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The most expensive squads in world football - ranked

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Manchester City players don't come cheap...
Manchester City players don't come cheap... / Visionhaus/Getty Images
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The 2021 summer transfer window was supposed to be quiet.

The theory went that with clubs still feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and so many top players being out of contract in 2022, there would be few if any blockbuster moves. How wrong we all were...

By the time the window slammed shut both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had new homes, while we also witnessed a string of transfer records being broken.

Now the dust has settled, one question comes to mind: just which teams have the most expensive squads in world football? Well, thanks to the brilliant Football Observatory, we have an answer for you.

Editorial note: Potential add-ons are not included in squad values.


20. Monaco (€326m)

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Monaco don't have the star power they once possessed / VALERY HACHE/Getty Images

Monaco are best known for their prolific youth academy, which has produced the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Thierry Henry and Emmanuel Petit over the years.

They are not afraid to splash the cash too, though, and currently have the second most expensive squad in Ligue 1.


19. Inter (€341m)

Joaquin Correa, Stefan de Vrij
Inter sold some top players in the summer / Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Getty Images

Before cutting their costs significantly in the summer of 2021, Inter went on a spending spree.

That is enough to see them make the top 20, despite the big-money departures of Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku.


18. Borussia Dortmund (€346m)

Erling Haaland
Haaland should be off next summer / Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund are experts at selling players on for profit and they secured a big windfall on Jadon Sancho recently.

Another big sale will come in 2022 when Erling Haaland departs, so expect them to reinvest and rise up the list over the next few years.


17. Aston Villa (€351m)

Danny Ings
Ings is one of several new signings made by Aston Villa in 2021 / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Aston Villa have aspirations to be European contenders and they have backed up this ambition in the transfer market.

They had a busy summer in 2021, selling Jack Grealish for a British record fee and making a string of big-money signings.


16. Roma (€362m)

Tammy Abraham
Tammy Abraham moved to Rome recently / Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Roma are not the first name you think of when 'big spenders' are discussed, so you may be surprised to learn that they have a more expensively-assembled squad than both Milan-based Serie A clubs.

Plenty of resources for Jose Mourinho to work with this season then.


15. Leicester City (€411m)

Marc Albrighton
Leicester have defied the financial odds in each of the past two seasons / Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Leicester City are kings of the transfer market. They consistently sell players for inflated prices before investing in even better replacements without missing a beat.

As their squad value goes up, though, so does the expectation level.


14. Napoli (€417m)

Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen is yet to justify his transfer fee / Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

They might have the second most expensive squad in Serie A, but Napoli were only good enough for a fifth-placed finish last season.

A good portion of that value is Victor Osimhen who cost an African-record €70m in 2020.


13. Bayern Munich (€421m)

Robert Lewandowski
Bayern have dominated German football for many years / Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Bayern Munich are normally fairly reserved when it comes to transfer fees, preferring to steal their rivals top talent for nominal amounts of on free transfers.

They are not entirely against a bit of spending, however, as their high squad value shows.


12. Everton (€467m)

Demarai Gray
Demarai Gray was one of Everton's only summer signings / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Everton are one of European football's biggest underachievers. Despite a string of expensive transfer windows in recent years they are still no closer to breaking into the Premier League top six.

Even after a quiet summer this time around, the Toffees still possess to 12th most costly squad in the world.


11. Atletico Madrid (€482m)

Joao Felix
Joao Felix is Atletico's record signing / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Although Diego Simeone occasionally portrays Atletico Madrid as plucky underdogs, the truth is that Los Rojiblancos have been part of the European elite for some time.

Saying that, they still have a far less expensive squad than both Clasico clubs.


10. Tottenham (€551m)

Heung-Min Son, Sergio Reguilon
Spurs had a fairly active summer / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy gets a lot of stick for his thriftiness which is perhaps a bit unfair, considering Tottenham kick off our top ten.

They could climb higher next year too if Harry Kane secures his Spurs departure. He will take some replacing.


9. Barcelona (€578m)

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Barcelona said goodbye to Lionel Messi this summer / PAU BARRENA/Getty Images

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. There have been many indicators of Barcelona's incredible decline recently and here is another - they barely break into the top ten of the most expensive squads in the world.

They might even fall further in the years to come...


8. Arsenal (€630m)

Martin Odegaard
Martin Odegaard has joined Arsenal permanently / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal are eighth on the list - the same position they finished in the Premier League last season. Oh dear.

They were England's biggest spenders this summer, so we guess it makes sense.


7. Juventus (€657m)

Paulo Dybala
Juventus are adjusting to life without Cristiano Ronaldo / Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo's departure sees Juventus drop down a few places on this list.

Despite that, they remain Serie A's biggest spenders by some margin and will be expected to regain the Scudetto this season.


6. Liverpool (€672m)

Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk
That's a lot of talent in one photo / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Liverpool have the least expensive squad out of the Premier League big four and it is not even close.

The Reds' lack of spending has irked fans for several years but there is little sign of their approach changing any time soon.


5. Chelsea (€780m)

Romelu Lukaku
Chelsea spent big to bring Lukaku home / Michael Regan/Getty Images

Chelsea have enjoyed two big spending summers on the bounce, although in fairness the majority of their buys were funded by player sales.

The £97.5m arrival of Romelu Lukaku has added plenty of value to their squad this time season.


4. Real Madrid (€787m)

Daniel Carvajal, Karim Benzema
Real are likely to spend big in 2022 / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid would be even higher on this list if their ploy to sign Kylian Mbappe for £150m this summer had been successful.

Even without that pile of cash being blown, Los Blancos still have La Liga's most expensive squad.


3. Paris Saint-Germain (€939m)

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Not a bad pairing / FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain went free agent crazy this summer, bringing in Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and Lionel Messi without spending a penny on transfer fees.

That is enough to keep them off top spot.


2. Manchester United (€1.023bn)

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United are closing in on their city rivals / OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Manchester United's signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane has taken their squad value to the one billion euro mark for the first time ever.

Is it going to be enough to end their trophy drought? Time will tell.


1. Manchester City (€1.080bn)

Jack Grealish
Grealish cost around £100m / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Their lead at the top is not as high as it has been in previous years, but Manchester City still possess the most expensive squad in the world.

Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Ruben Dias and most recently, Jack Grealish, are just some of the players that have cost the Cityzens hefty sums. There will likely be more names to add to that list in the summer of 2022 as well.


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