Record $9.63 billion spent on football transfers in 2023 - FIFA. GETTY IMAGES

Football clubs around the world spent a total of $9.63 billion (€8.88 million) on international transfers last year, an increase of 48.1% compared to 2022, a year in which the effects of the pandemic began to wane, according to a report published by FIFA.

2023 was a record year. The previous year ended with a total of 9.63 billion dollars (8.88 million euros) in transfers. That was more than $2 billion more than the previous record set in 2019. FIFA released the figures in a report published on Tuesday 30 January. The figures are staggering. Compared to 2022, when transfer spending began to rise again after two years of adjustment due to the Kovid-19 pandemic, the increase is 48.1%. 

Just 10 transfers account for 10% of the total. Among them was Jude Bellingham, now a star at Real Madrid star, who left the Bundesliga. Enzo Fernández moved to Chelsea and Harry Kane signed for Bayern Munich. The England striker was pursued by most of Europe's top clubs. In the end, he chose Germany. English clubs were the biggest spenders, led by Chelsea. 

They spent $2.96 billion, three times more than France, who came second on the list. Saudi Arabia's clubs, which have managed to carve out a niche for themselves in the world of football, entered the top five spenders for the first time with a total of $970 billion. This was due to the significant acquisitions of Neymar, Sadio Mané and Riyad Mahrez, all world stars who have chosen their destination.. 

Alexia Putellas, FC Barcelona player. Transfers in women's football have soared. GETTY IMAGES
Alexia Putellas, FC Barcelona player. Transfers in women's football have soared. GETTY IMAGES

Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, two multiple Ballon d'Or winners in the Portuguese's case, also made the move to the Gulf kingdom, but did so at no cost to their new clubs. Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have been the biggest spenders, investing heavily in their squads.

Other football giants such as Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich round off the top five in the 2023 big-spenders ranking. On the other hand, German clubs will receive the most money at nearly $1.21 billion.

This was helped by the sales of Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) and Randal Kolo Muani, who left Eintracht Frankfurt for PSG. Portugal were the top recipients of foreign players with 1,017, while Brazil, as usual, exported the most with 1,217. The "impressive growth" of the women's transfer market is also highlighted in the FIFA report.

The development of women's football has taken it to a very high level. It was unimaginable a few years ago and beyond the reckoning of the officials who ran the institution before the pandemic.

Harry Kane was one of the most expensive transfers (Leicester to Bayern). GETTY IMAGES
Harry Kane was one of the most expensive transfers (Leicester to Bayern). GETTY IMAGES

In 2023, a total of 623 women's clubs were involved in international transfers. This compares with 507 the previous year. In addition, 1,888 players moved from one country to another, up from 1,571 in 2022. This resulted in a record annual spend of $6.1 billion, an increase of 84.2% on 2022. A statistic that demonstrates the attachment and commitment of all institutions to the growth of women's football is the increase in transfer spending.

The vast majority of the big clubs have opened women's departments. They have increased all the resources for women's football in order to reduce the gap and distance between men's and women's football. All of this has helped to make the competitions and the people in charge realise that they have to support something that is already unstoppable and make it even bigger.