FIFA Global Transfer Report: which soccer teams spent the most money on international transfers in 2023?


FIFA has published its Global Transfer Report for 2023, which accounts for all international transfers (between clubs in different countries) that take place in the worlds of both professional and amateur soccer in the previous 12 months.

The data shows last year was a record-breaking year, both in terms of number of transfers and money spent. A total of 74,380 transfers between different federations were completed, 31.7% of which were professional male and female players. $9.63 billion was spent on signings, a 48% increase from 2022. The previous highest figure, set in 2019, was $2 billion less.

Enzo Fernández made the biggest move of 2023, joining Chelsea from Benfica for just over $130 million.Darren WalshChelsea FC via Getty Images

Enzo Fernández: 2023′s most expensive player

Adding together the year’s 10 most expensive transfers accounts for more than 10% of the total spent. Chelsea’s acquisition of Argentine World Cup-winning midfielder Enzo Fernández from Benfica in January 2023 was the biggest move completed at a reported €120 million (just over $130 million).

For the first time ever, more than 1,000 clubs spent money on international transfers, with the final total standing at 1,024. On the flip side, 1,241 clubs received transfer fees from abroad, also a new high.

Chelsea and Premier League keep splashing the cash

It perhaps won’t come as too much of a surprise to learn Chelsea spent the most on international transfers, with Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool completing the podium in Europe. Real Madrid and Bayern Munich round out UEFA’s top five, although FIFA hasn’t revealed the exact figures.

Also somewhat predictably, clubs from the Premier League spent the most – a whopping $2.96 billion, while their German Bundesliga counterparts were those who most benefitted, raking in $1.21 billion between them, the first time $1 billion had been passed in that particular category over the course of a year. Jude Bellingham’s move from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid and Randal Kolo Muani’s switch from Eintracht Frankfurt to PSG were big factors there.

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Jude Bellingham made a big-money move from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid in June 2023.

However, Portuguese clubs signed more players from abroad than any other country (1,017), while Brazilian teams conducted the highest number of outgoing international transfers (1,217).

Women’s soccer boom continues

Women’s soccer continues to grow rapidly, as a comparison between 2022 and 2023 shows. Last year, a total of 1,881 players made international transfers, up 20% from the previous year, with 623 clubs involved, compared to 507 12 months earlier.

Finally, and perhaps to the surprise of some, 51,147 of the 74,380 international transfers made came in amateur soccer, with 207 of 211 FIFA federations recording at least one such transaction. Of that number, 91% were between men’s teams.



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