The top 10 most valuable players in Europe: Vinicius, Foden, Haaland…
There is plenty to be said about how much money is spent in the football transfer market but with the January window open and rumours aplenty, the question of who is the most valuable footballer in the world is a hotly debated topic.
Beyond actual raw talent, it’s hard to figure out how much a player is worth but there are several factors most formulas take into account.
These often include the length and value of a player’s contract, their age, the commercial value of a player, and the importance of a player to the club they are currently at.
So using their own method, the International Centre for Sports Studies has published their bi-annual list of the most valuable players in Europe. Here are the top 10.
10. Frenkie de Jong – €115million
The Dutchman is the joint oldest player on this list at 24, but his contract until 2026 and his clear ability renders him the 10th most valuable player in Europe.
He is a vital part of Barcelona’s team and one of the finest midfielders in Europe, but with their money trouble, there have been some rumours he could leave to fund other arrivals.
It would cost a pretty penny to get him to leave the Nou Camp.
9. Pedri – €118million
Pedri is one of the players on this list it feels unlikely will ever leave their club.
Valued at almost €120million, If he ever did leave Barcelona he would cost a small fortune to sign.
His age, just 19, and a long-term contract that runs until 2026 make him Barcelona’s most valuable player. Pedri’s release clause? €1billion. Barca aren’t making that Neymar mistake again.
I miss watching pedri ball 😔 pic.twitter.com/eUndEgNW4B
— Nisa (@xaviiesta) January 5, 2022
8. Ruben Dias – €120million
If the value of a player was based purely on ability, Dias would surely be higher up this list.
The Portuguese centre-back is just in his second season at Manchester City and helped lead them to a Premier League title and Champions League final in 2020-21.
He is the most valuable centre-back in the world according to this list, but not the most valuable defender…
7. Alphonso Davies – €122million
…for that is Bayern Munich’s Canadian starlet Davies.
The left wingback is just 21 and was a vital part of Bayern’s 2019-20 treble. After a slight drop in form last season he looks back to his best.
Alongside his raw talent, his youthful age, European success with Bayern, a contract until 2025 makes him the seventh most valuable player in Europe.
6. Jude Bellingham – €130million
Bellingham at just 18 is the youngest player in the top 10.
He was a hotly contested prospect after he emerged at Birmingham but he chose Borussia Dortmund over Manchester United and is reaping the benefits.
There are countless English teams interested in him, but he would surely cost too much to pry him away in the summer.
Incredibly, he is only the third most valuable Bundesliga player. Expect him to shoot up this list in the coming years.
17 years of age. Champions League quarter-finals. First #UCL goal. ✅
— TNT Sports (@tntsports) April 14, 2021
5. Florian Wirtz – €133million
Bayer Leverkusen’s next big moneymaker after Kai Havertz (now 20th on the list), Wirtz is a player you should keep an eye on.
Like Bellingham, he is just 18. He is the only German in the top 10 and is more than deserving of his spot.
He has a combined 19 goals and assists in 22 matches this season. That, along with his age and a contract until 2026, makes him the fifth most valuable player in Europe.
4. Mason Greenwood – €133million
Greenwood just beats out Wirtz to fourth spot, actually valued at €133.9million.
Ahead of Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford (11th, 12th and 22nd respectively), he is United’s most valuable asset.
3. Erling Haaland – €142million
Yes, Haaland is just third on this list.
All of the top three are aged 21 and all have contracts that run until 2024, but despite Haaland’s undeniable generational talent perhaps the inevitability of his departure makes him somewhat less valuable.
Even then a valuation of almost €150million would have been unheard of even a decade ago.
2. Phil Foden – €152million
The most valuable Englishman and the most valuable Premier League player on the list is Phil Foden.
He will almost certainly never leave his boyhood club, and his importance to Manchester City (who now have a truly worldwide appeal) as their poster boy elevates his valuation even further than his talent and age does.
Foden is a joy to watch and never looks out of place in City’s star-studded side where he is no longer a nice addition, but a crucial part of Pep Guardiola’s system.
Seven goals and six assists so far this season is a testament to the Stockport Messi’s ability. If he had won the Champions League and Euros he may well have been number one on the list.
1. Vinicius Junior – €166million
In at number one is Real Madrid’s golden boy and Brazillian trickster Vinicius Jr.
Your eyebrows may be raised at his position as supposedly the most valuable player in Europe, but there is good reason for it.
Firstly he is in electric form this season, with 23 goals and assists in 26 games. Secondly, he is Real Madrid’s only entry in the top 10 – their new star man. When was the last time that Florentino Perez allowed one of his star assets to leave for peanuts? Exactly.
His marketability as a young, exciting and talented Brazilian player at one of the biggest clubs in the world cannot be overstated.
It has taken him a few years, but now he is thriving. Europe’s MVP.