The Football Observatory at the International Centre for Sports Studies released its annual review for the 2014 season, and it contains estimated market values for the most valuable players in the five big European leagues.
The player valuations were made by a model that takes into account "age, length of contract remaining, position, player performance at club level for last and previous seasons (matches, minutes, goals, assists, passes, tackles, interceptions, etc.), results of the clubs to which players belong, as well as players' international experience and results of association represented at national A-team level."
When a player switches teams in soccer, the club buying him pays the selling team a transfer fee. This Football Observatory study estimates that transfer fee for each player.
- Lionel Messi, who's the most valuable player in the world as well as the highest-paid player in the world, is nearly twice as expensive as the 2nd-most valuable player, Cristiano Ronaldo. That's because Messi is just 26 years old while Ronaldo is 29.
- Nearly every player in the top-25 could be described as an attacking player (23 out of 25, with Sergio Busquets and probably Paul Pogba as the lone exceptions).
- Eleven of the top-25 players play in the English Premier League, eight play in Spain, two play in France, two play in Germany, and two play in Italy.
- The youngest player (Raheem Sterling) is 19 years old. The oldest (Andres Iniesta) is 30.
Here's the top 25 (club and national team in parenthesis):
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina) — $272-317 million
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, Portugal) — $144-167 million
3. Luis Suarez (Liverpool, Uruguay) — $134-156 million
4. Eden Hazard (Chelsea, Belgium) — $103-120 million
5. Neymar (Barcelona, Brazil) — $86-99 million
6. Paul Pogba (Juventus, France) — $83-96 million
7. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid, Wales) — $80-92 million
8. Mesut Ozil (Arsenal, Germany) — $67-78 million
9. Edinson Cavani (PSG, Uruguay) — $65-76 million
10. Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich, Germany) — $64-74 million
11. Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid, Spain) — $64-74 million
12. Oscar (Chelsea, Brazil) — $63-$72 million
13. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City, Argentina) — $62-72 million
14. Isco (Real Madrid, Spain) — $56-65 million
15. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool, England) — $53-61 million
16. Ross Barkley (Everton, England) — $50-58 million
17. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich, Germany) — $50-$58 million
18. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United, England) — $50-58 million
19. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool, England) — $50-58 million
20. Andres Iniesta (Barcelona, Spain) — $50-58 million
21. Mario Balotelli (AC Milan, Italy) — $48-56 million
22. Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea, Belgium) — $48-56 million
23. Juan Mata (Manchester United, Spain) — $47-54 million
24. Sergio Busquets (Barcelona, Spain) — $47-54 million
More From Business Insider
- Ridiculous Neymar Backheel Pass Sets Up A Brazil Goal In A Dominant Pre-World Cup Game
- A Worrisome Photo Of São Paulo's World Cup Stadium Looking Half-Built 9 Days Before The Opening Game
- The World Cup Groups Are Laughably Uneven, And It's Proof That FIFA's System Is Broken
- Semi-Pro Soccer Player Scores One Of The Goals Of The Year On An Overhead Kick From 18 Yards Away
- Here's The Official Ball For The World Cup Championship Game
- Sports & Recreation
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Lionel Messi
- Sergio Busquets
- Real Madrid
- Paul Pogba