Top 10 players with highest career transfer fees

FUSSBALL: WM FRANCE 98 Marseille, 27.06.98
Ayush Roy

Transfers and their values are one of the most discussed topics in modern-day football, with the world’s best players and their clubs demanding a massive price for their services.

The highest transfer fees ever paid in the history of the game might have been for Gareth Bale over the summer, but there are others who have accumulated even higher amounts while moving from club to club through their career. Here is the list of players who have demanded the highest transfer fees in the history of football.

Note that this is a list of players who have had the most transfer fees spent on them throughout their career, and not just for a single transfer.

10. Christian Vieri

The most expensive footballer in the world in 1999 when Inter Milan paid Lazio £34 million for him, Vieri starts our countdown of the most valuable players in the history of football.

The Italian international is the joint-highest goalscorer for his country in World Cups, scoring 9 goals from 9 games, and was also a prolific goalscorer at club level as well.

Clubs played for - Torino, Pisa, Ravenna, Venezia, Atalanta, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Lazio, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Monaco, Sampdoria, Fiorentina

Combined transfer fees – £77 million

9. Ronaldo

Ronaldo of Brazil

Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo comes in at ninth on this list, with £89 million spent on the striker throughout his career.

Along with multiple honours at the club level, Ronaldo has lifted the FIFA World Cup twice, and is still the highest goalscorer in the history of the competition.

Clubs played for - Cruzeiro, PSV, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Corinthians

Combined transfer fees – £89 million

8. Robbie Keane

Tottenham Hotspur v Fiorentina

Standing at number eight, Robbie Keane is a name not many would have expected on this list. However, the Irish veteran has accumulated the transfer fees moving from club to club in the Premier League, and is now playing for Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS.

Clubs played for - Wolverhampton Wanderers, Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Celtic, West Ham United, Los Angeles Galaxy, Aston Villa

Combined transfer fees – £91 million

7. Gareth Bale

Tottenham Hotspur FC v Olympique Lyonnais - UEFA Europa League Round of 32

The two-time PFA Player of the Year climbs high on this list on the back of his world-record £85 million transfer to Real Madrid over the summer, with the Welshman lying just one spot under teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.

Only 24 years of age, Bale has joined one of the biggest clubs in the world, and could easily reach top spot on this list by the end of his career, if he does end up moving away from the Bernabeu.

Clubs played for - Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid

Combined transfer fees – £92 million

6. Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid CF v Real Sporting de Gijon  - Liga BBVA

Former FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo stands at number six on this list on the back of his then-world record £80 million move to Real Madrid after a successful spell at Manchester United.

With a scoring rate of more than one goal a game, Ronaldo has become a massive success at Madrid, and is unlikely to move elsewhere after signing a contract extension that will keep him at the club till 2018.

Clubs played for - Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid

Combined transfer fees – £98 million

5. Radamel Falcao

Club Atletico de Madrid v Sevilla FC - La Liga

Colombian striker Falcao breaks the top five of this list following a big-money move to super-rich AS Monaco this summer.

The striker moved to the Ligue 1 club for over £50 million this summer, and has already started raking in the goals, much like his form for previous club Atletico Madrid.

Clubs played for - Lanceros Boyaca, River Plate, Porto, Atletico Madrid, AS Monaco

Combined transfer fees – £99 million

4. Juan Sebastian Veron

Estudiantes v Alianza Lima - 2010 Libertadores

One of four South Americans on this list, Juan Sebastian Veron stands at number four, propelled by his four big-money moves in five years between 1998 and 2003.

The only central midfielder on this list, Veron still plays professionally for Estudiantes at the age of 38.

Clubs played for - Estudiantes, Boca Juniors, Sampdoria, Parma, Lazio, Manchester United, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Brandsen

Combined transfer fees – £103 million

3. Hernan Crespo

Chelsea v West Ham United

Legendary Argentine striker Hernan Crespo played multiple Italian clubs throughout his career, even getting a taste of English football during a stint with Chelsea.

He won the league in three different countries, along with continental titles in Europe and South America.

Clubs played for - River Plate, Parma, Lazio, Inter Milan, Chelsea, AC Milan, Genoa, Parma

Combined transfer fees – £106 million

2. Nicolas Anelka

Chelsea v CFR Cluj-Napoca - UEFA Champions League

There are only very few big European clubs that Nicolas Anelka has not played for. The French international has been playing professionally for over 17 years now, plying his trade in six different countries.

He has also won a lot of major honours, like the Premier League, FA Cup, Serie A, UEFA Champions League, European Championship and FIFA Confederations Cup.

Clubs played for - Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City, Fenerbahce, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, Shanghai Shenhua, Juventus, West Bromwich Albion

Combined transfer fees – £114 million

1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Paris Saint-Germain FC v FC Dynamo Kiev - UEFA Champions League

One of Europe’s best marksmen currently, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has travelled to multiple clubs throughout his career, and has enjoyed great success wherever he has played.

He has won league titles in four different countries (Eredivisie twice, Serie A six times, La Liga once, Ligue 1 once), along with multiple other individual honours, good reason for the money that has been spent on him during his career.

Clubs played for - Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain

Combined transfer fees – £149 million

*All stats taken from TransferMarkt.

Edited by Staff Editor


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