg, a move that would make him one of the most sought after midfielders in Europe. He was involved in 60 goals during his three seasons at Wolfsburg, netting 20 times in 72 appearances. Manchester City would then sign him in 2015, and he has already surpassed his total goal tally at Wolfsburg, netting 21 times for the English side. He has been capped 48 times by Belgium, scoring 12 times for the national team.
9. Kaká (AC Milan to Real Madrid, 2009) £56m
Bazilian midfielder started his professional careerin 2001 playing for Sao Paolo back in Brazil. Ata young age his flair in front of goal started showing when he scored 47 goals in 125 appearances for the club, mostly coming in as a substitute. Such success at an early age would not go unnoticed and three seasons later he moved to Italian side AC Milan. 95 goals in six seasons at the club ignited interest from top spanish teams and he would later move to Real Madrid for a whopping 56 million pounds.
Injury however took a toll on him and he only managed 29 goals for the club in his four seasons at the Barnebau. He however resumed his love affair with AC Milan when he moved back there in 2014, netting 9 times in 37 appearances. He however moved back to boyhood club Sao Paolo in 2013. American soccer would be his final career destination and currently plays for Orlannd City FC and has scored 19 times in 54 appearances for the club. He has since failed to make appearances for the national team but has netted 29 times for the Samba Boys in 92 appearances.
8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Internazionale to Barcelona, 2009) £57m
Manchester United are more than lucky to have a striker in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The 35 year old Swede started his professional career in 1999 playing for Malmo FC. His 18 goals in 47 appearances for the club triggered a move to Ajax where he was equally good. He scored 48 goals in 119 appearances and in 2005 he moved to Italian giants Juventus, but always featured as an unused substitute. Two seasons later he moved to neighbors Internazionale where he spent three seasons netting 66 goals in 117 appearances.
Such impressive display in front of goal ignited interest from huge clubs, and he eventually ended up playing for Barcelona, for a transfer fee of 57 million pounds. He spent three seasons with the Catalans and eventually moved to AC Milan, scoring 56 times in 82 appearances. Paris St. Germain came calling and he answered. He led the club to four consecutive domestic titles, scoring 156 times in 108 appearances. He later moved to Manchester United in 2016 on a free transfer. He has since retired from international football, but scored 62 times in 116 caps for the Swedish national side.
7. Ángel Di María (Real Madrid to Manchester United, 2014) £59.7m
Arguably the best Argentinian winger of his generation, Angel Di Maria currently plays for French giants Paris St. Germain, and is also an integral part of the Argentine national team. His speed, trickery and flair was noticed at an early age, and a move to Real Madrid was imminent. Upon signing Gareth Bale, he moved from Snatiago Barnebau to Manchester United in search of first team play.
He however was a casual to the dismal Manchester United team under Louis Van Gaal, and a long spell on the bench and a few substiturte appearances triggered a £59.7 million move to France. He recovered his first team status and has won every other domestic league competition since signing for Paris St. Germain. He is also an engine at the front while playing for the Argentine national side, netting 18 times in 82 appearances.
6. James Rodríguez (Monaco to Real Madrid, 2014) £63m
Foorball in Colombia is more of a religion, the country using the sport to forget civil and political dismay. Colombia has a footballing hero in James Rodriguez, one of football’s most expensive players. Rpdriguez made his first professional appearance in 2008, scoring on his debut. After picking up the Golden Boot award in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Rio, a move to Real Madrid was imminent.
The playmaker was immediately inducted to first team play and he together with Christiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema make up the club’s frontal attack squad. His playmaking ability saw him inherit the club’s number 10 jersey, replacing equally great Mesut Ozil’s position. He together with fellow countryman Radamel Falcao have been tasked with taking Colombian football to the next level, currently sixth in football world ranking by FIFA.
5. Luis Suárez (Liverpool to Barcelona, 2014) £75m
Luis Suarez is football’s bad boy. Despite his theatrics on the pitch, he is one of the best strikers in the game. His professional debut into world football came when Uruguay side Nacional signed him, and 10 goals and 27 appearances later he left for Ajax. A move to Liverpool would be a landmark in his career, netting 69 goals for the Reds in 110 appearances. Five years later Barcelona came calling, and he did not come cheap.
A £75m transfer fee facilitated his move to Spain, despite a 12 match ban for biting a player during the 2014 FIFA world cup still active. He alongside Neymar JR and Lionel Messi make up the first line of attack, making the trio the best attack combination in terms of goals in between them. He has already scored 72 goals in 81 appearances for the Catalans, and has been capped 90 times by Uruguay, scoring 47 goals.
4. Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli to Juventus, 2016) £75.3m
Juventus is Italy’s ost successful club in terms of trophies won. Gonzalo Higuain is a talisman on the pitch with a venomous right foot ans a third eye for goals. Hailing from a footballing family, Higuain started showing his potential at a young age, making his professional debut at River Plate FC. It took him only 12 appearances and five goals before Spanish giants Real Madrid snubbed him. 190 appearances and 107 goals later he moved to Napoli and would later move to Juventus for a club record transfer fee of £75.3 million. He is also a significant player for the French National team, having 33 goals in 68 appearances.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United to Real Madrid, 2009) £80m
When Christiano Ronaldo made his professional debut at Sporting CF back in Portugal, little did the world know he would become one of the greatest players in world football. At 18 years then Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson took him under his wings and it was then that his full potential would show. in 2009, Real Madrid came calling and he answered.
A then record $82 million signing, he went on to make his mark as the best Real Madrid player. He smashed almost every other record for the club in terms of goals, appearances and most successful player the club has ever fielded. His 50+ goals per season in six consecutive seasons him break the record for most goals for a single club in Spanish football. He has four Ballon d’Or awards to his name amongst a host of other coveted awards.
2. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid, 2013) £86m
Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is another gem in world football. His star started shining while at English side Tottenham Hotspur and since then, he has established himself in one of football’s most prestigious clubs. He made his professional football debut at Southampton’s youth team, going on to become one of the most expensive players in the history of the sport. Despite his interest in Hockey and Rugby, Bale always had a soft spot for football.
He started off as a left back, with his flair down the flank and versatile playing capabilities. He would then make a switch to attack, and his star shone brightest at that position. Now regarded as one of the best wingers in the game, he is settled at Real Madrid alongside equally expensive Portuguese star Christiano Ronaldo. He has scored 52 goals for Real Madrid from 92 appearances.
1. Paul Pogba (Juventus to Manchester United, 2016) £89.2m
When Manchester United literally gave away Paul Pogba to Juventus back in 2012, little was known of the player’s potential. Fast forward 2016, Manchester United smashed the record for most expensive player, resigning Pogba for a fee believed to be in the region of $93.2 million. This transfer was justified, to say the least.
The lad while at Juventus wore the coveted number 10 jersey with pride, helping the Italian giants to four consecutive league titles and two other domestic titles. He won the Golden Boy Award in 2012. Since signing for Manchester United he has already scored four goals. Alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he is part of the club’s plans to bring back the glory days.
Player signing is always serious business, with the uprise of young stars very ready to take up Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and crew, the football transfer market is heating up. the English league is the most lucrative league in the world, and the rest do not come close, well apart from FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. China is already giving European managers sleepless nights, and nerve wrecking transfer seasons, some terming the country’s player transfer moves as ‘’dangerous for football’’