How the cost of the world's most expensive player in each position has changed since 2000

It’s still incredible to think that a player exchanged football clubs for a fee of €222 million.

Neymar’s stunning move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 was a reminder that football operates in its own stratosphere.

Transfer fees will continue to rise as television and sponsorship deals give clubs more money to spend.

In 2000, the most-expensive transfer fee in history was Luis Figo, who left Barcelona for rivals Real Madrid for €60m.

Now, 20 years on, the record fee is more than €200m. Crazy.

We’ve decided to take a look to see how the record fee has changed in every position over the past 20 years.

There’s an increase of €182m in one position…

All figures are taken from


2000: €19m – Angelo Peruzzi (Juventus to Inter Milan, 1999)

2020: €80m – Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea, 2018)

Increase: €61m


2000: €10.7m – Lauren (Real Mallorca to Arsenal, 2000)

2020: €65m – Joao Cancelo (Juventus to Manchester City, 2019)

Increase: €54.3m


2000: €26m – Rio Ferdinand (West Ham United to Leeds United, 2000)

2020: €87m – Harry Maguire (Leicester City to Manchester United, 2019)

Increase: €61m


2000: €10.5m – Graeme Le Saux (Blackburn Rovers to Chelsea, 1997)

2020: €57.5m – Benjamin Mendy (Monaco to Manchester City, 2017)

Increase: €47m

Defensive midfield:

2000: €18m – Emerson (Bayer Leverkusen to Roma, 2000)

2020: €70m – Rodri (Atletico Madrid to Manchester City, 2019)

Increase: €52m

Right midfield:

2000: €12m – Ibrahim Ba (Bordeaux to AC Milan, 1997)

2020: €48m – Gaizka Mendieta (Valencia to Lazio, 2001)

Increase: €36m

Central midfield: 

2000: €30m – Juan Sebastian Veron (Parma to Lazio, 1999)

2020: €105m – Paul Pogba (Juventus to Manchester United, 2016)

Increase: €75m

Left midfield:

2000: €12.6m – Jörg Heinrich (Borussia Dortmund to Fiorentina, 1998)

2020: €38.7m – Pavel Nedved (Lazio to Juventus, 2001)

Increase: €26.1m

Attacking midfield:

2000: €23.5m – Rivaldo (Deportivo La Coruna to Barcelona, 1997)

2020: €145m – Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool to Barcelona, 2018)

Increase: €121.5m

Right winger:

2000: €60m – Luis Figo (Barcelona to Real Madrid, 2000)

2020: €125m – Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona, 2017)

Increase: €65m

Left winger:

2000: €40m – Marc Overmars (Arsenal to Barcelona, 2000)

2020: €222m – Neymar (Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, 2017)

Increase: €182m


2000: €56.81m – Hernan Crespo (Parma to Lazio, 2000)

2020: €145m – Kylian Mbappe (Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain, 2018)

Increase: €88.19m

Interesting, huh?

The lowest increases come in the right and left midfield positions, although they are less common these days with the fall of the 4-4-2 formation.

The advanced positions were the most expensive 20 years ago and that hasn’t changed.

In fact, the biggest increases come in the attacking positions, with the most-expensive left winger today costing €182m more than in 2000.

Transfer fees have gone beyond the point of ridiculous and at this point, it seems to be a question of just how high they will go.

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