The World Cup is about a lot of things, but also star power, including the value of these football superstars. The top 10 most valuable players in this tournament come from six different nations: Brazil (Hulk, Neymar), Argentina (Lionel Messi), Portugal (Cristiano Ronaldo), Spain (Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas) and Uruguay (Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez).
Barcelona have two players on this list, the only club with more than one representative. Luis Suarez is the only one of these players who didn’t play for a club in the Champions League last season. All the values are via Transfermarkt.
10th – Hulk, Zenit & Brazil – £42.4 Million
The Brazilian forward isn’t really happy in Russia, but after paying €60 million for him, they’re not going to be selling him to just anyone. He scored 21 goals, adding 13 assists in a much better second season for him in St. Petersburg.
9th – Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea & Spain – £44 Million
Maybe the biggest disappointment this season at Barcelona. He did finish with 13 goals and 22 assists, not bad at all on such a packed side. However, his ability in the second half of the season and especially in big matches once again makes him the odd man out for the Spanish national side when a lineup needs to be chosen.
8th – Mesut Ozil, Germany & Arsenal – £44 Million
Ozil was signed by Arsenal for £42.5 million, the club’s most expensive signing ever. He started out well but went through some lows and injuries, eventually finishing the season in far less regard than he did at the start of it, adding 7 goals and 14 assists to their effort.
7th – Luis Suarez, Uruguay & Liverpool – £45.8 Million
Suarez had a magical season with Liverpool, despite finishing it only in second place. He won all the individual awards, including leading the Premier League in scoring with 31 goals in 33 matches. He is the main reason some view Uruguay as contenders in this tournament.
6th – Andres Iniesta, Spain & Barcelona – £48.4 Million
Iniesta has never been about the numbers, but this was a disappointing season for him, like for most Barcelona players. He finished with 3 goals and 13 assists in all competitions, but remains one of the most important parts in Spain’s attempt to win a second consecutive World Cup, something that hasn’t happened since Brazil in 1962.
5th – Mario Gotze, Germany & Bayern Munich – £48.4 Million
The only team that actually spends this kind of money in Germany are Bayern Munich, purchasing Mario Gotze from Dortmund last summer, paying €37 million and triggering his release clause, making him switch between rivals. Gotze fit right in with the star studded team although he needed an injury to get over. The 22-year old finished the season with 15 goals and 13 assists, playing in 45 matches.
4th – Edinson Cavani, Uruguay & PSG – £52.8 Million
Paris Saint-Germain paid Napoli around €64.5 million to partner the Uruguayan striker with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which was good enough for another French championship and reaching the Champions League quarterfinals for a second consecutive time. Cavani scored 25 goals in 43 matches for PSG.
3rd – Neymar, Brazil & Barcelona – £52.8 Million
How much did it cost Barcelona to sign Neymar? It seems that the actual price, after revealing what Barcelona paid on the side to Neymar’s family, is €86.2. For that kind of money, the 15 goals he scored in 41 matches overall seem like a disappointment.
2nd – Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal & Real Madrid – £88 Million
Ballon d’Or winner for the previous season, Cristiano Ronaldo was probably the best player in the world this season, breaking the goal scoring record of Messi in the Champions League with 17, including one in the final. He finished with 51 goals in 47 matches. Unlike Messi, he actually has a price tag which was paid by Real Madrid in 2009, signing him for £80 million.
1st – Lionel Messi, Argentina & Barcelona – £105.6 Million
Messi has played his entire career with the same club, Barcelona. He also has a release clause of around €250 million. It is fair to say that actually paying for him is impossible, but everyone has a price or a value, right? It was a “weak” season for the Argentina star, and he still managed to score 41 goals in all competitions, playing 46 matches.