Neymar is world’s most valuable footballer

 |Jan 18, 2017
Brazilian star Neymar (right) is more expensive than his Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi.
Brazilian star Neymar (right) is more expensive than his Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi.

Barcelona star Neymar is the most expensive player in Europe’s top five leagues ahead of his teammate Lionel Messi, according to a CIES Football Observatory study.

Neymar, 24, has had a difficult time in front of goal since October, recently ending an 11-game goal drought in last week’s Copa del Rey win against Athletic Club, but the report still attributes him a potential value of €246.8 million.

That’s substantially more than the €170.5m second-placed Messi is valued at, with Barcelona strike partner Luis Suarez joining them in the top five (€145.2m).

The Uruguayan striker, though, is behind Paul Pogba (€155.3m), who commanded a world-record transfer fee of €105m in the summer when he re-joined Manchester United from Juventus, and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann (€150.4m).

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (€126.5m), who will turn 32 in February, has dropped down to seventh, behind Tottenham’s Harry Kane (€139.2m), the highest ranked Premier League player in the study.

But while La Liga boasts five of the seven most valuable players in Europe’s top leagues, it’s England’s top flight which dominates the top 100.

There are 42 players from the Premier League who make the cut.

Juventus’ Paulo Dybala (€113.8m) is deemed to be Serie A’s most valuable player and he makes the top 10, but the most expensive players from Germany and France — Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele (€71m) and Monaco’s Bernardo Silva (€52.5m) — are a long way down the list.

CIES explains that “the statistical model through which prices are calculated includes multiple variables on player performance (minutes, goals, etc.) and characteristics (age, contract, etc.), as well as data on employer clubs and potential recruiting ones.”