With all of the endless talk this summer of a $100 million Cristiano Ronaldo transfer to Real Madrid (that hasn't and likely won't happen), I set out to find the past world record transfer fees in world soccer. Well, it turns out this blog post is 7 years out of date. Oh well, yesterday's respect video was less than a day old when I posted it, split the difference and I'm only 3.5 years from cutting edge.
This is a listing of World Record Transfer Fees - at the time of the transfer - paid by clubs in the last 25 years.
(Since most of the fees paid were originally published in UK Pounds, these amounts are based on the current exchange rate from UK Pounds to rounded off US Dollars in millions)
$90m - Zinedine Zidane - Juventus to Real Madrid
$72m - Luis Figo - Barcelona to Real Madrid
$70m - Hernán Crespo - Parma to Lazio
$60m - Christian Vieri - Lazio to Inter Milan
$45m - Denilson - São Paulo to Real Betis
$38m - Ronaldo - Barcelona to Inter Milan
$29m - Alan Shearer - Blackburn Rovers to Newcastle United
$25m - Gianluigi Lentini - Torino to AC Milan
$23m - Gianluca Vialli - Sampdori to Juventus
$19m - Jean-Pierre Papin - Marseille to AC Milan
$16m - Roberto Baggio - Fiorentina to Juventus
$12m - Ruud Gullit - PSV Eindhoven to AC Milan
$10m - Diego Maradona - Barcelona to Napoli
World Record Buying Clubs since 1984:
3 - AC Milan
2 - Inter Milan
2 - Juventus
2 - Real Madrid
1 - Lazio
1 - Napoli
1 - Newcastle United
1 - Real Betis
9 of the last 13 (69%) World Record Transfer buys were made by clubs in Italy.
In 1932, Argentina's River Plate (Los Millonarios) marked the only one time in soccer history that a world record fee has been paid by a club outside of Europe when they paid a fee of around $45,000 for Bernabé Ferreyra. The move paid off for the club, from 1932-1939 Ferreyra scored an amazing 187 goals in 185 games played.
I believe the largest transfer since the Zidane move in 2001 was Andriy Shevchenko's move from AC Milan to Chelsea for a reported fee of $60 million.