FIFA World Cup 2018: Neymar, Lionel Messi worth more than five countries; France emerge as most expensive squad

Club football has witnessed a surge in values, which has been underpinned by revenue growth every season. Premier League giants Manchester United top the Forbes list with a value of $4.12 billion, Real Madrid ($4.09 billion) and Barcelona ($4.06 billion). But don’t be bogged by the numbers. This is club football.

 FIFA World Cup 2018: Neymar, Lionel Messi worth more than five countries; France emerge as most expensive squad

France's national football team during a training session in Russia. AFP

Ever tried to figure out the worth of a national team?

The 23-man French squad at the World Cup in Russia is worth $1.2 billion. From islands to flashy cars to sports clubs, you could be the owner of all and you’d still have enough to invest in future. Apart from France, Spain, Brazil, Germany and England are all a part of the billion-dollar gang.

That's according to data compiled from Germany-based website transfermarkt, which values a player’s worth based on their age, performance, years left in their existing contract and other metrics.

Table toppers France have entered the FIFA World Cup 2018 as one of the favourites to lift the trophy with the presence of superstars like Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe ($141.5 million), Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann ($118 million) and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba ($106.1 million).

Former World and European champions Spain do not boast of players worth $100 million, but still sit on the second spot with the average player value of $53 million. The team’s most expensive player, Sergio Busquets, is valued at $94.3 million.

Meanwhile Brazil, who are aiming for a sixth World Cup title, boast of the world’s costliest player Neymar ($212 million). Apart from the PSG frontman, the other ten most valuable players include goalkeepers Alisson and Ederson, Champions League winners Marcelo and Casemiro, defender Marquinhos as well as five highly-rated attacking players

With a total value of $9.9 million across their 23 players, Panama – one of the smallest nations to play in a football World Cup – are the least valuable team in the mega event. But that matters little because Panama declared a public holiday after qualifying for the event.

Considered as a potential surprise in this year’s competition, Peru’s market value is not so surprising. The South American team ranks 30th in the tournament, at just $45m, with their top man Andre Carrillo ($7 million) playing for Watford in the Premier League.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi, perhaps the greatest footballer of this generation, shares the most expensive player’s crown with former Barcelona teammate Neymar with a value of $212.5 million. Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, who won the Premier League season with Manchester City, seals the third spot. Harry Kane, and the ‘Egyptian King’ Mohamed Salah were placed at fourth and fifth.

Neymar and Messi are worth more than Panama, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Costa Rica and Iran combined. What’s interesting is that you’d still have $40 million left. That’s what an average Premier League player costs these days.

Despite topping the charts, some of the big names have struggled to make their mark on the field. After the end of first group stage matches, Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany have the same number of points as Iran – 3.

Soon, we will figure out if the teams prove their worth in the next two matches.

Updated Date: Jun 20, 2018 21:52:43 IST