The international transfer amounts paid worldwide for professional football players last year continue to fall, according to figures from the Global Transfer Report of the World Football Association FIFA. The number of transfer movements, on the other hand, increased again and is gradually returning to pre-coronavirus levels.
Compared to last year, more transfers were realized, but less had to be paid for them. The detailed data from the Transfer Matching System (TMS) shows that 18,068 international transfers were registered in 2021, a 5.1 percent increase compared to 2020 (17,190), when many competitions were shut down for weeks or even months after the coronavirus outbreak. The figure even approaches the record of 2019, when 18,080 international transfers were realised.
In terms of transfer amounts, the impact of the corona pandemic is still clearly visible. A total of 4.2 billion euros was spent on transfers, a decrease of 13.6 percent compared to 2020 (4.91 billion euros) and a decrease of no less than 33.8 percent compared to the record year 2019 (6, 41 billion euros). This is the lowest amount in the past five years. In 66.8 percent of the transfers, no compensation had to be paid, because it concerned free players. Only in 11.4 percent of the cases did a financial transaction take place between clubs. In the other cases, it concerned loans. The median amount for a transfer fell further to 262,000 euros, the lowest level since 2011.
The most expensive transfer that was realized last year is that of Red Devil Romelu Lukaku. After tough negotiations, the Belgian all-time top scorer moved from Inter to Chelsea last summer for 115 million euros. With that, Big Rom beat Jadon Sancho (from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United) and Achraf Hakimi (from Inter to PSG).