Lewandowski, Willian, Beckham: What is the most valuable free transfer in football history?

Robert Lewandowski - what a player!

Unlike the rest of us, Robert Lewandowski doesn't want 2020 to end.

This year has been the best of the Bayern Munich striker's career and he deservedly received the The Best FIFA Men's Player award on Thursday evening.

Lewandowski has scored goals with frightening regularity in 2020 and he was the catalyst for Bayern's treble-winning season in 2019/20.

The Pole has been firing on all cylinders this campaign too, notching 15 goals and four assists in his first 11 Bundesliga games.

Lewandowski's success at Bayern is made all the more sweeter for the club's fans by virtue of the fact that he didn't cost a penny in transfer fees.

Lewandowski with his trophies

So how does the 32-year-old's move from Borussia Dortmund in 2014 rank among other high-profile free transfers?

Well, you're about to find out. Below, we've provided the 30 most valuable free transfers in football history according to each player's value at the time of their respective move.

All data sourced from Transfermarkt.

The 30 most valuable free transfers in history

30. David Beckham, 2007 (Real Madrid to LA Galaxy)

Market value: €19.8m

=18. Dani Parejo, 2020 (Valencia to Villarreal)

Market value: €20m

=18. Mario Balotelli, 2019 (Marseille to Brescia)

Market value: €20m

=18. Diego Godin, 2019 (Atletico Madrid to Inter Milan)

Market value: €20m

=18. Mario Balotelli, 2018 (Nice to Marseille)

Market value: €20m


=18. Jack Wilshere, 2018 (Arsenal to West Ham)

Market value: €20m

=18. Yevhen Konoplyanka, 2015 (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk to Sevilla)

Market value: €20m

=18. Sami Khedira, 2015 (Real Madrid to Juventus)

Market value: €20m

=18. Keisuke Honda, 2013 (CSKA Moscow to AC Milan)

Market value: €20m

=18. Fernando Llorente, 2013 (Athletic Bilbao to Juventus)

Market value: €20m

Llorente with Juventus

=18. Michael Ballack, 2010 (Chelsea to Bayer Leverkusen)

Market value: €20m

=18. Luis Figo, 2005 (Real Madrid to Inter Milan)

Market value: €20m

=18. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 2020 (Arsenal to AS Roma)

Market value: €20m

=16. Yacine Brahimi, 2019 (FC Porto to Al-Rayyan)

Market value: €21m

=16. Joe Cole, 2010 (Chelsea to Liverpool)

Market value: €21m

Cole with Liverpool

=14. Hector Herrera, 2019 (FC Porto to Atletico Madrid)

Market value: €22m

=14. Samuel Eto'o, 2013 (Anzhi Makhachkala to Chelsea)

Market value: €22m

13. Willian, 2020 (Chelsea to Arsenal)

Market value: €22.5m

12. Thomas Meunier, 2020 (Paris Saint-Germain to Borussia Dortmund)

Market value: €24m

11. Ander Herrera, 2019 (Manchester United to Paris Saint-Germain)

Market value: €25m

Herrera in action for PSG

10. Luis Suarez, 2020 (Barcelona to Atletico Madrid)

Market value: €28m

=8. Santi Mina, 2019 (Valencia to Celta Vigo)

Market value: €30m

=8. Emre Can, 2018 (Liverpool to Juventus)

Market value: €30m

7. James Rodriguez, 2020 (Real Madrid to Everton)

Market value: €32m

=5. Adrien Rabiot, 2019 (Paris Saint-Germain to Juventus)

Market value: €35m

Rabiot with Juventus

=5. Michael Ballack, 2006 (Bayern Munich to Chelsea)

Market value: €35m

=2. Aaron Ramsey, 2019 (Arsenal to Juventus)

Market value: €40m

=2. Leon Goretzka, 2018 (Schalke to Bayern Munich)

Market value: €40m

=2. Stefan de Vrij, 2018 (Lazio to Inter Milan)

Market value: €40m

1. Robert Lewandowski, 2014 (Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich)

Market value: €50m

Lewandowski celebrates

Lewandowski's move to Bayern is without question the finest free transfer of the modern era and it's hard to see how it can be topped.

Although, Lionel Messi is likely to leave Barcelona when his contract expires next summer...

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