Most Expensive Transfers in La Liga

The 10 Most Expensive Transfers In The History Of La Liga

La Liga is home to two of the most successful and influential clubs in world football, viz. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Not only have these juggernauts of Spanish football dominated on the pitch, but have exerted their dominance in other areas of operations too.

One key area remains in both these clubs’ abilities to exercise their financial muscle in their transfer market. So much so that nearly all of the most expensive transfers in La Liga are attributed to the pair.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the 10 most expensive transfers in La Liga history.

10. Frenkie de Jong (Ajax to Barcelona for €86 million)

Frenkie de Jong
De Jong signing for Barcelona. (Google Images)

De Jong left Ajax to move to Barcelona in July 2019 on the back of an incredible 2018/19 season on an individual and a team level. He made an incredible 52 appearances for the Eredivisie side across competitions, scoring three goals and providing four assists.

Playing alongside Jordie Clasie in midfield, with the likes of Dusan Tadic alongside as well, Ajax made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League in the 2018/19 season, defeating Real Madrid 5-3 on aggregate in the round of 16 as well. This caught Barca’s eye and they made the deal.

9. Neymar (Santos FC to Barcelona for €88 million)

Neymar had one of the most incredible stints at Barca. (Google Images)

One of the most highly-rated entities in the sport at the time, 21-year-old Neymar had taken the world by storm with his performances for Santos and Brazil. Blessed with a natural ability to dribble past players, Neymar was seen as the perfect complimentary piece alongside Lionel Messi as Barcelona looked to dominate.

Neymar made 23 appearances across competitions for Santos in the 2012/13 season, scoring 13 goals and providing eight assists. His skills on the pitch were too much for the Blaugrana to pass up on and they signed him in July 2013.

8. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United to Real Madrid for €94 million)

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo during his unveiling. (Google Images)

One of the most long-drawn sagas in English football back in the day, Real Madrid were linked with Cristiano Ronaldo for nearly a year before they finally signed him. This deal went down as the world-record for a transfer at the time.

Ronaldo was coming off the back of an incredible 2008/09 season with United. He made 53 appearances for the Red Devils across competitions, scoring 26 goals and providing 12 assists for his teammates. In fact, he made a new Premier League scoring record in 2007/08, netting 31 times in 34 Premier League games, which is bound to have caught Real Madrid’s eye.

7. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid for €101 million)

Gareth Bale
Bale during his unveiling. (Google Images)

The now-retired Welshman was coming off the back of an incredible 2012/13 season with Tottenham Hotspur as he completed his transition from left-back to left winger. He made 44 appearances for Spurs in that campaign and netted 26 goals and provided 10 assists.

This caught Real Madrid’s eye as they broke the world transfer record yet again in September 2013 by bringing Gareth Bale onboard.

6. Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid for €103 million)

Jude Bellingham
Bellingham has had an incredible debut season for Los Blancos. (Google Images)

The newest name on this top 10 most expensive transfers in La Liga list, Bellingham was linked with and scouted by several clubs. Liverpool were among the favourites to sign him but Florentino Perez and Real Madrid acted quickly to get the deal done.

Bellingham was coming off a highly-influential and breakthrough 2022/23 season with Dortmund, wherein he made 42 appearances across competitions, netting 14 goals and providing seven assists. Aged just 20 when he moved, the hefty fee seemed justified then and seems even more so now!

5. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid to Barcelona for €120 million)

Antoine Griezmann
Griezmann after signing for Barca. (Google Images)

One of the most highly-rated and sought after players of his generation, Griezmann was coming off the back of an incredible 2018/19 season for Atleti. In 48 appearances across competitions, the Frenchman netted 21 times and also provided 10 assists to his teammates.

Blessed with a wand of left foot and the innate ability to be a playmaker-striker, Griezmann was seen as the perfect fit in a Barcelona side that were transitioning. Many players were ageing and a creative spark was needed, so they broke the bank for Griezmann.

4. Eden Hazard (Chelsea to Real Madrid for €120.80 million)

Eden Hazard
Hazard during his signing. (Google Images)

In number four by a small margin, Hazard’s move to Real Madrid was seen as the second-coming of Cristiano Ronaldo’s move a decade ago. The Belgian sensation was 28 at the time but coming off an impressive 2018/19 season in the Premier League with the Blues. He made 52 appearances across competitions, netting 21 times and also bagging 17 assists.

Always eager to take on an opponent and blessed with two-footedness, Hazard was one of the prime attacking talents at the time, which prompted Real Madrid to make a quick and decisive offer to secure his services.

3. Joao Felix (SL Benfica to Atletico Madrid for €127.20 million)

Joao Felix
Felix is the most expensive player in Atleti’s history. (Google Images)

Aged just 19 at the time, Felix remains the only teenager to feature in this list of most expensive LaLiga transfers of all-time. Seeing his incredible performances in the 2018/19 season, Diego Simeone and Atleti decided to go all-in to secure his signature. Felix had made 43 appearances for Benfica that season, scoring 20 goals along with 11 assists.

Standing at just under six feet, Felix is not the strongest on the pitch but his quickness, ball control and ball striking abilities make him a special player. While still in his developmental stage at the time, the size of the fee throws light on the kind of demand there was for a player of Felix’s calibre.

2. Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona for €135 million)

Ousmane Dembele
Dembele during his Barcelona unveiling. (Google Images)

One of the most two-footed players in the history of the game, Ousmane Dembele broke onto the scene with his incredible performances for Dortmund in the 2016/17 season. The Frenchman made 49 appearances for the Black & Yellow that season, netting a respectable 10 goals but providing an impressive 21 assists.

Seeing this, Barcelona immediately believed he was the answer to all their creative issues in the final third as Xavi and Andres Iniesta entered the final legs of their careers. They fought off competition from all of Europe’s elite clubs to sign him.

1. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool to Barcelona for €135 million)

Philippe Coutinho
Coutinho after signing for Barca. (Google Images)

Joint-top with Dembele in the list of most expensive transfers in La Liga history is the Brazilian sensation Philippe Coutinho. Blessed with an incredible dead-ball ability and an eye for a pass, Coutinho made a splash with the Reds in the 2016/17 season. He scored 14 goals and provided nine assists in 36 appearances and played some incredible football.

As a result, Barcelona jumped into the race to sign him and made a huge offer which any club would find it hard to turn down. In doing so, they broke their own transfer record.

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