Last week we covered players at different ages, now it’s the turn of nationalities. These are presented in FIFA ranking order…
Argentina – Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli to Juventus, £75.3m)
An awful lot of money for a 28-year-old, and Higuain is also the most expensive player from the world’s No. 1. Shame Lionel Messi is going to join Manchester City for £200m in the next transfer window. Or the next. Or the next. Or the…
Brazil – Oscar (Chelsea to Shanghai SIPG, £60m)
Neymar’s transfer fee is as murky as a muddy, oily puddle, but we’re going with the official amount of £57m-ish that means Oscar pips him to the post. Is he the best Brazilian player? No. Is he in the top 20? Maybe not. Is he the most expensive? Yes, ridiculously.
Germany – Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid to Arsenal, £42m)
Arsenal are responsible for three signings on this list, more than any other English club. The first is Ozil, the most expensive German player in history. Ten nations have more expensive players than Germany, which suggests two things: 1) German players are bargains. 2) They produce teams, not individuals.
Chile – Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona to Arsenal, £35m)
The leader of Arsenal and the leader of Chile, Sanchez is worth every bloody penny of those £35m. That won’t change even if he takes Atom, Humber and that smiling Instagram persona with him to Manchester City, Bayern Munich or Juventus for nothing next year.
Alexis Sanchez has now been directly involved in 28 goals in 29 games for Arsenal across all competitions this season.
Can't stay away. pic.twitter.com/mnreGzOIpe
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 28, 2017
Belgium – Kevin de Bruyne (Wolfsburg to Manchester City, £55m)
Want a laugh? Second to De Bruyne on this list is the £32.5m that Liverpool paid Aston Villa for Christian Benteke. Full pockets truly do make for foolish shoppers.
Colombia – James Rodriguez (Monaco to Real Madrid, £71m)
The name is Bond, James Rodriguez, and he’s on our list. Ham-ez is actually the first and third most expensive Colombian signing, with both his moves to and from Monaco sandwiching Radamel Falcao’s move to Monaco and just ahead of Jackson Martinez’s jaunt to China. There’s not a lot of value for money to be found here.
France – Paul Pogba (Juventus to Manchester United, £89.3m)
He moved for a big fee – you might have heard about it. You might be sick about middle-aged white writers tutting about the number of different haircuts and dances he’s done, too.
Portugal – Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United to Real Madrid, £80m)
Being the third most expensive player in history and also a sensational bargain. Ronaldo that…
Uruguay – Luis Suarez (Liverpool to Barcelona, £65m)
No really, what were they smoking over at the Emirates? Had Arsenal offered £10m more, they would surely have won the Premier League by now
Luis Suarez turned 30 today. Here is every goal he scored for Liverpool. Genius… pic.twitter.com/mbe7ewufm2
— LFCMostar (@LFCMostar) January 24, 2017
Spain – Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea, £50m)
For all Spain’s dominance on the international stage between 2008 and 2012, Torres and Juan Mata are the only Spanish players to move for more than £30m. Funny ol’ game, Saint.
Switzerland – Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach to Arsenal, £33.8m)
Oh Granit, we have given you some stick of late, probably because you’ve been really disappointing. Sanchez and Ozil make up two of Arsenal’s three representatives and have given great value for money. Xhaka still has plenty of way to go.
Wales – Gareth Bale (Tottenham to Real Madrid, £85.3m)
It’s about this time that I shake my head and realise that England have let Wales get above them in FIFA’s rankings. For shame, Roy Hodgson. For shame.
England – Raheem Sterling (Liverpool to Manchester City, £49m)
We know that he shops at Poundland, drives a dirty car, goes to Greggs occasionally and buys houses for his Mum. You might think that’s par for the course when you move for £49m and Sterling should suck it up. But if you do think that, you’re a moron.
The Daily Star victimise Raheem Sterling for the third time in a week. This isn't journalism. This isn't acceptable. pic.twitter.com/8qv378ZtkU
— Football365 (@F365) January 29, 2017
Croatia – Luka Modric (Tottenham to Real Madrid, £30m)
The second best Real Madrid signing of the last ten years? There’s certainly an argument for Modric the magician, who would have been good value at double the price.
Poland – Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla to Paris St Germain, £34m)
Robert Lewandowski might be better, but Krychowiak’s move to Paris makes him the most expensive, with ease. With Lewandowski turning 29 this year and Poland’s golden generation past their best, this could last for a heck of a long time…
Italy – Gianluigi Buffon (Parma to Juventus, £32.6m)
…but surely not as long as this one. Buffon’s move in 2001 is still the highest fee for a goalkeeper and the highest fee for an Italian, which is absolutely mad when you consider how much the game has changed in that period. Even more weird is the fact that Christian Vieri is second, and his big-money move came two years earlier.
Long may the magic continue ⚪️⚫️
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) January 28, 2017
Costa Rica – Bryan Ruiz (FC Twente to Fulham, £10.6m)
When I started this list, I didn’t think Fulham would be getting a big shout out. Costa Rica’s performance over the last five years really has been impressive.
Mexico – Raul Jimenez (Atletico Madrid to Benfica, £18.7m)
A reported transfer target for Liverpool, any move would allow Jimenez to break his own national record. Atletico Madrid somehow made almost £10m profit on a striker who scored one goal in 27 matches during his time at the club.
Peru – Juan Vargas (Catania to Fiorentina, £10.2m)
Only the third player on this list bought by an Italian club, and comfortably the most forgettable. It’s now getting on for nine years since Fiorentina paid Catania over £10m to sign a 24-year-old winger amid rumoured interest from Real Madrid.
Ecuador – Antonio Valencia (Wigan Athletic to Manchester United, £16m)
Find me a more hard-working player on this list, and I’ll find you a liar.