The most expensive player from each of the top 25 countries features an awful lot of Chelsea

Sadio Mane, Granit Xhaka and Kylian Mbappe

Presented in FIFA ranking order, we bring you the most expensive players from the top 25 nations…


1) Argentina: Enzo Fernandez (Benfica to Chelsea – £105million)
Obviously a baller, but even for a World Cup winner this was a lot of money. Double the going rate, surely. Not remotely the daftest transfer antics of Chelsea’s last 12 months, though, bless ‘em.


2) France: Kylian Mbappe (Monaco to PSG – £166.4million)
Looks a sound investment for a phenomenal player until the minute he leaves for nothing next summer.


3) Brazil: Neymar (Barcelona to PSG – £198million)
Won eight French trinkets. Has never looked remotely happy or settled.


4) England: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa to Manchester City – £100million)
At least until Arsenal’s lawyers pull their fingers out.


5) Belgium: Eden Hazard (Chelsea to Real Madrid – £103.5m)
Seven goals in 76 games for Real Madrid and now out of contract and without a club. It really didn’t go well.


6) Croatia: Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid to Chelsea – £40.5million)
Three of the six most expensive Croatian transfers of all time are Kovacic. Doesn’t sit quite right, does it?


7) Netherlands: Virgil van Dijk (Southampton to Liverpool – £75million)
Cheap at twice the price. Great pretenders Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong both moved for marginally less.


8) Italy: Jorginho (Napoli to Chelsea – £57million)
Slightly more than Newcastle have paid for Sandro Tonali. We think. Transfer fees and exchange rates being notoriously tricky to pin down.


9) Portugal: Joao Felix (Benfica to Atletico Madrid – £114.5million)
It’s been a bit hit and miss, and the ill-fated loan spell at Chelsea was definitely more miss than hit. Available for purchase/loan once again this summer. It won’t be to Chelsea. Surely. Can never rule out anything with those daft lads, though.


10) Spain: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea – £71.6million)
This will never not be funny. Can everyone agree not to sign any Spanish lads for more than this, yeah?


11) USA: Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea – £58.3million)
Heading to Milan for slightly less after a Chelsea career that just never really got going.


12) Switzerland: Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach to Arsenal – £33.8million)
It looked like a disaster on about 427 separate occasions but Xhaka finally departed as a member of an excellent and likeable Arsenal side.


13) Morocco: Achraf Hakimi (Inter Milan to PSG – £60million)
Could be on the move again after just two years in Paris. Man City are keen.


14) Mexico: Hirving Lozano (PSV Eindhoven to Napoli – £36million)
There’s no doubt that Napoli would have expected more bang for their buck than 30 goals and 17 assists in 155 games.


15) Germany: Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea – £72million)
Slightly more than Arsenal spent on him this summer, meaning he is Germany’s best two players of all time. That’s just maths.

16) Uruguay: Luis Suarez (Liverpool to Barcelona – £65million)
Just the 195 goals and 113 assists in 283 games for Barcelona make Suarez one of the few undisputed hits on the list.


17) Colombia: James Rodriguez (Monaco to Real Madrid – £71million)
Currently without a club after recent shortish spells in Qatar and Greece.


18) Senegal: Sadio Mane (Southampton to Liverpool – £34million)
A Premier League and a Champions League later, an absolute bargain. His £30m move to Bayern six years later, not so much.


19) Denmark: Joachim Andersen (Sampdoria to Lyon – £21.6million)
There are various Danish players who have moved for very similar fees – Christian Eriksen, Jannik Vestergaard, Kasper Dolberg, Thomas Delaney – but this 2019 deal looks the likeliest to have topped £20m. Lyon had to sell their captain to Crystal Palace two years later at a loss.


20) Japan: Shoya Nakajima (Portimonense to Al-Duhail – £31.5million)
Never heard of him? Of course you haven’t. A Japanese player left a Portuguese club for a Qatari one in February 2019 and joined Porto a few months later for a third of the price. He has since been on loan to a UAE club and Portimonense again before a free transfer to Antalyaspor and, as of right now, is without a club. All sounds perfectly normal and above board.


21) Peru: Juan Manuel Vargas (Catania to Fiorentina – £9.5million)
It’s a record that has stood for 15 years and may well stand for 15 years more.


22) Iran: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar to Brighton – £17million)
Three years later, he was sold for less than £1m to Feyenoord, where he has 16 goals in 83 games. Which is better than the four in 61 he managed at Brighton. They don’t get all of them right.


23) Sweden: Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad to Newcastle – £63million)
So far so good for Isak on Tyneside. He and his club will hope this isn’t the only Zlatan record he breaks.


24) Ukraine: Mykhaylo Mudryk (Shakhtar Donetsk to Chelsea – £62million)
Could be north of £80m with all the add-ons. No need to worry too much about those just yet.


25) Serbia: Dusan Vlahovic (Fiorentina to Juventus – £62.8million)
Joined Juventus last January having been linked heavily with a Premier League move. We’re back to square one on that front with Chelsea and Spurs both reportedly keen but PSG the likeliest because, well, obviously.