Money has been an integral part of modern day football. In recent years, it has had a prime role in shaping a club's performances at both domestic and international levels. Football clubs are not only just 'clubs' these days; they are multi-million-dollar businesses. With the money they have, football clubs, especially European, attempt to buy any players of their choice during the transfer sessions. Besides contracts, money has been luring many managers and high-profile players, of all ages and playing in any position, to rich clubs over the years.
When you look at the most expensive transfer fees in football history, the list is dominated mainly by players aged between 23 and 27. The top ten players with the highest transfer tags have an average age of nearly 26 years. Looking further down the list, you will find the top 45 reveal the same pattern, and the youngest transfer in the top 50 comes in at number 46. This number 46 is the most expensive U-20 player in our list and in football history. The transfer market does not give much importance to U-20 footballers who have not yet reached the prime of their career as much as they give to those around 25 years old who are in the peak of their performance.
Our list details the ten teenagers with the highest transfer fee tags. All the transfer fees are obtained from reliable sources and converted into Euros as well as the US dollars. The list features one African, four European and five South American youngsters. At the age they were transferred from one club to another, they were already some of the world's best footballers, highly rated and amongst the most expensive at their positions. So, here are the ten most expensive U-20 transfers of all time.
10 Sergio Agüero (18) - Independiente to Atlético Madrid - €21.7M ($30.1M)
9 Alexandre Pato (17) - Internacional to AC Milan - €22M ($30.51M)
8 Romelu Lukaku (18) - Anderlecht to Chelsea - €22M ($30.51M)
7 John Obi Mikel (19) - Lyn to Chelsea - €23.6M ($32.73M)
6 Sergio Ramos (19) - Sevilla to Real Madrid - €27M ($37.45M)
5 Antonio Cassano (19) - Bari to Roma - €28.5M ($39.53M)
4 Marquinhos (19) - Roma to Paris Saint-Germain - €31.4M ($43.55M)
3 Anderson (19) - Porto to Manchester United - €31.5M ($43.69M)
2 Javier Saviola (19) - River Plate to Barcelona - €35.9M ($49.79M)
1 Wayne Rooney (18) - Everton to Manchester United - €37M ($51.32M)
Wayne Rooney joined the youth system of Everton at the age of nine, and made his professional debut in 2002 at the age of 16. He spent the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons at the club, scoring 17 goals in 77 matches. He was named the "BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year" in 2002, and won the "Bravo Award" in 2003. Rooney was already one of the most expensive youngsters in the transfer market back then. In the summer of 2004, Manchester United signed the prolific English striker for a fee of €37 million. It was and is still the highest fee ever paid for a player under 20 years old; Rooney was still only 18 when he left Everton.
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