The most expensive transfer from FIFA’s top 25 countries

Date published: Friday 8th May 2020 8:51

Virgil van Dijk Sadio Mane Liverpool

A few of these transfer records could be broken this summer. Timo Werner could be the most expensive German, Jadon Sancho the most expensive Englishman and Kalidou Koulibaly the most expensive Senegalese of all time. We go in order of FIFA ranking…


Belgium: Eden Hazard (Chelsea to Real Madrid – £90m)
Three separate injuries have made this a pretty rotten season for Hazard after taking over from Romelu Lukaku as Belgium’s most expensive footballer. The best is surely yet to come…


France: Kylian Mbappe (Monaco to PSG – £166.4million)
Stupid money but a sound investment as Mbappe is one of the best players in the world at just 21. He has scored 30 goals in 33 games this season and PSG are said to be keen to reward him to the tune of £600,000 a week. What global recession?


Brazil: Neymar (Barcelona to PSG – £198million)
Really stupid money. And he has spent almost the entire time trying to get back to Barcelona.


England: Harry Maguire (Leicester City to Man United – £80m)
And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a transfer genius for making it happen. Or something. This record will surely tumble as long as Manchester United do not lose their nerve.


Uruguay: Luis Suarez (Liverpool to Barcelona – £65million)
Just imagine if Arsenal hadn’t fannied about with their £40,000,001 bid in 2013 and instead bumped it up to £50million, they might have won the title again by now. Luckily for Suarez, they didn’t and Barcelona did the job properly a year later.


Croatia: Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid to Chelsea – £40.5million)
We made him our Chelsea player of the season. Remarkable as they probably would have refused the option of a permanent deal if they were allowed to sign anybody else.


Portugal: Joao Felix (Benfica to Atletico Madrid – £113m)
Four goals and one La Liga assist is a pitiful return on that kind of investment but a) there have been injuries and b) he is only 20. But then Anfield happened…


Spain: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea – £71.6million)
It does seem bizarre that Spain’s most expensive footballer is a goalkeeper. Particularly as he is not a very good goalkeeper.


Argentina: Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli to Juventus – £75.3million)
This record will be blown to pieces when Lionel Messi eventually joins Man City for a billion quid. Any day now…


Colombia: James Rodriguez (Monaco to Real Madrid – £71million)
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.


Mexico: Hirving Lozano (PSV Eindhoven to Napoli – £36m)
Two Serie A goals and one assist can be filed under ‘paltry return’. By the time of football’s pause, Lozano was established on the Napoli bench. Manchester United might be about to break another record…


Switzerland: Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach to Arsenal – £33.8million)
Eleven games unbeaten now for Xhaka in the Premier League after his rehabilitation following the f***ing sweary fall-out with Arsenal fans. Are we in ‘bargain’ territory again yet?


Italy: Jorginho (Napoli to Chelsea – £57million)
Like the great man himself, Gianluigi Buffon’s record couldn’t go on forever. Not when Chelsea were willing to blow Man City out of the water for Maurizio Sarri’s main man.


Netherlands: Virgil van Dijk (Southampton to Liverpool – £75million)
That price now looks cheap.


Germany: Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid to Arsenal – £42.4million)
This is an oddly low record sure to fall to either Timo Werner or Leroy Sane this summer.


Denmark: Joachim Andersen (Sampdoria to Lyon – £21.6m)
Lyon’s record transfer but the centre-half is not first choice for either club or country. Astonishingly, their most expensive player has only ever played seven minutes for Denmark as Simon Kjaer and former Huddersfield Town man Zanka are an established pair.


Chile: Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona to Arsenal – £35million)
Three of the four most valuable transfers of Chilean footballers have involved Alexis Sanchez, who used to be astonishingly good.


Sweden: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan to Barcelona – £56million)
Zlatan’s biggest transfer was the one that didn’t really work out.


Poland: Krzysztof Piatek (Genoa to AC Milan – £31.5m)

And a year later he moved to Hertha Berlin for about £10m less.


Senegal: Sadio Mane (Southampton to Liverpool – £34million)
Liverpool made Mane the most expensive African player in history in 2016. He has now dropped down that list but will remain Senegal’s most expensive until Kalidou Koulibaly moves to Newcastle.


Peru: Juan Manuel Vargas (Catania to Fiorentina – £9.5million)
The Peruvian utility man looked set to join Real Madrid in 2008 but opted for Florence instead. That is a laughably low record.


USA: Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea – £58.3million)
Is he any good? The jury is very much out and could yet be out for a while.


Wales: Gareth Bale (Tottenham to Real Madrid – £85.3million)
Joe Allen, the Welsh Xavi, is a close second at £15million.


Ukraine: Andrei Shevchenko (Milan to Chelsea – £30.8m)
It did not go well. And that record is now 14 years old.


Venezuela: Salomon Rondon (West Brom to Dalian Yifang – £16.5m)
We’re not saying that Venezuela are a one-man team but four of their five biggest transfers were for Salomon Rondon. A reminder: Mike Ashley thought £16.5m was too much so paid £40m for Joelinton.


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