Harry Kane may have proven to be one of the hottest emerging talents in the Premier League over the last couple of seasons, but would you say he is more valuable than Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo? How about the inconsistent Anthony Martial being valued at €8.5million more than the second most expensive player in the world, Gareth Bale, or out-of-favour Michy Batshuayi as worth more than the likes of Serie A star Andrea Belotti?
Earlier this week the CIES Football Observatory released their annual report on who they deem to be the top 100 most valuable players in the world, and there were more than a couple of surprise inclusions.
We’ve taken a look at the data and pulled out some of the most interesting trends to emerge from this year’s report.
Premier League leads the way
This is one statistic that probably won’t surprise you.
The richest league in the world has provided the most players to the top 100, with 41 Premier League stars from ten different clubs.
La Liga boasts the second most (26), with Serie A third (15), the Bundesliga fourth (12) and Ligue 1 fifth (6). No players feature from any other leagues, with the Football Observatory only looking at the ‘big five’ leagues.
Real Madrid have the most players within the top 100
The Premier League might have provided the most players to this list, but it’s European champions Real Madrid that are the most represented club.
Ten Los Merengues players — at a combined value of €659.4million — feature, with talisman Cristiano Ronaldo topping the lot at a value of €126.5million. However, the four-time Ballon d’Or winner doesn’t even make the top five, ranking in seventh place behind Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane (€139.2million).
The other Real players to make the list are Gareth Bale (14th, €84million), Alvaro Morata (22nd, €72.9million), Toni Kroos (23rd, €71.4million), Raphael Varane (36th, €64million), James Rodriguez (41st, €60.4million), Marco Asensio (53rd, €51.6million), Mateo Kovacic (58th, €48.8million), Isco (79th €42.3million) and Karim Benzema (96th, €37.5million).
Barcelona most ‘valuable’ team
Although Barcelona have just eight players within the top 100 compared with Real Madrid’s ten, Luis Enrique’s side are the most valuable according to this top 100.
Their eight players are valued at a total of €799.4million, while the top five features their imperious trio of forwards: Neymar (€246.8million), Lionel Messi (€170.5million) and Luis Suarez (€145.2million).
Neymar is the most valuable player in the world according to CIES, owing to his young age (24), recently extended four-year deal and his salary. All-time leading goalscorer Messi is second, valued at a staggering €76.3million less than the Brazilian.
Chelsea the most valuable English squad
Of the ten Premier League teams that have players in the top 100, it’s current leaders Chelsea that are the most represented and that has the highest total value.
The Blues only have one player within the top 20 — Eden Hazard is ranked 10th at a value of €101.5million — but in total their eight players are valued at €480.8million, over €60million more than Manchester City (€419.2million). This is despite Chelsea’s net spend since 2012/13 being £210million less than City’s.
The other Chelsea players in the top 100 include N’Golo Kante (21st, €74.5million), Diego Costa (32nd, €66.3million) and Thibaut Courtois (46th, €55.2million).
Despite breaking the world transfer record to sign Paul Pogba in the summer, there are few members of the Manchester United squad to make this list, even though the French midfielder is the most valuable Premier League player according to CIES.
The only other two United players to make up the top 100 are Anthony Martial (12th, €92.5million) and David De Gea (58th, €48.8million), with the total of the three players coming in at €296.6million. Of the current Premier League top six, only Liverpool, who are represented by five players at a total value of €263.5million, come in below the newly declared ‘richest club in the world’ at €265.5million.
There are six Tottenham players in the list at a total value of €475.5million, and five Arsenal players at a total value of €300.7million.
Spurs' English contingent making their mark
They may not be considered to be one of the biggest clubs in the world, but Tottenham Hotspur have two players featuring in the top ten — more than any other Premier League club — with Harry Kane and Dele Alli coming in at 6th and 9th respectively.
The pair are also the two most valuable English players according to CIES, totalling a combined value of €249.7million. Irrespective of this perceived value, The north London side will be desperate to hold onto the pair if the club's rise is to continue.
Based on the Football Observatory’s Top 100 Most Valuable Players in the World we have put together the most valuable XI — check it out.