One of the biggest finance firms in the world has put together a huge list that ranks the most valuable soccer players on the planet.
Some of the most familiar names in sports feature, including FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain goalscorer Neymar, and Juventus FC striker Cristiano Ronaldo — but in what order? KPMG, a provider of audit, tax and advisory services in Europe, calculated the market value of soccer players by using an algorithm that considered multiple variables, including:
- Contract (athletes with longer contracts at their clubs of employment would command larger transfer fees, in theory)
- Individual sports performance (goals, assists, dribbles, tackles, and other statistical data was considered when assessing a player's worth on the pitch)
- Team performance and characteristics (sporting results, league competitiveness, and financial aspects of the club were also key in determining player valuations)
- Team dependence (how important is the given player to his team)
KPMG said in a note that there is a major difference between "price" and "value." It said: "Price is what a person pays for a given product or service, whilst value is what any given product or service is worth."
It added: "Actual transfer fees in football are often distorted by several factors such as terms and conditions of the specific financial/sporting situation of the seller or the buyer at the time of a transaction, the willingness of a player to leave or join a club, league-specific rules and regulations, and terms of release clauses."
With that in mind, here are the 21 most valuable soccer players in KPMG's list, ranked in ascending order.
21: Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City striker (Premier League) — €90 million (R1.47 billion)
20: Christian Eriksen, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder (Premier League) — €90.1 million (R1.49 billion)
19: Luis Suarez, FC Barcelona striker (La Liga) — €90.2 million (R1.49 billion)
18: Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich striker (Bundesliga) — €90.9 million (R1.5 billion)
17: Marc-André ter Stegen, FC Barcelona goalkeeper (La Liga) — €92.7 million (R1.52 billion)
16: Paulo Dybala, Juventus FC forward (Serie A) — €97 million (R1.59 billion)
15: Roberto Firmino, Liverpool FC forward (Premier League) — €99.6 million (R1.63 billion)
14: Dele Alli, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder (Premier League) — €106.9 million (R1.65 billion)
13: Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus FC striker (Serie A) — €111.5 million (R1.8 billion)
12: Toni Kroos, Real Madrid CF midfielder (La Liga) — €113 million (R1.85 billion)
11: Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United striker (Premier League) — €113.9 million (R1.87 billion)
10: Philippe Coutinho, FC Barcelona midfielder (La Liga) — €114.5 million (R1.88 billion)
9: Antoine Griezmann, Atlético Madrid striker (La Liga) — €125.2 million (R2 billion)
8: Paul Pogba, Manchester United midfielder (Premier League) — €126.4 million (R2.1 billion)
7: Kevin de Bruyne, Manchester City midfielder (Premier League) — €137.2 million (R2.24 billion)
6: Eden Hazard, Chelsea FC forward (Premier League) — €146.3 million (R2.5 billion)
5: Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur striker (Premier League) — €152.3 million (R2.5 billion)
4: Mohamed Salah, Liverpool FC forward (Premier League) — €156.8 million (R2.57 billion)
3: Kylian Mbappé, Paris Saint-Germain forward (Ligue 1) — €190 million (R3.1 billion)
2: Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona forward (La Liga) — €210 million (R3.4 billion)
1: Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain forward (Ligue 1) — €233.6 million (R3.8 billion)
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