If you follow soccer, you’ll know that player movement doesn’t follow the traditional ‘trade’ model of the big North American sports. Instead, teams simply shell out cash and buy players they want. Over the years, the record transfer fee has grown to ridiculous proportions, climbing close to the 100 Million Euro mark. As the fight for Champions League supremacy rages on in Europe, teams are more willing to splurge for bigger names and better players than ever before. Foreign owners with deep pockets have contributed to driving prices up, up, and up some more. Many of the game’s best players have been transferred at some point in their career. Here are the most pricey player purchases of all time.
Price: €57 million in 2013 ($65 million USD)
Neymar joined Santos, a club team in Brazil, at the tender age of 11. By the time he was 17, he was part of their first team. By 19, he was South American Player of the Year. It wasn’t long before Europe came calling. Real Madrid and Chelsea were rumored to be interested, but in the end, Neymar landed at FC Barcelona. Alongside Messi and company, Neymar has made an immediate impact for the Catalan giants, as they challenge for La Liga and Chmapions League titles in his first year with the club. He is also expected to lead the next generation of the Brazilian national team, especially with a home World Cup in 2014.
(Note: Neymar was removed from this list after an investigation into his transfer, but we are keeping him at #14 on our list.)