Top 8 Most Valuable Football Players in the World

When we talk about the best football players in the world, we simply cannot look past their value, or at least the market value, which has now become one of the main factors when deciding which players are the best. If he costs more, he is better, or at least that’s what it seems. In this article, we will look at the 8 most expensive football players in the world, and who do we believe is undervalued.

When we talk about the value of players, the numbers are simply outrageous. Since the £90.90million (€105 million) transfer deal for Bale from Tottenham to Real Madrid, prices of players skyrocketed and hit its peak in 2017, when Paris Saint Germain bought Neymar for £198million (€222 million). For any football fan who has followed football for at least 15 years, those numbers are outrageous. Nonetheless, the football industry is big and as long as people watch and support it, there will be a lot of money in it. And if people believe a player is worth €222 million so be it. Despite holding a record for the most expensive transfer in the history of the sport, Neymar surprisingly enough is not at our number one spot, instead, it’s no other than the young French striker Kylian Mbappé.

1. Kylian Mbappé

Market Value: £180 million/€210 million

This 20-year old French striker started off his career in Monaco back in 2015 with only 17 years of age.  Slowly he climbed through Monaco Jugend to Monaco U19 and finally to the Monaco squad in 2016. A year later he moved to PSG on a loan which would prove to be the best decision of his career. During his time at PSG, Kylian Mbappé was just exceptional, and with that, his value skyrocketed from £31.50m to more than 3 times as much a year later when he moved back to Monaco. Seeing the potential in the player, PSG quickly offered a high £121.50 million (€142 million) fee for the young Frenchman, which Monaco did not take long to accept. Since his arrival at the PSG in 2018, Kylian Mbappé became the irreplaceable part of the team. This season alone he was involved in 46 goals for PSG in only 35 games. He scored 31 goals and added 15 assists. 26 out of 31 goals, Kylian Mbappé scored in Ligue 1, which makes him the top goalscorer in the league. With his phenomenal performances, no one should be surprised that he is considered one of the best players in the world at only 20 years of age. At the end of the day, his market value speaks for itself.

Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain
PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 17: Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain reacts after scoring during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique de Marseille at Parc des Princes on March 17, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier – PSG/PSG via Getty Images)

2. Neymar

Market Value: £162 million/€189 million

One of the most promising players in the world, Neymar Jr. has only played for 3 teams in his career. Santos FC, Barcelona and PSG. His road to spotlight started in 2013 when he played for Santos and was spotted by Barcelona who bought him for an enormous fee of £79.38m (€91 million). At his time in Barcelona, Neymar proved to be a world class player, who has been spotted by wealthy Paris Saint Germain, who did not have a problem spending a record-breaking £199.80m (€230 million) to bring the Brazilian star to the squad. When we talk about such numbers, it’s very hard to compare his performances to the price tag that was put on him. Is Neymar a good player? He is, there is no denying. But is he £199.80million good? That is something we could debate about. This season at PSG, Neymar was involved in 31 goals for his team with only 23 appearances. He scored 20 goals and added 11 assists.

Neymar JR of PSG
Neymar JR of PSG during the French Cup match between Paris Saint Germain and Strasbourg at Parc des Princes on January 23, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dave Winter/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

3. Lionel Messi

Market Value: £144 million/€168 million

What can be said that has not already been said about Lionel Messi. He is the most iconic football player of our time and will go down in history as one of the best that has ever stepped on the football pitch. As of now, his market value suggests he is worth £144.00million (€166 million), but we all know he is one of the players that has no price tag. Since the year 2000, when he arrived at Barca Youth squad, Messi has never left his home club, nor has he ever considered of moving away. Barcelona is his home and it will be his first and last club. Looking at his performances this season, Messi was involved in 60 goals for his club in 37 appearances, scoring 39 times and adding 21 assists.

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona
SEVILLE, SPAIN – MARCH 17: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and FC Barcelona at Estadio Benito Villamarin on March 17, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Apart from the top 3, there are 5 players that share the 4th spot, all with an estimated market value at £135 million (€157 million). So, in no particular order let’s check the 5 players who are £9 million (€10.5 million) short of reaching the top 3.

4. Mohamed Salah

Market Value: £135 million/€157 million

Mohamed Salah started off his career in Egyptian team Arab Contractors SC, from there he moved to Basel and Chelsea who loaned him out to Fiorentina and Roma. After noticing his potential AS Roma bought him for a fee of £13.50million. After exactly a year Liverpool showed their interest in the Egyptian striker and brought him to their team for £37.80million (€44 million), which proved to be one of their best transfers in recent years. Mohamed Salah proved his worth soon after arriving at Anfield. In 2017/18 season he became the top scorer in the Premier League with 32 goals. Not only that, but Salah was also involved in 60 goals for his team in all competitions, scoring 44 and adding 16 assists in 52 games played.  Due to his spectacular performance in 2017/18, he received numerous awards including PFS Players’ Player of the year, Liverpool player of the year, EPL Player of the year… With that it was not only his recognition that skyrocketed but also his market value, which is now at £135.00 million (€157 million), which is over 4 times as much as his value before arriving at Liverpool. Looking at his performances this season, Salah was involved in 29 goals for his club in 41 appearances. He scored 20 times and has 9 assists.

5. Harry Kane

Market Value: £135 million/€157 million

The English national team captain, Harry Kane shares the 4th spot as the most valuable player in the world with Mohamed Salah. Harry Kane is one of the rare players who has stayed loyal to one club his entire career. He started off his career in Tottenham in 2009 as a part of youth squad and never left the Spurs. That is of course if we exclude the loans to Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich, and Leicester up until 2013. Since then he has remained at Tottenham, where he became one of the key players. As it stands now, Harry Kane is considered to be among the best strikers in the world with his consistency when it comes to scoring goals for his team. Looking at the last 4 years he has scored no less than 20 goals in the Premier League, not including FA Cup goals, League goals and goals from the European competitions. This season alone, Harry Kane was involved in 30 goals for Tottenham. He scored 24 times and added 6 assists.

6. Antoine Griezmann

Market Value: £135 million/€157 million

Antoine Griezmann has been popping up in transfer news as another player who is unhappy with his current club and wants to leave. He joined his current Atletico Madrid in 2014 when he left Real Sociedad, which was his home club for 6 long years. Up until this point in his career, Griezmann managed to make a name for himself as one of the best strikers in the world. In his 248 appearances in Atletico Madrid, he scored 130 goals, which is 5th most in the club history. While his market value is at £135 million (€157 million), there are talks about his release clause being lowered to about £100 million, if he decides to join Barcelona.

7. Kevin De Bruyne

Market Value: £135 million/€157 million

Since arriving at Manchester City in 2015 his value hit the roof. From £40.50 million (€47 million) market value in 2015 his value reached its peak last season at £135.00 million (€157 million). In 2017/18 season he was involved in 33 goals for his team, scoring 12 goals and adding 21 assists. As far as this season goes, he has only appeared in 23 matches for his team in which he scored 4 and added 4 assists, which is a result of injuries which are a big part of this season for this Belgian midfielder. In August he suffered torn knee ligament which sidelined him for two months. In November he again had issues with ligament which resulted in another 43 days sidelined. Since then he looked fairly healthy until the start of March when it was reported De Bruyne has tight problems which still keep him away from the pitch. As it stands now, he missed a total of 26 fixtures for his team, and while it’s still unsure if the injuries will affect his performance, his market value remains put at £135.00m (€157 million).

8. Eden Hazard

Market Value: £135 million/€157 million

The Belgian winger, who has been linked with Real Madrid in February 2019 is the last player out of our group of 5 players, all with the same exact market value. The Chelsea player has spent 2/3 of his career with Chelsea, where he arrived in 2012 after transferring from Lille for a fee of £31.50 million (€36.7 million). Since his arrival at the Blues, he has already passed the 300 appearance mark and is now at 339 appearances, in which he scored 105 goals and added 86 assists. As for the 2017/18 season, Hazard has 39 appearances for Chelsea and was involved in 27 goals. He scored 16 goals and added 11 assists.

This is the list of the top 8 most valuable football players as of March 2019, however, we need to keep one thing in mind. All the numbers are “only” market values, which do not necessarily represent the real value of a player. The number is only the estimate which is a combination of numerous factors that go into deciding on how much each player is worth. From age, position, marketability, to even nationality and many more factors are considered when we talk about the value of a player. This is why we tend to see some players ranked lower as expected. For example, we can ask ourselves, where is Ronaldo on our list. There is no denying he is one of the best players that ever lived. To answer the question, he is only 16th with a market value of £90 million/€105 million. We could argue there are plenty of other players who could be considered to be among the top 10 most valued players, however, I tend to find it hard to justify anyone being worth over €150 million. At the end of the day, players are worth as much as clubs are willing to pay for them.

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