Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe has been named as the most valuable football star in the world according to a study by CIES Football Observatory. Apart from the French World Cup winner, Man City winger Raheem Sterling and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho make it to the top three in the list.
Football Observatory published the estimates in their latest biannual report, which includes the top 20 most valuable players in each of Europe’s top five leagues and factors the financial impact of COVID-19. Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe remains the most valuable player in Europe with a jaw-dropping estimated value of £231.1m, followed by Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling (£173.6m). Mbappe has been supremely impressive for the Parisians and has seen no dip in form since his rise at Monaco. The 2018 World Cup winner has won the Ligue 1 title for the fourth consecutive time this season after the French authorities decided to end the season mid-way due to the pandemic. The Real Madrid and Liverpool target scored 30 goals across all competitions this season. He also bagged 17 assists in 33 games. The England international played an important role in Man City’s successive Premier League title triumphs under Pep Guardiola when the Cityzens racked up 198 points across two league campaigns. His goalscoring numbers in the English top flight justify his worth, having scored 20 goals for Man City in 39 games this season, 11 of which have come in the Premier League. While Sancho has been in scintillating form, racking up 17 goals and 16 assists in the Bundesliga this season after becoming a regular member of the senior England team since his international debut nearly two years ago. In addition to Sancho and Sterling, England compatriots Trent Alexander-Arnold (£152.6m),
The startling results reveal a changing of the guard away from the old duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Both do not feature in the top 10 list, despite their impressive form for their respective teams, particularly due to their age factor. While Messi is 32, Ronaldo celebrated his 35th birthday this February. Although the pair have shared 11 of the last 12 Ballon d’Or titles, they now sit 70th and 21st, respectively, in the value rankings. That said, 35-year-old Juventus forward Ronaldo can boast being the oldest person in the top 100 players with the entire top five made up of men aged 25 and under. Likewise, Messi is the most-expensive player aged over 30, even though his value is affected by the mere 12 months remaining on his Barcelona contract. The Premier League champions elect unsurprisingly count several names towards the top of the leaderboard as Mohamed Salah (£129.2m / $A235m) and Sadio Mane (£124.1m / $A225.7m) are almost inseparable at sixth and seventh. Roberto Firmino (£105m) is pipped for a place in the top ten by Antoine Griezmann (£121.6m / $A221.1m) in eighth and Harry Kane (£105.8m / $A192.4m) in tenth, with Davies in between. Having not played since New Year’s Day, Kane’s decline in value is remarkable having been priced at £178m at the start of 2019. Another forward falling down the list is Neymar, down in 37th place after joining Kane on the podium 18 months ago. Mason Mount, Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet, and Richarlison are among the names now rated as more valuable than the Brazilian, at £74m.
These numbers from the Football Observatory have thrown in some interesting results. While some players would be disappointed being down the list, it has re-affirmed the hype around some exciting youngsters. While the actual transfer deals may vary from the study, they will surely impact the negotiations in some way or the other.