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Top 10 Most Expensive Football Players of all time

Wednesday, August 24th 2011. | Sport

A few players that don’t exactly scream world-class managed to accumulate a total transfer fee of more than 90.000.000€ despite being never considered one of the very best in his position. Just to give you an idea how weird this list is Kaka did not make it. Yes, Real Madrid’s second most expensive signing of all-time didn’t crack the top 10 whilst some others surpassed him quite easily. If you have asked yourself how some clubs (my beloved FC Barcelona among them) can accumulate so much debt, this list shows you some of the most outrageous transfers ever sanctioned. Please enjoy how some of these players wind up being the top 10 most expensive football players of all-time.


10. Zinedine Zidane – 84.000.000€

zinedine zidane Top 10 Most Expensive Football Players of all time

zinedine zidane

Arguably the finest player of his generation, and at one point the most expensive signing ever made. He is also the most accomplished player on this list. Things must really be messed up if one of the greatest footballers of all-time barely edges out Arjen Robben (total transfer value: 82.300.000€) for a top ten place.


9. Robinho – 85.000.000

Robinho Top 10 Most Expensive Football Players of all time


Another Los Blancos purchase that made the list, although the obviously gifted Brazilian is better known for his off-field antics. A certified troublemaker, drama has followed him wherever he went. Even his transfer from Santos FC to Real Madrid has been anything but a smooth operation.

8. Christian Vieri – 87.500.000€

vieri Top 10 Most Expensive Football Players of all time


There was no doubt that at the beginning of this decade the Italian gave, his then teammate, the original Ronaldo, a run for his money as the best striker in the world. Nowadays he is running a fashion label with his friend and fellow former Italian international, the impeccable Paolo Maldini.


7. Robbie Keane – 97.700.000€

Robie Keane Top 10 Most Expensive Football Players of all time

Robie Keane

Robbie Keane has cost more than Zinedine Zidane. This will mark about the only time that Robbie Keane joins Zinedine Zidane in a top 10 list of anything. To make things weirder as they are, he even ranks higher than the legendary Frenchman.


6. Ronaldo – 100.975.000€

ronaldo Top 10 Most Expensive Football Players of all time


Il Phenomeno the original Ronaldo, an all-time great, arguably the greatest striker of his generation he definitely warrants a place among the most expensive signings ever. He also holds the distinction of having played for some of greatest rivals in football, FC Barcelona/Real Madrid; Inter Milan/AC Milan.


5. Cristiano Ronaldo – 111.500.000€

cristiano ronald Top 10 Most Expensive Football Players of all time

cristiano ronald

The Portuguese player has thus proved to be good value for his new employers Real Madrid. The third and last Ballon d’Or & World Player Of The Year recipient on this—I’d love to say exclusive but it really isn’t—list. I was wondering why Real Madrid would shell out this much money for a player. But after realizing that a so-so player like Robbie Keane can command upwards of 90.000.000€ in accumulated transfer fees, I assume Ronaldo’s price tag was more than justified.

4. Juan Sebastian Veron – 117.000.000€
Juan Sebastian Veron Top 10 Most Expensive Football Players of all time

Juan Sebastian Veron

The Argentinean midfielder was among the finest players at his position. He just made an ill-advised move to England where his style didn’t really mesh with the fast-paced nature of the Premier League.

3. Hernan Crespo - 121.000.000€
Hernan Crespo Top 10 Most Expensive Football Players of all time

Hernan Crespo

Another one of Chelsea’s super expensive flops, this one actually cracked the top three. Crespo must not know when to call it quits because he is still playing. If Gennaro Gattuso is past it, then Hernan Crespo is something else. But there was a time when Crespo’s name would strike fear into any defense in Italy as well as Europe. Somebody please remind him that those days are long gone.


2. Nicolas Anelka – 128.600.000€

Nicolas Anelka Top 10 Most Expensive Football Players of all time

Nicolas Anelka

The football version of a restless nomad, the Frenchman must have played in every league across Europe you can imagine. Though he is not known for his exceptional goal-scoring exploits, this striker has somehow managed to play for some of the biggest clubs in world football. To this day Le Sulk has never lived up to the promise he has shown as an Arsenal youngster. One can only assume that with the right frame of mind this player could’ve gone on to achieve big things in football.


1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 150.600.000€

zlatan ibrahimovic Top 10 Most Expensive Football Players of all time

zlatan ibrahimovic

He is arguably the most gifted striker of his generation, he has the height, power, technique, composure, and flair. But for some reason he always comes up short on the European stage. Whether it is the European Championships or the UEFA Champions League, he somehow manages to disappear in the knock-out stages. Not to suggest that his is not a top quality player, but his form can be erratic at times. In a good but not great Inter Milan side he was the main inspiration of goals. In Barcelona a team revered for its one-touch football, he looked like a foreign object even though he possesses all the required skills to succeeded in Catalunya. But even in defeat he wins, as his ill-fated spell in Barcelona made him the most expensive football player of all-time. His talents or to be more precise his attitude will still divide the public opinion, but based on sheer talent alone it’s okay that he makes this list although he shouldn’t come in at No. 1.

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