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9 most expensive defenders in history before Van Dijk - FCNaija

EPL By: Collins Udeme | 28/12/2017

Liverpool on Wednesday broke the transfer record for defenders by coughing out £75m to secure the services of Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton.

The figure is a world record fee for a defender and will see him move to Anfield after two and a half years at the St Mary's with the Saints.

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Here, we look at the top ten most expensive defenders in the history of the game after Van Dijk smashed Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy's four months record.

10. Lilian Thuram (Parma to Juventus for £37m)

Lilian Thuram, is a retired French professional football defender and the most capped player in the history of the France national team with 142 appearances between 1994 and 2008.

In the summer of 2001, Thuram made a transfer to Juventus, along with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. Thuram formed a defensive partnerships with the likes of Ciro Ferrara, Paolo Montero, Gianluca Pessotto, Mark Iuliano, Alessandro Birindelli, Igor Tudor, Gianluca Zambrotta, Nicola Legrottaglie, Fabio Cannavaro, Giorgio Chiellini, Federico Balzaretti and Jonathan Zebina during his five-year tenure with the club.

9. Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus to Milan (2017/18) for £37m)

Leonardo Bonucci is an Italian professional footballer who captains and plays as a centre-back for Serie A club AC Milan and the Italy national team.

On 14 July 2017, Bonucci was signed by Milan on a five-year contract for a €42 million fee.

8. Thiago Silva (AC Milan to PSG (2012/13) for £37m)

Thiago Emiliano da Silva commonly known as Thiago Silva, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a central defender for and captains both, Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team.

After moving to Europe to join Milan in 2009, Silva established himself as one of the highest rated defenders in the world, winning the Serie A title with the Rossoneri in the 2010–11 season. In July 2012, Paris Saint-Germain signed him for a reported €42 million, making him then the second-most expensive defender in history behind Rio Ferdinand. He was displaced by Nicolas Otamendi in 2015. Since his arrival at PSG, Silva has won four consecutive Ligue 1 championships, four consecutive Coupes de la Ligue and three consecutive Coupe de France.

7. Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia to Manchester City (2015/16) for £40m)

Nicolas Hernan Otamendi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a central defender for English club Manchester City and the Argentina national team.

On 20 August, he joined Manchester City on a five-year deal after refusing to train or play with Valencia late into the 2015 pre-season.

6. Rio Ferdinand (Leeds United to Manchester United (2002/03) for £41m)

Rio Ferdinand is a retired English professional footballer who played as a centre back. He played 81 times for the England national football team between 1997 and 2011.

On 22 July 2002, Ferdinand joined fellow Premier League side Manchester United on a five-year deal to become the most expensive British footballer in history at the time and the world's most expensive defender for a second time, a title he had lost in 2001 to Lilian Thuram.

5. David Luiz (Chelsea to PSG (2014/15) for £43m)

David Luiz is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for English club Chelsea and the Brazil national team. Primarily a central defender who can also be deployed as a defensive midfielder.

In June 2014, he transferred to Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of 49.5m euros, a world record transfer for a defender and won all four domestic competitions in both of his seasons in French football. He returned to Chelsea in August 2016 in a £30 million transfer deal.

4. John Stones (Everton to Manchester City (2016/17) for £49.7m)

John Stones is an English professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Manchester City and the English national team. Mainly a centre back, he can also play as a right back.

Stones joined Premier League club Everton for around £3 million in January 2013 and amassed 95 appearances for the Merseyside club over four seasons. In August 2016, he signed for Manchester City for an initial £47.5 million with a potential extra £2.5 million in add-ons.

2. Kyle Walker (Tottenham to Manchester City (2017/18) for £50m)

Kyle Andrew Walker is an English professional footballer who plays as a right back for Premier League club Manchester City and the English national team.

On 14 July 2017, Walker signed a five-year contract with Tottenham's Premier League rivals Manchester City, in a transfer reported to be worth an initial £45 million fee, rising to £50 million with add-ons.

2. Benjamin Mendy (Monaco to Manchester City (2017/18) for £52m)

Benjamin Mendy is a French professional footballer who plays as a left back for Premier League club Manchester City and the France national team.

On 24 July 2017, it was announced that Premier League side Manchester City had signed Mendy on a five-year contract, for a fee reported to be £52m. The transfer fee eclipsed the previous record for a defender, set 10 days prior by City on teammate Kyle Walker.

1. Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton to Liverpool (2017/18) for £52m)

Virgil van Dijk is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Premier League club Southampton and the Netherlands national team.

On 27 December 2017, it was announced that Van Dijk would join Liverpool when the winter transfer window opens on 1 January 2018 for a fee of £75 million.
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