Top 5 Most Expensive Defenders in Football History


Chelsea defender David Luiz is set to complete a stunning £50m move to French champions PSG this summer, where he will join up with his Brazil international teammate Thiago Silva in the heart of the defence, making Laurent Blanc’s side even more of a force to be reckoned with.


It will bring PSG up to four central Brazilian defenders, with former Chelsea man Alex, Marquinhos, and Silva already in the Ligue 1 side’s ranks. But will David Luiz be the most expensive defender in the world if his expected transfer goes through, and if so, who runs him closest for the record?

Check out the top 5 most expensive defenders in football history below:

5. Fábio Coentrão: Benfica to Real Madrid, £27m, 2011


While Los Blancos are usually well represented in any list of expensive players, the new European Champions have only Fabio Coentrao to their name here, and it is certainly not one of their better big name signings.

Read more: Real Madrid 4-1 Atletico Madrid – Los Blancos leave it late to secure La Decima

Signed by Jose Mourinho back in 2011, the then 23-year-old was considered to be one of the most promising defenders in the game. The Portuguese has not hit the heights expected of him however, and has long been linked with a move away, with Manchester United expressing an on-off interest in taking him to Old Trafford.

4. Marquinhos: Roma to PSG, £27m, 2013 


PSG’s obsession with collecting the best Brazilian defenders did not begin with the former Roma man, but their intensions were clearly outlined by the huge outlay for such a young, inexperienced operator, who had just completed his first season in Europe.

Signed in the same month as £55m striker Edinson Cavani, Marquinhos had a barnstorming debut season in Serie A, and was subsequently linked with a number of European giants, but PSG’s sizeable wallet ensured the player headed to the Parc de Princes.

3. Rio Ferdinand: Leeds United to Manchester United, £33.1m, 2002 


Despite this being 12 years in the past, Rio Ferdinand still takes up the number three role in the most expensive defenders list, and considering his excellent career at Old Trafford, the soon-to-be-departing centre-back is worthy of his spot.

Six Premier League titles and one Champions League trophy front an impressive trophy haul from his time with United, surely justifying the then British transfer record fee Sir Alex Ferguson sanctioned for the former Leeds and West Ham defender.

It will be a little odd not seeing him in Louis van Gaal’s squad next season, with the 35-year-old potentially heading to the MLS this summer.

2. Thiago Silva: Milan to PSG, £35.5m, 2012 


One of the two AC Milan gems that were allowed to depart to Paris two years ago, Thiago Silva may not be as outlandish as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but he is just as talented at his job, and has become arguably one of the top three defenders in the world since joining PSG.

Captain of Brazil, nemesis of Joey Barton, and a wonderfully cultured centre-back, Silva is a superb general and well worth his price tag (with consideration to modern day inflation). One to watch during the World Cup this summer..

1. David Luiz: Chelsea to PSG, £50m, 2014

Chelsea FC Press Conference

Chelsea’s soon to be ex-Geezer, David Luiz, will comfortably take the crown of most expensive player in the world if/when his transfer to PSG goes through.

The third Brazilian-to-PSG on this list, while he is surely not worth a whopping £50m, the 27-year-old is a unique commodity in the game, considering his penchant for swashbuckling midfield dynamism, his ludicrous stamina, and natural attacking instincts.

Read more: Goodbye Geezer – Why Chelsea will regret selling the monstrous David Luiz

If handled right, Laurent Blanc may have just got himself a modern day great, while Mourinho will have ditched a player that has been intrinsic to the stunning success of Chelsea football club over the past few years.

Here’s hoping his transfer kickstarts a fascinating summer transfer window, and who knows, perhaps the record of most expensive defender will be smashed again!

What do you think? Who is the best defender in the world? Is David Luiz worth £50m? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below…

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