Great goalkeepers are said to win their team several points a season and clubs are splashing the cash more than ever to secure solid number ones.
Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Andre Onana from Inter Milan, in a deal that would catapult the Cameroonian into this list of expensive shot-stoppers. Erik ten Hag is close to landing his number one David de Gea replacement, as he looks to reunite with the former Ajax goalkeeper at Old Trafford.
Ranking the five most expensive goalkeepers in football history.
5. Gianluigi Buffon – Parma to Juventus (£32.6m)
Gianluigi Buffon reigned as the world’s most expensive goalkeeper for 16 years after leaving Parma to sign for Juventus in a then-record £32.6m deal in 2001.
Buffon won the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup as part of Parma’s successful side of the late nineties, before moving to Turin and cementing his reputation as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.
The Italian won 22 trophies with Juventus, including 10 Serie A titles, and holds club records for most Serie A appearances (489), most clean sheets (296) and consecutive clean sheets (10).
🙌 #OTD in 2003, Gianluigi Buffon denies Filippo Inzaghi!
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 28, 2020
More than two decades later, the £32.6m fee still ranks Buffon fifth among the most expensive goalkeepers of all time, though Juventus will feel the legendary shot-stopper was well worth the investment.
He also won a record 176 caps for the Italian national team and formed part of the team that won the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
4. Ederson – Benfica to Manchester City (£34.7m)
Pep Guardiola spent big in his desire to sign a new goalkeeper at Manchester City, securing a £34.7m deal to sign Ederson from Benfica in 2017.
The Brazilian had impressed to win consecutive Primeira Liga titles in Portugal, but arrived as a relative unknown after only one full season as first-choice in Lisbon.
Ederson’s arrival proved to be a transformative signing for the Citizens, acquiring a player who has since changed Premier League perceptions on a goalkeeper’s role.
— Premier League (@premierleague) June 8, 2023
Outstanding with the ball at his feet, Ederson’s expansive passing range over all distances has been a feature of Manchester City’s success in recent campaigns. His arrival has coincided with a run of domestic dominance at the Etihad, where the goalkeeper has won five Premier League crowns in six seasons, six domestic cups and three Premier League Golden Glove accolades.
3. Thibaut Courtois – Chelsea to Real Madrid (£35m)
Thibaut Courtois completed a £35m move to Real Madrid during the 2018 summer window, a period that saw several sides break goalkeeping transfer records.
The Spanish side secured a deal for Courtois after four seasons as Chelsea’s number one, where he won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, League Cup and a Premier League Golden Glove.
The Belgium international had previously spent three seasons on loan at rivals Atletico Madrid and returned to the Spanish capital established as one of the world’s best number ones.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 11, 2023
His five seasons at Real Madrid have brought two La Liga titles and the Champions League among eight honours, with Courtois producing a superb final performance during the club’s European triumph in 2022.
The towering presence of the Belgian has been a big factor behind Real Madrid’s recent success.
2. Alisson – Roma to Liverpool (£67m)
Liverpool broke the world-record for a goalkeeper to sign Alisson from Roma in 2018, with a calamitous Champions League final performance from Loris Karius having prompted a move for a new number one.
The decision has been a wise one with Alisson emerging as one of the game’s best goalkeeper’s at Anfield, starring as the Reds won the Champions League during his debut season.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 14, 2019
Since then the Brazilian has completed a clean sweep of major honours, lifting the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Club World Cup with Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Arguably the most complete goalkeeper in world football right now, he is a commanding presence one-vs-one and among the elite when it comes to distribution from the back.
1. Kepa Arrizabalaga – Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea (£71.6m)
Kepa Arrizabalaga became the most expensive goalkeeper of all time after Chelsea activated the Spaniard’s £71.6m release clause at Athletic Bilbao in 2018.
Kepa has spent five seasons in west London without really convincing however, spending large periods as the club’s second choice before returning to favour in 2022/23.
The 28-year-old is capable of spectacular saves and won the Premier League’s Save of the Season award after a superb stop against Aston Villa last season, but doubts remain over his long-term position as number one with Chelsea considering additions in goal.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) June 4, 2023
Should he depart, Chelsea are unlikely to recoup anything close to their record-breaking investment.