Paul Pogba’s world-record £89million move from Juventus to Manchester United has further highlighted football’s riches, with transfer fees likely to balloon in price even more in the near future.
Having had a look at the most expensive XIs in each of the ‘big five’ leagues, we now compile an XI of the most expensive signings so far in the history of the game, in each position.
GK: Gianluigi Buffon (£32.6million)
Juventus paid a world-record fee for a goalkeeper to lure Buffon from Parma in 2001, with the Italian still number one with the Turin side and with Italy 15 years later.
RB: Dani Alves (£27.5million)
The flying Brazilian right-back was the target of a stealthy swoop by Barcelona on Sevilla in 2008, and spent eight fruitful years at the Nou Camp before moving on to Juventus this summer.
CB: David Luiz (£50million)
The Brazilian is the most expensive defender on the list after his move from Chelsea to Paris St Germain was announced in June 2014.
CB: John Stones (£47.5million)
Second only behind Luiz in terms of the most expensive defenders in history, Manchester City could pay an eventual £50m for the Cruyff-turner if they win two Champions League trophies during his time there. All parties would be more than happy with that.
LB: Luke Shaw (£27million)
Shaw played for England at the 2014 World Cup aged just 18 before joining Manchester United.
RM: Angel di Maria (£59.7million)
A statement signing in its day, Louis van Gaal felt he had acquired the playmaker Manchester United needed in 2014 after making a huge investment in the Real Madrid player. It proved far from successful though, as Di Maria was shuffled off to PSG a year later.
CM: Paul Pogba (£89million)
Not a match-winner in the typical sense, but Manchester United believe Pogba will add the midfield quality they have lacked in recent seasons and turn the team into champions again, four years after he left for a tiny fee to join Juventus.
LM: James Rodriguez (£63million)
Real Madrid threw Monaco an estimated 80 million euros (worth £63million at the time) for the Colombian after he dazzled at the 2014 World Cup.
RF: Cristiano Ronaldo (£80million)
Ronaldo developed from a tricky winger into a goal machine while at Manchester United, and Real Madrid shattered the transfer world record in 2009 to land the Portugal star after a long pursuit. He has since become Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer.
CF: Gonzalo Higuain (£76.5million)
Juventus paid the release clause in Higuain’s Napoli contract this summer to land the Argentinian who last season scored an all-time record 36 goals in a Serie A season.
LF: Gareth Bale (£85.3million)
The Welshman shone in the Premier League and Europe for Tottenham, and Real Madrid had to break the world transfer record to take him to the Bernabeu in 2013. Madrid have secured two Champions League trophies during his three seasons at the club.
TOTAL COST: £623.6million