CIES Football Observatory Names Lionel Messi Most Valuable Player With Value Of $270M
The CIES Football Observatory found in a study that Barcelona's Lionel Messi is the "most valuable player in world football and worth almost twice as much" as Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, according to SKY SPORTS. The "ninth edition of the annual football review has estimated" Messi's value at £161.5M ($270.4M) ahead of second-placed Ronaldo on £85.2M ($142.7M) and Liverpool's Luis Suarez, whose worth is put at £79.4M ($133M). Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Barcelona's Neymar complete the top five, valued at £61.2M ($102.5M) and £50.6M ($84.7M), respectively. The 96-page publication "also found Real Madrid fielded the most expensive starting line-up ever" during its Champions League-winning season with "average transfer expenditure per player" of more than £24M ($40.2M). By contrast, La Liga winners and Champions League runner-up Atlético Madrid had "average transfer fees" of just £3.2M ($5.4M) per player (SKY SPORTS, 6/4).