World's most valuable soccer players: Lionel Messi beats Ronaldo
Thu Jun 05 2014, 15:42 hrs
FC Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi remains the world's most valuable footballer, even though his crown slipped this season, a market study showed today.
In its annual report on the player market, the Swiss-based CIES Football Observatory put Messi's value at 216 million euros ($294 million)
In Photo: Lionel Andrés Messi is an Argentine footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. He serves as the captain of his country's national football team. Lionel Messi is valued between 200.2 mn 232.6mn
Even though Messi's lower performance levels slashed 19 million euros from his market value, he was still worth almost twice as much as arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo, second in the ranking on 114 million euros.
CIES said that Messi's higher value was mainly related to his younger age -- he turns 27 this month, while Portuguese icon Ronaldo is already 29.
In Photo: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, OIH, known as Cristiano Ronaldo, is a Portuguese footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Real Madrid and captains the Portugal national team Cristiano Ronaldo is valued between 105.7 mn 122.9 mn (Photo: AP)
Ronaldo's heroics this season with Champions League winners Real Madrid meanwhile saw his market value climb by four million euros.
The study also showed that Real Madrid did the worst deal -- in market terms -- for a single player when they spent a record 100 million euros to sign Welshman Gareth Bale from London club Tottenham.
In Photo: Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz is a Uruguayan footballer who plays for Premier League club Liverpool and the Uruguayan national team. In 2006, Suárez moved to the Netherlands to play for Groningen in the Eredivisie. Suárez transferred to Ajax in 2007. Suárez Díaz is valued between 98.5 mn 114.5 mn (Photo: AP)
"Real Madrid clearly paid over the odds to convince Tottenham to release the player," CIES said, underlining that Bale's market value was now 37 million euros less than he cost the Spanish club.
Real spent an average of 32.3 million euros per player to build its Champions League squad -- the most expensive line-up on record.
In Photo: Eden Hazard is a Belgian professional footballer, who plays for Chelsea in the Premier League and the Belgium national team. He primarily plays as an attacking midfielder and a winger. Hazard is valued between 75.9 mn 88.3 mn (Photo: AP)
Champions League runners-up Atletico Madrid, who this season also clinched the Spanish title, made do with 4.3 million euros per player. Other clubs where results outstripped spending included Crystal Palace in England, Elche in Spain, Guingamp in France, Augsburg in Germany and Verona in Italy, the study showed. Check Full Report In Photo: Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, commonly known as Neymar, a Brazilian footballer who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona, is valued between 62.8 mn 73.0 mn (Photo: AP)