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How does Alan Shearer's record-breaking £15m fee compare today?

Newcastle United's Alan Shearer appeals for a hand ball against Aston Villa, which was turned down

Twenty years ago Newcastle smashed the world transfer record to sign Alan Shearer.

Just days before the anniversary of the former England striker's famous £15m switch from Blackburn, Gonzalo Higuain became the third-most expensive player in the world with a £75.3m move from Napoli to Juventus. 

The fee paid for the Argentina international - still some way short of the enormous sums paid by Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale - highlights the remarkable escalation in transfer fees since 1996. And Paul Pogba could yet take the record to even greater heights this summer. 

Shearer's £15m fee doesn't come close to the mega-deals being done today. Here's where Higuain fits into our most expensive XI...

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We start in goal with Juventus and Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon, who moved from Parma to Juventus for £32.6m in 2001 and remains the most expensive goalkeeper 15 years later.

His defence is marshalled by David Luiz, who left Chelsea for Paris Saint-Germain in a £40m deal, and Rio Ferdinand, who crossed the Pennines for £29.1m to join Manchester United from Leeds United in 2002.

<<enter caption here>> at JJB Stadium on July 16, 2016 in Wigan, England.
Image: Luke Shaw came through the Southampton academy before moving to Man Utd
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The full-back positions are occupied by Lilian Thuram and Luke Shaw. Former France international Thuram left Parma for Juve alongside team-mate Buffon, while Shaw became the most expensive left-back ever when he moved from Southampton to Man Utd two years ago.

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In midfield, an embarrassment of attacking riches means we've got Zinedine Zidane and James Rodriguez, two forward-thinking players, slightly further back.

James Rodriguez of Real Madrid celebrates scoring the opening goal
Image: James Rodriguez starred at the 2014 World Cup before moving to Real Madrid

Zidane became one of the original Galacticos upon joining Real from Juve for £47.2m in 2001, having helped France to a World Cup and European Championship double.

International excellence also earned James a move to the Bernabeu 13 years later, having starred at the 2014 World Cup with Colombia. He swapped Monaco for the Spanish capital for £63m, making him the third-most expensive player in Real's history.

Our 4-2-3-1 formation comes into its own up front, allowing us to play three forwards behind a main striker.

Gareth Bale celebrates scoring against Man City
Image: Gareth Bale also came through the Southampton academy, before moving on to Tottenham and then Real Madrid
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Gareth Bale is guaranteed a spot having become the most expensive player in football history when he moved from Tottenham to Real for £85.3m in 2013, eclipsing Cristiano Ronaldo's previous world-record mark.

The Portugal international moved from Man Utd to Real for £80m, while Neymar is the third attacker thanks to his £73.7m move from Santos to Barcelona in 2013.

Barcelona forward Neymar celebrates
Image: Neymar has formed a potent partnership at Barcelona with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi

On Monday, the central striker position would have been occupied by Luis Suarez of Barcelona, but Higuain's record-breaking move earns the former Napoli man the leading place.

His £75.3m transfer to Juve is more than £10m more than Barca paid Liverpool for Suarez two summers ago.

Gonzalo Higuain of Napoli celebrates after scoring his team's second goal goal during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Genoa
Image: Gonzalo Higuain eclipses Luis Suarez as the most expensive striker

Top 10 most expensive transfers

  1. Gareth Bale
    Tottenham to Real Madrid - £85.3m
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo 
    Man Utd to Real Madrid - £80m
  3. Gonzalo Higuain 
    Napoli to Juventus - £75.3m
  4. Neymar
    Santos to Barcelona - £73.7m
  5. Luis Suarez 
    Liverpool to Barcelona - £65m
  6. James Rodriguez 
    Monaco to Real Madrid - £63m
  7. Angel Di Maria 
    Real Madrid to Man Utd - £59.7m
  8. Kaka
    AC Milan to Real Madrid - £59m
  9. Edinson Cavani 
    Napoli to PSG - £55m
  10. Kevin De Bruyne 
    Wolfsburg to Man City - £54.5m

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