The role of the number one spot has changed drastically in recent years. Goalkeepers are judged critically on their ability to start plays, as much as they are for saving three points. Every club needs strength at the back, whether that’s home-grown or sourced from afar, but sometimes breaking transfer fees doesn’t solve the problem. Today we take a look at the five most expensive shot-stoppers of all time and find out who the most expensive goalkeeper in the world is.
Who is the most expensive goalkeeper in the world? Top 5.
5th. Jordan Pickford (£25 million)
It’s safe to say that recent headlines haven’t been too favourable for Jordan Pickford. His lunging tackle on Van Dijk in the Merseyside derby had him back in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Even so, Pickford’s performance in the 2018 World Cup won over a nation, and his since been riding his former glories to first-side starts, season after season.
As a youth player, Pickford represented England at international level from under 16’s, right the way through to under 21’s and into his senior career. A year before his penalty-shootout prowess, Pickford signed for Everton in 2017 for £25 million. This move from boyhood club Sunderland marked him as the most expensive British goalkeeper ever and the current fifth most expensive goalkeeper of all time.
4th. Gianluigi Buffon (£32 million)
Any conversation that is started about goalkeepers will inevitably turn to a discussion on Gianluigi Buffon. A name synonymous with everything that is Juventus, Buffon made his move to the Turin side in 2001 for a record-breaking £32 million.
The turn of the century had Juventus splashing the cash from the recent departure of Zidane to Real Madrid. Along with Parma teammate Lillian Thuram and Lazio’s Pavel Nedved, a young Bufon made the move to I Bianconeri to fulfil a childhood dream of winning the Scudetto.
Twenty years and 700+ club appearances later, he has firmly cemented his place in the goalkeeper’s hall of hame. 10 Serie A titles, 1 World Cup and a list of individual records so long it’s almost impossible to read in a single sitting.
3rd. Ederson (£35 million)
Ederson Santana de Moraes, known simply as Ederson, made the move from Benfica to Manchester City in 2017 for the princely sum of £35 million. At the time this made him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world, and today sits at number in 3 in the rankings.
It’s known that Guardiola expects his goalkeepers to act as the eleventh outfield man. More than just a safe pair of hands, Ederson has always had to be comfortable applying pressure and creating build-up plays from his feet, which he has done in abundance over the past three years.
Last season’s Premier League Golden Glove winner, Ederson also topped the goalkeeper playmaker rankings for every measurable statistic; Passing accuracy, goal-ending pass sequences, long pass accuracy, etc. And as if league titles weren’t enough, he even holds the world record for longest drop-kick at almost 250 feet.
2nd. Alisson (£56 million)
Second on our list of the most expensive goalkeepers of all time is Alisson Ramses Becker aka Alisson. Liverpool signed the young Brazilian from Roma back in 2018, with a first rejected offer of £56 million, which later increased to a huge £66.8 million.
In his early career, Alisson helped Internacional to four consecutive Campeonato Gaúcho’s, with a trophy win in each of his four years at the club. Sidelined for his first season at Roma, Alisson started to make headlines in 2017 when he became the Italian side’s number one starter, keeping 22 clean sheets across all competitions, with eyes set for a move overseas.
Snapped up by Liverpool for a record-breaking fee (although this was quickly broken just four weeks later by our one number spot), Alisson claimed the Premier Golden Glove in his debut season. He also played a pivotal role in their 18/19 Champions League win and league title the year after, despite injuries.
1st. Kepa Arrizabalaga (£72 million)
The most expensive goalkeeper of all time is none other than Kepa Arrizabalaga. Just four weeks after Liverpool broke the world record goalkeeper fee in 2018, Chelsea said “we’ll have a bit of that” and snatched up Kepa from Atletic Bilbao for a staggering £72 million.
A promising few seasons for Atletic lead to loan spells at Ponferradina and Valladolid. It was rumoured the young Spaniard would make a move to Real Madrid, and though this never came to fruition, Kepa later set sail for the bright lights of the Premier League. Despite high-hopes, many football fans would argue that Kepa hasn’t lived up to the hype, and has been routinely criticised by pundits for critical, game-costing blunders.
Is Kepa worth the astronomical price tag? Unfortunately for Chelsea fans, most signs point to no. He even made it onto our worst football transfers of all-time list.