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Neymar tops the list as the world’s most valuable player

Barcelona, Monday @PeopleSport11

Barcelona star Neymar is still someway short of matching the goalscoring feats of team-mates Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, but the Brazilian has been valued as the world’s most expensive player.

In a new study by the CIES Football Observatory, the 25-year-old emerges as the most valuable footballer on the planet, ahead of Messi and Tottenham duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli based on certain key criteria.

Neymar is valued at an eye-watering Sh 24 billion (£185million) according to the research, based on performance, employer clubs, international status, contract, age, position and marketability.

A list of the 110 most desirable players in Europe’s top five leagues have been released with each member being valued at a minimum of £40m. Alli’s meteoric rise at Spurs and England has resulted in him being the second-most valuable player on the continent, with the findings estimating his worth at £136m, while Kane’s £135m will rise if he is handed the England captaincy permanently.

At 29 years old, Messi’s prolific returns each season defies the view that his best days are behind him but the CIES studies value him at £134m with him unlikely to leave Barcelona during his peak years.

Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann is the fifth-most costly player, at £132m, while Suarez comes in just beneath him at a market value of £124m.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba cost the club a world-record transfer fee last summer, and the France international has been given a value of £118m. Gonzalo Higuain (£106m) is eighth on the list while Player of the Year Eden Hazard (£104m) and Paulo Dybala (£102m) are also in the top 10.

The oldest player to make the list is Cristiano Ronaldo, with the evergreen Real Madrid and Portugal star 11th on the list at a value of £99m. The exclusive CIES Football Observatory algorithm is based on the thorough analysis of almost 2,000 paying fee transfers and the variables have led to the Premier League being heavily represented. -DAILYMAIL

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