England's Harry Kane (right) celebrates with team-mate Jude Bellingham after scoring their side's third goal of the game during the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying match at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Tuesday October 17, 2023.

The most valuable player for every age between 16 & 40, according to Transfermarkt

The amount of money invested in modern football means that every player has a price – whether the baller in question is a teenager or a grizzled veteran.

From promising young ballers like Lamine Yamal to legends of the game like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, some of those valuations are eye-watering but sufficient to indicate their immense worth.

We’ve looked at the most valuable player for each age from 16 to 40, using data from Transfermarkt, whose valuations should admittedly be taken with a pinch of salt.

16: Lamine Yamal – €50million

Despite being too young to vote or buy alcohol, Yamal is already an important member of the Barcelona squad and has shone on the international stage for Spain. His potential is frightening.

17: Warren Zaire-Emery – €50million

France have the deepest squad in world football, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Zaire-Emery played at the Euros. It’d be a grievous offence if he didn’t, considering his form for PSG this season.

The midfielder has certainly impressed manager Luis Enrique. “He’s a surprising player; young, and who does everything well, in attack and defence,” Enrique said recently.

“He has a good vision of the game, he knows how to make decisive passes. At his age, he is a perfect example for all young people who dream of becoming professionals. I am very happy for him.”

18: Mathys Tel – €50million

Even with Harry Kane ahead of him at Bayern Munich, Tel is in the kind of form that warrants more game time with six goals and one assist in just 330 minutes of football this season.

He might also be the answer to Germany’s striker woes, a situation that’s dogged the national team since Miroslav Klose shuffled off the scene.

19: Gavi – €90million

Barcelona’s angry ant is making a name for himself as a fiery customer, but his valuation of €90million suggests he’s more than a Tiki Taka Lee Cattermole.

20: Jude Bellingham – €150million


MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 7: Jude Bellingham of Real Madrid celebrates a goal during the La liga 2023/24 match between Real Madrid and Osasuna at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

READ: ‘He reminds me of Di Stefano’: 10 quotes on Jude Bellingham’s astonishing Real Madrid start

21: Josko Gvardiol – €80million

The highest-valued defender in the world, Gvardiol has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water following his summer move to Manchester City.

Strong, quick and peerless in the air, the Croatia international will only get better under Pep Guardiola’s management – a truly scary thought.

22: Bukayo Saka – €120million 

Saka enjoyed the most prolific season of his career to date last season as he scored 14 league goals – and he’s started the 2023-24 campaign in similar fashion.

With four goals and three assists in nine Premier League, the Arsenal and England starboy is widely considered one of the best forwards in world football. His €120million valuation is firmly deserved.

23: Erling Haaland – €180million

The player with the joint-highest value in world football, Haaland is a robot built by elite scientists to score goals and trample over the self-worth of opposition defenders.

The Manchester City and Norway striker has about 11 touches per game, but invariably scores at least twice. Has the potential to define world football into the 2030s…

24: Kylian Mbappe – €180million

As does Mbappe.

Arguably the greatest player in the world right now, the PSG and France forward has already scored 224 goals in 272 appearances for his club, won the World Cup in 2018 and top-scored four years later in Qatar – including a hat-trick in the final against Argentina.

‘Generational’ barely scratches the surface when talking about Mbappe.

25: Federico Valverde – €100million

One of the many footballers Arsene Wenger could’ve signed by chose not to, Valverde is one of Real Madrid’s key men and has already won two La Ligas, two Supercopa de Espanas, two FIFA Club World Cups and one Copa del Rey, UEFA Supercup and UEFA Champions League’s.

26: Lautaro Martinez – €100million

Martinez has had an impressive 18 months, winning the Italian Cup and Super Cup with Inter, and lifting the World Cup with Argentina in Qatar too.

With Messi unsure whether he’ll play for his country beyond next year’s Copa America, the €100million-valued Martinez seems the natural choice to step into his shoes.

27: Rodri – €100million

The man who makes Manchester City tick, Rodri is worth a cool €100million and his absence from the side due to suspension unstabilised the treble-winners in recent defeats against Newcastle, Wolves and Arsenal.

28: Jack Grealish & Joshua Kimmich – €75million

The only tie on our list comes between Grealish and Kimmich for the coveted ‘most valuable 28-year-old in world football’ trophy. Seriously lads, share nicely.

Grealish became an important member of City’s treble-winning side last year, overcoming a difficult first season at the Etihad, while Kimmich remains a lynchpin of both Bayern and Germany’s midfield.

29: Bernardo Silva – €80million

“I could be talking for ten minutes how Bernardo does to our team,” Guardiola gushed after City had wiped the floor with Manchester United at Old Trafford in October 2023. “He is beyond good in all departments. We are in love with him.”

At 29, Silva remains one of the best midfielders in the world and is a legend in the blue half of Manchester.

30: Harry Kane – €110million

Age is just a number and Kane is absolutely brilliant.

His move to Bayern Munich should break his unfathomable trophy duck and England will be one of the favourites for the Euros with Kane leading the line.

31: Mohamed Salah – €65million

It’s strange to think that Liverpool’s signing of Salah for €42million in 2017 was considered something of a risk at the time. Six years, 196 goals and 318 games later, the Egyptian is one of the greatest players of his generation. 

32: Kevin De Bruyne – €70million

Injured until January, De Bruyne remains the best creative midfielder in the business. Seriously, some of his assists are more heavenly than a warm cup of cocoa on a filthy autumn evening.

33: Ilkay Gundogan – €20million

After playing some of the best football of his career during Manchester City’s historic 2022-23 campaign, Gundogan rejected the offer of a contract extension at the Etihad and moved to Barcelona on a free transfer.

He’s started well in Spain and his criticism of his new team-mates reaction to defeat in El Clasico indicates his winning mentality hasn’t been diminished by his glittering spell at City.

34: Thomas Muller – €12million

Is it really 13 years ago that Muller broke onto the world stage at South Africa 2010, winning the Golden Boot and firing Germany to the semi-finals? Time’s march is a remorseless one.

Still at Bayern Munich, the player who has won just about everything is slower these days and is out of favour with Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel.

There’s been rumours he plans to retire after Germany hosts the Euros next summer. Football would be poorer in his absence.

35: Robert Lewandowski – €30million

Poland have been a major tournament staple for the last decade, but they’re struggling to make Euro 2024 as Lewandowski begins to succumb to age and injury concerns.

Still, the striker has scored 39 times in 57 Barcelona appearances since moving to Spain last summer and remains one of the best goalscorers around.

36: Lionel Messi – €35million

The 2023 Ballon d’Or winner is ageing like the finest of Argentinian wines. We should appreciate him playing professionally while we still can.

Inter Miami's and Argentina's national team player Lionel Messi receives the 2023 Ballon d'Or trophy during the 67th Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) award ceremony at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France, Monday, Oct. 30, 2023.

READ: 12 unbelievable stats that show why Lionel Messi deserves his 2023 Ballon d’Or

37: Manuel Neuer – €5million

Injured for 10 months after a freak skiing accident following the 2022 World Cup, Neuer is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time and his recent return is a massive boost for Bayern Munich.

38: Cristiano Ronaldo – €15million

Having made shockwaves with his move to Al-Nassr last December, Ronaldo continues to plunder goals with the greed of Augustus Gloop in your local Gregg’s.

The 38-year-old has struck 34 times in 40 matches out in Saudi Arabia and has professed his desire to play at both Euro 2024 and the 2026 World Cup. You just know he will, too.

39: Thiago Silva – €2million

Still at the heart of Chelsea’s defence as he approaches his fifth decade, Silva is one of the best defenders of his generation and is adored by the fans at Stamford Bridge.

“The end of my career is approaching and it’s not a simple thing,” the Brazil international said about his retirement plans recently. “I have to think if I stop, or if I continue and where I go.”

It’ll be a sad day when he hangs up his boots.

40: Claudio Bravo – €1million

Bravo played for Barcelona, Manchester City and that cult Chile side during his peak, enjoying moments of goalkeeping excellence with all three despite a reputation for gaffes.

Now 40, he plays for Real Betis and made an impressive 21 appearances last term. We’d love if he could help the La Liga club go deep into the Europa League knockouts this season.

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