A large transfer fee can be a blessing or a curse.
It is a sign of great faith to spend such a huge amount of money on one player, but it carries with it the expectation that the player will reward that faith with performances - and if they do not, fans will not be forgiving.
Many great players have risen to the pressure of their transfer fee, but others have been crushed under the burden of expectations placed upon them.
Let's take a look at the 50 most expensive transfers of all time.
After spending five years with Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, a club well-known for purchasing and developing young Brazilian stars, Fred completed a big money move to Manchester United in 2018.
Despite the monster fee, Fred failed to leave a lasting impression in his first season at Old Trafford, making just 17 appearances in all competitions as he couldn't break his way into the starting XI under both Jose Mourinho and his successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
49. Fernando Torres - Liverpool to Chelsea (€59m, 2011)
El Nino's exploits over the course of his four seasons at Liverpool were constantly accompanied by rumours of a big-money move to Roman Abramovich's Chelsea, and despite constant denials from both the club and the player, Fernando Torres completed his transfer to Stamford Bridge in January 2011.
However, he failed to live up to the enormously high expectations with the Blues, scoring just one goal in his debut campaign and failing to reach double figures in any of his three-and-a-half seasons at the club. He was eventually loaned to Milan, but only managed to find success again when he returned to former club Atletico Madrid.
47. Luis Figo - Barcelona to Real Madrid (€60m, 2000)
In July 2000, Luis Figo made one of the most controversial moves in football history when he left Barcelona to join hated rivals Real Madrid, smashing the world record for the highest transfer fee.
In his first season with Real, Figo won the Ballon d'Or, largely for his time at Barcelona, and upon his return to Camp Nou, for the first Clasico of the season, he was met by a deafening chorus of boos and banners hung around the stadium reading 'traitor', 'scum' and 'Judas'.
Figo's move marked the beginning of the Galacticos era at Los Blancos, and he was later joined by stars such as Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham. Over the course of his career at Real, he won two La Liga titles, two Spanish Supercups, the Champions League, a UEFA Supercup and the Intercontinental Cup, before moving to Inter in 2005.
47. Naby Keita - RB Leipzig to Liverpool (€60m, 2018)
Liverpool identified RB Leipzig's tough-tackling, dynamic midfielder Naby Keita as the player who could transform them into title contenders, and were even prepared to wait a year for his arrival after reaching an agreement in 2017.
The Reds have indeed become title challengers since Keita's arrival, and he's really starting to find his feet now - flourishing in the final weeks of the 2018/19 season.
46. Tanguy Ndombele - Lyon to Tottenham (€60m + €10m in Add-Ons, 2019)
After breaking their self-imposed 18-month hiatus from the transfer market by completing a deal with Leeds for Jack Clarke, Tottenham broke their transfer record on the very same day, signing Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.
The defensive enforcer impressed in Ligue 1 since making the move from Amiens to Lyon, making 96 appearances and providing 16 assists. Last season he helped the French side finish third in the league, and performed admirably in the Champions League as Lyon finished the group stage in second to qualify for the round of 16, before being knocked out by Barcelona.
45. Oscar - Chelsea to Shanghai SIPG (€60.3m, 2017)
Chinese transfer fees are notoriously difficult to pin down, with estimates for Carlos Tevez's move to Shanghai Shenhua in 2017 ranging between £12m and £72m, depending on who you believe and how you calculate it.
Only the second Chinese transfer we can confirm in the top 50 is Oscar's move to Shanghai SIPG in 2017. The Brazilian had slipped down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge and decided to take a big payday in the Far East, linking up with former Brazil teammate Hulk.
44. Angel Di Maria - Manchester United to Paris Saint-Germain (€61.6m, 2015)
After being deemed the worst signing of the season at Manchester United, Angel Di Maria completed a dramatic move to French champions Paris Saint-Germain in 2015.
He failed to board a flight to join the Red Devils in the United States, to which manager Louis van Gaal commented:
43. David Luiz - Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain (€62.5m, 2014)
In the summer of 2014, David Luiz became the most expensive defender in history - leaving Chelsea to join Paris Saint-Germain on a five-year contract.
The Brazilian international became a stalwart figure at the Parc des Princes, helping PSG win the domestic treble in both of his seasons at the club, before returning to former club Chelsea in 2016.
He only lasted three years back at Stamford Bridge before sealing a cut-price move to rivals Arsenal in 2019.
42. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal (€63.75m, 2018)
After years of treading water, this is the sort of signing Arsenal needed to make more in order to become a force to be reckoned with again. Thus far, he's proved his worth in spades.
41. Christian Pulisic - Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea (€64m, 2019)
The first 2019 transfer on this list saw Chelsea pay €64m to sign Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund, the highest transfer fee ever paid for a North American player by quite some distance.
At just 20 years of age, Pulisic is already vastly experienced with over 100 Dortmund appearances under his belt. However, he was allowed to leave the German side after slipping behind Jadon Sancho in the pecking order.
After Chelsea lost Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, they hope that Pulisic can fill the void left behind. It will certainly be a lucrative transfer in a commercial sense, with Pulisic being the poster boy of football in the USA.
40. Edinson Cavani - Napoli to Paris Saint-Germain (€64.5m, 2013)
Arriving at Paris Saint-Germain after they had just won their first league title in two decades, Edinson Cavani helped to establish Les Parisiens as the dominant force in French football. They have won 17 of the 20 domestic competitions they have entered in Cavani's five years on board.
Throughout his PSG career, Cavani has never been the club's poster boy, overshadowed first by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, then by Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. However, his consistency has never been in doubt as he has always scored at least 20 goals each season.
39. Joao Cancelo - Juventus to Manchester City (€65m Including Danilo, 2019)
Pep Guardiola loves a good full-back. Seemingly not happy with his options at right-back, Guardiola opted to spend heavily to sign Joao Cancelo from Juventus, in a deal which saw Danilo move in the opposite direction.
The entire deal was worth a total of €65m, so there is plenty of pressure on Cancelo's shoulders as he fights to oust Kyle Walker as City's first-choice right-back.
36. Aymeric Laporte - Athletic to Manchester City (€65m, 2018)
Athletic's unique transfer policy allows them to command much higher fees for players than other clubs would be able to, but Manchester City fans will agree that Laporte was worth every penny paid.
Laporte joined City in January 2018 when they were already 12 points clear of their nearest rivals and played on and off until the end of the season. In 2018/19, he became City's main defender, and there's no questioning his place in the team nowadays.
Arguably his most important City performance came against Liverpool, when he deputised superbly at left back in a crucial victory for Guardiola's side.
36. Kaka - AC Milan to Real Madrid (€65m, 2009)
One of the best midfielders of his generation and a Ballon d'Or winner in 2007, a world record move to Real Madrid seemed like the natural step for Kaka when AC Milan's status in European football began to slip in the late 2000s.
But like the Rossoneri, Kaka's best years were behind him. Injuries disrupted his first two seasons at the Bernabeu, with Mesut Ozil taking his place in the side, and he also had a troubled relationship with Jose Mourinho.
It's early days in the La Liga career of Thomas Lemar, but it's already starting to look like Atletico Madrid may have paid well over the odds for the Frenchman when they signed him from Monaco last summer.
In 31 league appearances, Lemar has managed just two goals and three assists for Diego Simeone's team, and Atletico fans are starting to fear that this might be Jackson Martinez all over again.
Simeone has pleaded patience, emphasising Lemar's talent and insisting he will come good. He will need to do so quickly if Atletico are to stand any chance of competing with Barcelona and Real Madrid in La Liga.
35. Diego Costa - Chelsea to Atletico Madrid (€66m, 2018)
Diego Costa was adored by everybody at Chelsea. Well, almost everybody. Antonio Conte was not the Spaniard's biggest fan, and sent Costa a text message in June 2017 to let him know that his services were no longer required.
He was excluded from first-team training as Chelsea looked to sell him, but he had to wait until January 2018 to finally make a move to former side Atletico Madrid.
However, he hasn't set the world on fire since making the move, and now has to compete with Joao Felix for minutes under Diego Simeone.
34. Riyad Mahrez - Leicester City to Manchester City (€67.8m, 2018)
City had been after Mahrez for at least a year, but their approach had been rebuffed the previous summer and Leicester held firm the following January, despite Mahrez temporarily going on strike. The champions eventually got their man for €67.8m.
Despite ending the season with 12 goals and 12 assists in all competitions, Mahrez is yet to hit the heights which saw him named PFA Player of the Year during Leicester's unlikely title triumph of 2015/16, and his penalty miss at Anfield in October will remain his most memorable moment of the season.
33. Raheem Sterling - Liverpool to Manchester City (€69.1m, 2015)
After his breakthrough at Anfield, Sterling was offered a contract extension which he refused to sign, to which manager Brendan Rodgers said: "In terms of Raheem I’m just saying what I think the club are offering. It’s an incredible deal for a young player.
“But we’re certainly not a club that is going to give way, way above what a player is worth at a certain time in their career."
The rift between Sterling and Liverpool grew towards the end of the season, with the player and his agent giving unsanctioned interviews and Sterling missing two days of training due to 'illness'.
The saga finally drew to a close when Manchester City made Sterling the most expensive English player in history, also breaking the record for the highest fee paid for a teenager.
32. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Inter to Barcelona (€69.5m, 2009)
Ibrahimovic's only season at the Camp Nou wasn't that bad, as he scored 16 La Liga goals, but fans were scratching their heads as to why Samuel Eto'o - an equally brilliant striker - had been allowed to join Inter in part exchange.
Ibrahimovic resented having to share the limelight with Lionel Messi and accused Guardiola of being a coward after a Champions League defeat. "You bought a Ferrari, but you drive it like a Fiat," Ibrahimovic said. He was written off at the end of the season, and sold to AC Milan.
Luka Jovic - Eintracht Frankfurt to Real Madrid (€70m, 2019)
The Serbian striker will hope to replicate his form from the 2018/19 season which saw him score 27 goals from 48 appearances, helping Eintracht finish seventh in the Bundesliga and reach the semi-final of the Europa League.
30. Rodri - Atletico Madrid to Manchester City (€70m, 2019)
Rodri became Manchester City's first summer signing of 2019, breaking their transfer record as the Citizens paid his €70m release clause.
The Spanish midfielder joined Atletico from Villarreal in 2018, making 47 appearances and scoring three goals for Los Colchoneros. Having impressed in his role as a defensive midfielder, he earned himself a big-money move to the Etihad Stadium, where he is destined to take over from the ageing Fernandinho. You know, if the Brazilian ever slows down.
29. Alisson Becker - Roma to Liverpool (€73m, 2018)
Loris Karius' disastrous performance in the 2018 Champions League final forced Jurgen Klopp to swallow his pride and dip into the transfer market for a world class goalkeeper. He put up the cash for Alisson Becker, Roma's Brazilian shot-stopper, breaking Buffon's long-standing record for the most expensive goalkeeper.
Alisson's impact is reflected in Liverpool's defensive record, which was the best in the Premier League in 2018/19. He has come to the fore with some memorable saves against Brighton, Chelsea, Burnley, and most notably Napoli, helping the Reds win the Champions League title.
28. Angel Di Maria - Real Madrid to Manchester United (€74.6m, 2014)
Angel Di Maria had been named man of the match in the Champions League final as Real Madrid finally clinched La Decima in 2014, so it looked like a good piece of business when Manchester United broke their transfer record to sign the Argentine a few months later.
He made a promising start at Old Trafford, winning Manchester United's player of the month award for September after two goals and two assists in four Premier League matches, including a sensational chipped finish against Leicester.
However, Di Maria's form soon took a nose-dive and a costly red card against Arsenal in the FA Cup proved to be his final start for United as he was sold at the end of the season to Paris Saint-Germain for a loss of around £15m.
26. Kevin De Bruyne - Wolfsburg to Manchester City (€75m, 2015)
Two years after Jose Mourinho decided that Kevin De Bruyne wasn't good enough for the Premier League, Manuel Pellegrini brought him back to England, paying a hefty sum to sign the Belgian from Wolfsburg.
De Bruyne has been worth every penny spent, with his performances in the 2017/18 season affirming his status as one of the best players in the Premier League. He won the inaugural Playmaker Award for most assists and narrowly missed out on the PFA Player of the Year award to Mohamed Salah.
Injuries have restricted De Bruyne more recently, but if he can maintain his fitness then City have a good chance of winning every trophy available to them...every year.
26. Frenkie de Jong - Ajax to Barcelona (€75m, 2019)
After months of speculation, the Frenkie de Jong transfer saga finally came to an end in January 2019 as the Dutch midfielder agreed to join Barcelona at the end of the season.
Producing consistent performances in the Eredivisie is one thing; doing it in La Liga is quite another. If De Jong can learn from Sergio Busquets and become the Spaniard's successor, Barcelona will have a world class talent on their hands.
25. Matthijs de Ligt - Ajax to Juventus (€75m + €10.5m in Add-Ons, 2019)
He opted to join Juventus for a mammoth €75m (to be paid over five years), and now with Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci showing him the ropes, De Ligt looks set for superstardom.
24. Zinedine Zidane - Juventus to Real Madrid (€77.5m, 2001)
In 2001 Zidane joined the Galacticos project at Real Madrid, becoming the most expensive player in the world at the time, playing at the club until his retirement in 2006.
The Frenchman, widely considered to be one of the best players in football history, left his mark in just his first season at the club - scoring the match-winning goal against Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 Champions League final.
He went on to win the La Liga title with Los Blancos and was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2003, as well as achieving international success with the French national team.
After retiring from active play, Zidane started his managerial career at Real, eventually replacing Rafa Benitez as the club's manager in 2016. With Zidane at the helm, Los Blancos became the only team to win three consecutive Champions League titles.
23. Alvaro Morata - Real Madrid to Chelsea (€78.9m, 2017)
Antonio Conte's Chelsea downfall began when he decided to replace Diego Costa with Alvaro Morata in the summer of 2017. Costa had just scored 20 goals to help Chelsea win the Premier League title in 2016/17; Morata had never scored more than 15 in a league campaign.
Sure enough, Morata failed to have the expected impact. After a bright start, scoring six goals in his first six Premier League matches, he faded badly, hitting the target just five more times all season as Chelsea finished outside the top four and Conte was sacked.
Even the appointment of Maurizio Sarri couldn't get the best out of Morata, who is now at Atletico Madrid on loan. He will join the La Liga side permanently next summer after Atletico activated their option to sign the Spaniard.
22. Nicolas Pepe - Lille to Arsenal (€79m, 2019)
Arsenal stunned the world in the summer of 2019. Widely believed to have been stuck with a small transfer budget, the Gunners somehow struck a €79m deal to sign Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, signalling their intent for the upcoming season.
During his final season in France, the Ivorian managed a stunning 23 goals and 12 assists in all competitions, making him one of the most in-demand wingers in the world.
Countless European giants were linked with a move for Pepe, but Arsenal shocked them all. Now, he has linked up with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang and Alexandre Lacazette, as the Gunners push for Champions League football.
18. Romelu Lukaku - Manchester United to Inter (€80m, 2019)
Romelu Lukaku managed just two seasons at Old Trafford and found himself struggling to break into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team towards the end of the 2018/19 season. As a result, he began pushing for an exit.
A switch to the Serie A was always likely, with both Inter and Juventus thought to be keen, but it was I Nerazzurri who eventually won the race for his signature, paying a cool €80m to recruit the Belgian.
18. James Rodriguez - Monaco to Real Madrid (€80m, 2014)
Coming off the back of his performances at the 2014 World Cup, where he scored six goals and led Colombia to the quarter finals, James Rodriguez said it was his 'life's dream' to play for Real Madrid. Los Blancos were happy to oblige, splashing out £63m on the Monaco star.
Rodriguez was certainly living the dream in his first season at the Bernabeu, with 17 goals and 18 assists making him Real's third most productive player, behind only Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo. Alas, injuries meant that he couldn't maintain his promising start.
Seeking to rejuvenate his career, Rodriguez joined Bayern Munich on loan in summer 2017 and excelled in his first year, but injuries have once again slowed his progress. B
18. Lucas Hernandez - Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich (€80m, 2019)
18. Kepa Arrizabalaga - Athletic to Chelsea (€80m, 2018)
Alisson was the world's most expensive goalkeeper for less than three weeks last summer before he was replaced at the top of the list by Kepa Arrizabalaga, with Chelsea paying Athletic top dollar to replace Thibaut Courtois.
The commanding Basque shot-stopper has settled in well at Stamford Bridge, with his height and agility ensuring that Courtois has not been missed. He cemented his popularity with the Chelsea fans by saving a penalty in the shoot-out which booked their place in the EFL Cup final.
His most famous moment so far, however, has to be that time he refused to be substituted at Wembley against Manchester City.
17. Luis Suarez - Liverpool to Barcelona (€82.3m, 2014)
No price tag would have been enough for Liverpool to happily part with Luis Suarez, but they couldn't stand in the way of his dream move to Barcelona, and he became damaged goods (even more so than before) after biting Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup.
Liverpool's title challenge in the 2013/14 season had been so dependant on the brilliance of Suarez that they crumbled without him, finishing sixth the following year and eighth the season after that. Not until signing Mohamed Salah did they fill the void Suarez had left behind.
At Barcelona, Suarez has proved why he is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world. He has scored 131 goals in 163 La Liga appearances and is the only player apart from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Pichichi Trophy in the last nine years.
16. Virgil van Dijk - Southampton to Liverpool (€84.5m, 2018)
With the Dutchman at the back, Liverpool reached the Champions League final two years in a row, winning it the second time around. Their previously fragile defence is now the sturdiest in the Premier League, after years of committing unforced errors.
Rated by many as one of the world's best centre backs, Van Dijk has shown that a good defender is worth his weight in gold. The likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Milan Skriniar and Matthijs de Ligt could soon be changing hands for similar fees.
15. Romelu Lukaku - Everton to Manchester United (€84.8m, 2017)
Romelu Lukaku can count himself unfortunate to have come in for so much criticism since joining Manchester United in 2017. He averaged nearly a goal every other game in his debut season, but was accused of not being mobile enough and only scoring against lesser sides.
With 27 goals in all competitions, his debut season was actually the most prolific of Lukaku's career. His form didn't last, and United ended up selling him to Inter in the summer of 2019.
14. Neymar - Santos to Barcelona (
13. Harry Maguire - Leicester City to Manchester United (€87.1m, 2019)
Now the world's most expensive defender of all time, it has certainly been an incredible rise to stardom for Harry Maguire.
After two years with Leicester City, the towering defender became one of the most wanted men in the Premier League, with both Manchester United and Manchester City battling to strike a deal for Maguire. The Red Devils quickly took the lead in the race for his signature, and eventually managed to agree a €87.1m fee to bring him to Old Trafford.
United had been on the lookout for a new centre-back for years, and they certainly had to pay heavily to get their man.
12. Gonzalo Higuain - Napoli to Juventus (€90m, 2016)
In their efforts to finally win that elusive Champions League title, Juventus raided Serie A rivals Napoli for Gonzalo Higuain in 2016. It was a fair price for a striker whose 36 goals the previous season was the highest total in Serie A since 1928/29.
Higuain didn't quite scale those heights in Turin, though he did score 40 goals in 73 league appearances. As for the Champions League, Higuain scored five goals to help Juventus reach the final in 2016/17, but they came up short again, losing to Real Madrid in Cardiff.
After just two seasons at Juventus, Higuain was loaned out to Milan as part of the deal which brought Leonardo Bonucci back. Just six months later he was on the move again, joining Chelsea, and now he finds himself back at Juventus.
11. Cristiano Ronaldo - Manchester United to Real Madrid (€94m, 2009)
Nothing which costs €94m can be described as a bargain, but this will go down as one of the greatest transfers ever despite the extortionate price. Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at Real Madrid as one of the best players in the world and left having established himself as one of the best players of all time.
In nine seasons at the Bernabeu, Ronaldo scored a staggering 450 goals in 438 appearances, won the Ballon d'Or four times, and won every possible trophy at least twice, including four Champions League titles.
The rivalry between Ronaldo and Lionel Messi means that this era of La Liga will always be remembered as one of the greatest periods in football history.
10. Eden Hazard - Chelsea to Real Madrid (€100m + €40m in Add-Ons)
Known as one of the most exhausting and unsurprising transfer sagas in recent years, Eden Hazard completed his highly anticipated move to the Santiago Bernabeu from Chelsea in the summer of 2019.
Hazard made no secret of his desire to join Real Madrid since the 2018 World Cup, saying on several occasions that his dream was to play for Los Blancos and that he had already made up his mind to leave Chelsea.
The Blues managed to keep Hazard at the club in the summer of 2018 despite Real's advances, and he went on to record the most prolific season of his career, scoring 21 goals and providing 17 assists in all competitions as Chelsea finished the season in third place and claimed the Europa League title.
9. Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid to Juventus €100m, 2018)
Guess who's back? It's inevitably Cristiano Ronaldo. Juventus watched Real Madrid win three consecutive Champions League titles and decided they wouldn't mind a piece of the action, and they were prepared to spend big to get it.
Of all the players on this list, Ronaldo was the oldest at the time of his transfer, but the 33-year-old appears ageless as he has taken to Serie A like a duck to water - with 21 goals and a Scudetto in his debut season.
8. Gareth Bale - Tottenham to Real Madrid (€100.8m, 2013)
With his price tag naturally drawing comparisons to Ronaldo, Bale was under immediate pressure to succeed, but injuries marred his first six months. However, a sensational winner against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final was the perfect way to ingratiate himself to his new fans.
Though Bale has struggled to maintain consistent popularity during his time in Spain, he has always had the ability to pop up with important goals in big matches, including the 2014 and 2018 Champions League finals.
He almost left for China for free, but he remains one of Real's most important players.
7. Paul Pogba - Juventus to Manchester United (€105m, 2016)
Sir Alex Ferguson didn't make many mistakes in his illustrious career, but allowing Paul Pogba to leave Manchester United for nothing in 2012 may be one of his biggest. Pogba's attitude was called into question, but that did not seem to be a problem at Juventus
Four years after letting him leave, Manchester United brought Pogba back to Old Trafford. He made a bright start before Ferguson's old reservations about his attitude began to resurface, and his performances deteriorated in correlation with his relationship with Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese was replaced in late 2018, and after an initial period of brilliance from the Frenchman, form moved back to the norm.
Rarely has he done enough. But he still remains one of the world's best.
6. Ousmane Dembele - Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona (€105m + €45m in Add-Ons, 2017)
Barcelona took a leap of faith when they spent over
He isn't quite in that category yet, but after an injury-ravaged first season at the Camp Nou, Dembele is slowly proving that the faith in him was justified.
Statistics alone cannot convey how impressive Dembele has been, with some of his goals being truly mesmerising: a sensational strike against Sevilla, a sublime run and finish against PSV Eindhoven, and an exhibition of speed and strength against Tottenham, but the jury is still out.
5. Antoine Griezmann - Atletico Madrid to Barcelona (€120m, 2019)
The Frenchman was touted as a transfer target for La Blaugrana since the end of the 2017/18 season, but after weeks of speculation, Griezmann decided to extend his contract with Los Colchoneros.
However by the end of the 2018/19 the rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona resurfaced, and after his release clause dropped to €120m and some heated words were exchanged between the Atletico and Barca hierarchy, the deal was completed.
4. Joao Felix - Benfica to Atletico Madrid (€126m, 2019)
One of the world's most exciting prospects sealed a move to Atletico Madrid in 2019, despite being courted by almost all of Europe's biggest clubs in the months before the move was made official.
Joao Felix burst on to the scene at Benfica, and Atletico fancied him so much that they've decided on paying his entire €126m release clause as they attempt to replace the outgoing Antoine Griezmann.
3. Philippe Coutinho - Liverpool to Barcelona (€120m* + €40m in Add-Ons, 2018)
Philippe Coutinho joined Barcelona from Liverpool in January 2018 in search of trophies and acclaim, and he got what he desired - winning two league titles in a row. But he could only watch on as former club Liverpool lifted the big one in 2019, smashing Coutinho's Barcelona en-route to the Champions League final itself.
Coutinho has struggled. So much so, in fact, that if you were to label this one of the worst transfers of all time, you'd actually have a strong case. Never before has so much money been put up and such disappointment followed.
That money*, you ask? Barca are reported to have paid an initial €120m to Liverpool, with a series of add ons paid down the line - coming after sealing Champions League qualification, winning the tournament itself and in blocks of appearances. The total could reach €160m if all add-ons are triggered.
However, with Coutinho sealing a loan move to Bayern Munich this summer, he might never get the chance to trigger those add-ons.
2. Kylian Mbappe - Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain (€145m + €35m in Add-Ons,
Most of us weren't alive the last time a teenager did what Kylian Mbappe did at the 2018 World Cup. Not since Pele in 1958 had a teenager scored twice in a World Cup match or scored in a World Cup final. He also became the youngest Frenchman ever to score at a World Cup.
For many people, Mbappe's performances in Russia confirmed that he is the player who will succeed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best in the world. No wonder PSG made him the world's most expensive teenager in 2017, with the transfer made official a year later.
However, Mbappe may struggle to fulfil his full potential at PSG, who dominate domestically but are yet to go beyond the quarter finals of the Champions League. If they can't get it right in the next few years, Mbappe may have to look elsewhere.
1. Neymar - Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (€222m, 2017)
Neymar's move from Barcelona to PSG in 2017 didn't so much break the world transfer record as smash it into a million pieces. He became the first player to command a nine-figure sum, with the £198m fee being more than double the previous record of Paul Pogba.
Was it worth it? Neymar has been prolific in front of goal and PSG won the domestic treble in his first season. It was a stroll to the Ligue 1 title in 2018/19 too, but there's still a sense it's not gone to plan.
Nevertheless, despite an enormous amount of speculation, Neymar will remain in Paris for the foreseeable future, although he could soon earn himself another spot on this list.
All transfer fees according to Goal.