Australian footballers aren’t renowned for high-profile transfers, nor for their transfer amount. With Brad Smith’s recent transfer from Liverpool to Bournemouth, it is a good time to revisit the top 5 Australian transfers, according to fees paid (all prices are in AUD). They read as follows:
5) Vincenzo Grella
Vincenzo Grella is a now-retired Australian midfielder, who played for clubs all over Europe, including Italy and England, as well as playing 46 times for the Australian national team. On 26 August 2008, Grella joined then English Premier League outfit Blackburn Rovers on a four-year deal. He joined from Italian club Torino for a fee of $7.4 million. Unfortunately for Grella, he would be struck down by a spate of injuries, not allowing him to see much game time and prove his fee. Over the last 2 years of his contract, Grella was only able to make a total of 9 appearances due to injuries, however, he takes out the award of the 5th highest transfer fee for an Australian footballer.
4) Harry Kewell
Harry Kewell is a former Australian footballer, and now coach, who had an illustrious career in Europe, and more specifically England, and his quality earns him number 4 on the list for highest transfer fees for an Australian. Playing 56 times for the national team and scoring 17 goals, Kewell moved from Leeds United to the club he supported as a boy, Liverpool, for a fee of $8.8 million at the beginning of the 2013-2014 season. Upon arrival, he was handed the famous number 7 shirt, which he arguably lived up too. In a highly controversial transfer, Kewell represented the Reds 93 times, scoring 12 goals, and places him 4th on the list.
3) Mathew Ryan
Currently Australia’s number 1 goalkeeper, ahead of the likes of Mitch Langerak, Ryan comes in at number 3 on the list of Australians procuring the highest transfer fees. A product of the Central Coast Mariners, Ryan forced a dream European move to Belgian side Club Brugge, before two outstanding seasons saw Spanish giants Valencia swoop for him. On 21 July 2015, Ryan signed a six-year deal with the La Liga side, for a total of $9.7 million, where he continues to impress. He has 25 caps for the Australian national side, and recently was awarded the best goalkeeper at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
2) Marco Bresciano
Marco Bresciano is a retired Australian midfielder who spent nearly his entire senior career playing in the Italian Serie A. Widely regarded as one of Australia’s greatest ever footballers, he represented the national team on 84 occasions, scoring a total of 13 goals, in an international career spanning 15 years. In the summer of 2002, he joined Parma for $9.8 million, at the time a record transfer fee for an Australian player. Although he was hampered by a series of injuries, he was still able to represent Parma 123 times, scoring 19 goals in the process, earning him 2nd place on the list of Australians with the highest transfer fees.
Equal 1st) Mark Viduka
Another one of Australia’s greatest, Viduka finds himself equal first for Australians earning the highest transfer fees. He captained the national team at the 2006 World Cup, where they earned their best ever finish at the championships, reaching the Round of 16. Viduka played 43 times for Australia, scoring 11 goals. Leeds United manager David O’Leary signed Viduka just before the 2000–2001 season for $10.5 million. He went on to become somewhat of a stalwart for the club, playing 130 times and scoring 59 goals, which sees him take out equal first place on the list, along with the following man:
Equal 1st) Brad Smith
Brad Smith is an Australian left back, who has recently found his way into the national team, hoping to cement the role at full back. Aged at just 22, Smith’s recent move from Liverpool to fellow Premier League side Bournemouth procured a transfer fee of $10.5, equal to that of Mark Viduka’s. Smith only played five times for the Merseyside club, so his transfer fee is a good bit of business for both parties involved. A buy-back clause was included in the transfer agreement, in case Liverpool decide they want to re acquire his services. Smith, along with Viduka, are the most expensive Australians of all time, both receiving transfer fees of $10.5 million AUD.