Who Are the World’s Most Expensive Football Players?

Published August 9th, 2021 - 07:47 GMT
football industry
Football, aka soccer, has become more than just a sports game. (Shutterstock: Yiorgos GR)

For days now, football fans and professionals have been closely watching the news of Lionel Messi's decision to discontinue playing for FC Barcelona, wondering if there is any deal that can get the 34-year old player to stay in the club he has played for throughout his professional career.

According to FC Barcelona statements, the decision to let go of the Argentine star is connected to La Liga's 2013 rule in terms of players' wages not exceeding 70% of the club's revenues, which meant a whopping decrease in Messi's and other players salaries for the season following the COVID19 pandemic.

The disappointment sweeping through Messi's fans across the world knowing that the damaging financial impact of the pandemic on the football industry is the reason their favorite player will no longer play for FC Barcelona has triggered questions over the expenses of football stars in today's world.

In this article, we will explore the most expensive football players in 2021, and the clubs they play for.

1. Neymar

Neymar

In 2017, the 29-year old Brazilian player left FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for $260 million, in what continues to be the world's biggest football acquisition. 

2. Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe

The 22-year old French footballer also joined Paris Saint-Germain coming from AS Monaco for more than $211 million.

3. Joao Felix

Joao Felix

Leaving Benfica in his home country of Portugal to Spain's Atletico Madrid, Felix's contract approached $148 million.

4. Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho

The Brazillian midfielder left Liverpool in 2018 headed to FC Barcelona for a total of $145 million.

5. Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann

A year after being crowned as a 2018 world champion along with the French national team, Griezmann joined FC Barcelona coming from Atletico Madrid for more than $141 million. 

6. Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish

In one of the most recent transfers in the football world, the English winger left Aston Villa to Manchester City for about $137 million. 

7. Ousmane Dembele

Ousmane Dembele

In 2017, the French footballer left German-based Borussia Dortmund to FC Barcelona for about $123 million.

8. Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba

In 2016, the French midfielder left Juventus to play for Manchester United for about $123 million.

9. Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

The Welsh winger left Tottenham in 2013 to play for Real Madrid in exchange for a little more than $118 million.

10. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Finally, Messi's rival's transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus in 2018 cost about $117 million.


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