If you want to know who the most valuable football players at any particular time are, then there are lots of factors to take into consideration. Of course, you could simply base value on the highest transfer fees to date. However, this would not take into account a skilled player who moved on a free transfer, for example. Also, you could artificially raise the ranking of an injured or out of form footballer just because he or she transferred a season or two ago on a big money deal.
Thankfully, a well-respected research group does the number crunching for you so all of the relevant data is taken into account. The CIES Football Observatory puts a whole range of metrics into its algorithm once a month to come up with a list of male professionals which is ranked according to their value right now. The observatory’s findings are eagerly anticipated by football fans and their rankings are widely reported. In fact, the latest rankings made headlines right around the globe. In some cases, this was simply because players like Lionel Messi, widely regarded as one of the most successful footballers of his day, is starting to slip down the charts. Equally, less well-known players who might not be household names are starting to move up. Largely, this is because these players are young and starting to show top-quality form. Of course, it also takes discipline, athleticism, the ability to play in a system with others and skill to become more and more valuable to a club. Over the years – CIES has been running it reports since 2010 – many players have come and gone from the list. Who is topping the charts these days?
Below you will be able to see a list of the top 37 players in the world according to the value that CIES has ascribed to each. You should bear in mind, however, that only players currently competing in the top leagues of Europe will appear. The data CIES uses is for professionals employed by clubs in the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 in France.
- Kylian Mbappé
- Harry Kane
- Raheem Sterling
- Mo Salah
- Paulo Dybala
- Lionel Messi
- Romelu Lukaku
- Philippe Coutinho
- Leroy Sané
- Antoine Griezmann
- Dele Alli
- Roberto Firmino
- Sadio Mané
- Gabriel Jesus
- Bernardo Silva
- Paul Pogba
- Eden Hazard
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Ousmane Dembélé
- Trent Alexander-Arnold
- Jadon Sancho
- Luis Suárez
- Alisson Becker
- Lorenzo Insigne
- Aymeric Laporte
- Ederson Moraes
- Marc-André ter Stegen
- N’Golo Kanté
- Kevin de Bruyne
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
- Virgil van Dijk
- Son Heung-Min
- Davinson Sánchez
- Mauro Icardi
- Marcus Rashford
- Saúl Ñíguez
Let’s look at each of the top 37 players in a bit more detail.
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A Frenchman, Mbappé was a World Cup hero for his country last year. At the age of just 20, the PSG player is valued by CIES at an astonishing £196 million if he were to go onto the transfer market.
The captain of England plays his club football for Tottenham Hotspur. Once considered a second-tier striker by some of his managers, Kane is now regarded as the finest in his country and is said to be valued at £180 million.
The Brazilian striker plays for PSG. He is said to be worth a mighty £177 million, not bad for a 27 year old.
Aged 24, Sterling is a Manchester City and England forward. According to CIES, he is valued at £167 million.
An Egyptian player, Mo Salah is 26 years of age. He plays club football at Liverpool FC in the Premier League and has a valuation of £165 million.
The 25 year old Juventus player is the highest ranked footballer who doesn’t play his club football in England or France. At £154 million, he eclipses his Argentinian national team mate, Lionel Messi.
The second Argentinian on the list, Messi is valued at £153.7 million. He plays for Barcelona and was 31 years of age when the first CIES rankings of 2019 appeared.
A Belgian striker, Lukaku plays his club football in the English Premiership. His team is Manchester United and the 25 year old international is said to be worth £145 million.
The second-ranked player to ply his trade at Barcelona, Philippe Coutinho is an attacking midfielder originally from Brazil. His touch on the ball is renowned and CIES says that he would fetch £141 million if he were to be sold by his club.
The top-rated German footballer, according to CIES, is Leroy Sané. The 23 year old was originally from Essen. He plays club football as a winger or midfielder for Manchester City and is valued at a cool £140 million.
Frenchman Griezmann plays his club football in La Liga for Atletico Madrid. The 27 year old is another to have enjoyed a good World Cup in 2018. His value, according to CIES, is £139 million.
The second player from Tottenham Hotspur to appear on the list is Dele Alli. The attacking midfielder is an established international for England despite being only 22. He is valued at £135 million.
A Brazilian player, Firmino plays for Liverpool FC. He was 27 years old when these rankings were generated and valued at £131 million.
The second top-rated African player, after Salah, Mané is from Senegal. He plays football for Liverpool and is worth £123 million.
Jesus would fetch £121 million if sold. Another Brazilian to make the charts, he plays club football for Manchester City.
A Portuguese player, Silva also plays for Manchester City in the Premier League. At 24 years of age, his valuation is £119.6 million.
A skilled Frenchman, Pogba is a midfielder who – at 25 years of age – is worth £117 million, according to the rankings.
At 28 years of age, the Belgian player Eden Hazard remains highly placed in the charts. He plays for Chelsea FC and is worth £116 million.
The world-famous Cristiano Ronaldo is a superstar of the sport. The Portuguese player is now 33 so this probably accounts for why he is only said to be worth £114 million, still a very high figure.
The French midfielder used to play in the Premier League for Spurs but now plies his trade for Barcelona. CIES estimates his value at £108 million
An Englishman who is 20 years of age and who already has international appearances to his name, Alexander-Arnold plays club football for Liverpool. His worth is said to be £105 million.
Sancho is the highest ranked player to make his living for a German club, Borussia Dortmund. At 18 years of age, he is also one of the youngest on the list. The Englishman is valued at £101 million.
Valued beneath the £100 million mark, Luis Suárez is a Uruguayan soccer player who has had a long career. At 32, he plays for Barcelona and is worth £98.1 million.
Born in 1992, Becker is the most valuable goalkeeper to make the CIES list. He is a Brazilian who is worth £94.8 million. Becker plays for Liverpool.
An Italian international, Insigne plays his club football for Naples in Serie A. The player, who was born in 1991, is valued by CIES at £94 million.
At 24, Laporte is valued at £93.7 million. The Frenchman plays for Manchester City.
Another goalkeeper, Moraes is a Brazilian international. He plays for Manchester City and has a value of £90 million.
Marc-André ter Stegen
The 26 year old German plays for Barcelona. His worth is said to be £88 million if sold.
The Chelsea player is 27 years of age. A French international, Kanté has a £87 million price tag.
Kevin de Bruyne
Valued at £86 million, de Bruyne is a highly skilled midfielder. He plays for his national side, Belgium, as well as Manchester City.
From Gabon, Aubameyang is worth £85.7 million, according to CIES. He is the only Arsenal player to make it into the top 37.
Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk is a 27 year old defender who plays for the Netherlands. Valued at £85.3 million, his club side is Liverpool FC.
Another Spurs player, Heung-Min is a South Korean national. Born in 1992, he is valued by CIES at £84.3 million.
The only Colombian player in the top 37, Sanchez is 22 years old and worth £84 million. He plays for Tottenham with Heung-Min.
An Inter Milan player, Icardi has a valuation of £82.4 million. Born in 1993, he is originally from Argentina.
An English player, Rashford plays club football for Manchester United. The 21 year old is valued by CIES at £81.2 million if his club were to sell him.
An Atletico Madrid player, is 24, having worked his way through the club’s youth academy. The Spaniard is valued at £81 million.