When PSG signed Neymar, they became the 25th club to break the world record transfer fee and it was also the 48th time that the record fee was broken. But which clubs have broken the transfers record the most number of times?
#5. Sunderland – 4 times
Believe it or not, the English club with the most number of record transfers is Sunderland. Yes, the same Sunderland that’s playing in the third tier of English football after back to back relegations.
That being said, all of Sunderland’s record transfers were in or before 1950. Their first was in 1904 when they paid £520 for Sheffield United’s Alf Common. Funnily, in the same year, Newcastle United broke Sunderland’s record when they signed Andy McCombie from Sunderland!
The Black Cats’ other record transfers are Warney Cresswell for £5,500 in 1922, Bob Kelly for £6,500 in 1925 and the famous Trevor Ford for £30,000 in 1950.
#4. Juventus – 4 times
From 1952 to 2000, the transfer record was broken 23 times and 18 of those transfers were made by seven different Italian teams. It goes without saying that Juventus is one of those clubs and their first record transfer was in 1957 when they signed the Argentine, Enrique Omar Sivori, from River Plate for £93,000.
In 1968, Juve became the first club to pay half a million pounds for a footballer when they signed Pietro Anastasi. The Old Lady’s next record transfer took 22 more years but it was worth the wait and money as they signed Italy legend, Roberto Baggio, for £8 million.
Juventus’ final world record transfer was two years later in 1992 when they paid £12 million for Gianluca Vialli to Sampdoria.
#3. AC Milan – 4 times
Milan’s first record transfer was in 1954 when they signed Uruguayan forward, Juan Schiaffino, from Penarol for £72,000. Their next record transfer came 33 years later in 1987 when they signed Ruud Gullit for £6 million from PSV Eindhoven.
In 1992, something interesting happened. The world record fee belonged to Juventus initially for their transfer of Roberto Baggio for £8 million in 1990. Milan broke it in 1992 by signing Jean-Pierre Papin for £10 million but in the same year, Juventus reclaimed the record by signing Gianluca Vialli for £12 million. Milan then toppled Juventus once again in the same year when they completed the signing of Gianluigi Lentini for £13 million from Torino.
#2. Inter Milan – 4 times
Just like Juventus and AC Milan, Inter Milan has also broken the world record transfer fee four times but Inter’s most recent record-breaking transfer was in 1999 while it was in 1992 for the other two Italian giants.
Inter first broke the bank in 1961 when they signed Spanish international, Luis Suarez, from Barcelona for £152,000. This record was broken two years later by Roma but Inter reclaimed top spot in 1967 after the arrival of Harald Nielsen from Bologna for £300,000.
The Nerazzurri’s next record transfer was 1997 when they signed Ronaldo Nazario from Barcelona for £19.5 million. Interestingly, it was Ronaldo’s second record transfer and he’s only one of two players to achieve this feat along with Diego Maradona.
Inter’s most recent record transfer was in 1999 when they completed the signing of Christian Vieri from Lazio for £32 million.
#1. Real Madrid – 5 times
Topping this list with five world record-breaking transfers is Real Madrid. Interestingly, all five of Real’s record transfers happened in the 21st century.
In 2000, Lazio broke the transfer record when they signed Hernan Crespo for £35.5 million but the Italian club only held the record for a short period as Real paid Luis Figo’s release clause of £37 million and signed him from archrivals Barcelona.
A year after signing Figo, the Los Blanco’s broke the record again when they signed Zinedine Zidane for £46.6 million. Before Diego Costa’s transfer to Atletico Madrid in 2018, the fee Real paid for Zidane was the highest for a 29-year-old.
In 2009, Real broke the transfer record twice as they underwent a squad overhaul. They signed two Ballon d’Or winners that summer with Ricardo Kaka being the first one to arrive for £56 million from AC Milan followed by Cristiano Ronaldo for £80 million from Manchester United. The fee Real paid for 24-year-old Ronaldo was lower than what Juventus paid for him last summer.
Real’s fifth record transfer was for Gareth Bale in 2013 and the Welshman cost the La Liga side £86 million.
Honourable mentions – Barcelona and Napoli with three world record-breaking transfers each.