Soccer

The 35 Soccer MVPs in the World

Darren - June 14, 2019
Soccer

The 35 Soccer MVPs in the World

Darren - June 14, 2019

Who is Worth the Most Money Right Now?

The cost of a world-class footballer has never been more expensive than today. If you want to sign the very best, you could have to pay hundreds of millions of euros to get them in your team. But who are the most valuable players in the world right now?

We’ve calculated the most lucrative players in world football today with the help of data from Forbes and the CIES Football Observatory. So scroll on down to see who is worth the most right now. Some of the names may surprise you…

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

35. Mauro Icardi €91.8 million/$105.8 m).

It’s been a strange year for Mauro Icardi. The Argentinian was stripped of Inter Milan’s captaincy and basically went on strike for 53 days. Inter’s passionate ultras hate him now. Despite the controversies on and off the pitch, he still managed to match Christian Vieri’s total of 123 goals for the Italian side, becoming their 8th highest scorer of all time.

A very slick finisher, Icardi has been linked to a potential swap move between Juventus and Inter with Pablo Dybala going the other direction. Anywhere that the Argentinian ends up will be getting a world-class talent. His positioning is his greatest strength.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

34. Marcus Rashford (€92m/$106.7m)

The Manchester United forward is one of the most exciting players to come out of their academy when he roared onto the scene in 2016. He famously scored on his league, Europa League, Champion’s League, league cup, Manchester derby and international derby debuts.

Only 21, Rashford is still quite raw. His talent is there for all to see. Blistering pace stretches defences while he definitely has the ability to score goals. If he refines his ability, he will definitely move up this list.

Mandatory Credit: Twitter.

33. Mathias De Ligt (€92.m/106.7m)

What a year it has been for the young Dutch centre back. A star of Ajax’s very exciting young team, his maturity and composure at the heart of their defence is even more remarkable when you consider that he’s only 18 years old. Now he’s being linked with every major club in the world.

Manchester United, Barcelona, Liverpool and PSG have all shown interest in a player who has the potential to be one of the world’s best for the next 14 years. The Parisian side has shown the firmest interest, reportedly offering him a whopping $430,000 a week to play for them.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

32. Heung Min Son €93.9m/$108.2m

Asia’s biggest footballing superstar, Heung Min Son has an obsessive following in his native South Korea. 2018 was a massive year for him as he managed to avoid two years of military service by helping his country to win the Asian Games. That will definitely boost his value when these figures are reassessed.

Two-footed, tenacious and skilfull, Son was one of the best players in the Premier League last year. His goals were massive when Harry Kane was out injured for Spurs for a lengthy period last season. The most expensive Asian footballer of all time, he’s still only 26 years old. His prime years are still ahead. Spurs have a brilliant player on their hands.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

31. Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyan (€95.4 m/$109.9 m)

Arsenal’s best player last season alongside fellow forward Alexander Lacazette, Aubemeyang is one of the best strikers on the planet. He’s absolutely rapid and puts the fear into defenders who don’t know what just happened. While his finishing isn’t always consistent, his numbers are still fantastic.

The Gabon international won the Premier League Golden Boot last season, sharing it with Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. He was a shining light in what turned out to be a miserable campaign for the Gunners. The former Dortmund man is also great at the social media game too.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

30. Kevin De Bruyne (€95.6 m/$110.1m)

Despite enduring a frustrating injury-riddled campaign in 2018/19, De Bruyne is still one of the best players in the world. It’s crazy how good Manchester City are. The previous season the Belgian attacker was by far their best player, but now he can’t even be guaranteed a starting place every week.

While he’s a very capable goalscorer and is able to produce the spectacular, it’s his rounded gameplay and ability to move between the lines that makes him so breathtaking to watch. 16 assists in 2017/18 won him the PFL Player of the Year award. He’s ready to take the next step towards greatness.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

29. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen €98m/$113m)

Barcelona’s German goalkeeper is one of the best in the world right now and way ahead of his international colleague Manuel Neuer in the MVP rankings. One of the most controversial decisions made by Joachim Loew in Germany’s ill-fated world cup campaign was putting the rusty Munich keeper in goal ahead of Ter Stegen.

The German is the epitome of the modern goalkeeper. As well as being a great shot-stopper, he’s also got the vision to play the ball across the pitch in the sweeper-keeper mode. Since Claudio Bravo departed from Camp Nou, his place in the starting line-up has been undisputed.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

28. Ederson €100.1 million ($115.4 million)

Ederson is everything that Pep Guardiola wants from a goalkeeper. Capable of great saves, Ederson also is incredibly composed with the ball at his feet and is capable of picking out passes all over the pitch. The attack starts with the Brazilian, who is one of the best goalkeepers in the league.

If it wasn’t for his international colleague Alisson Becker, he’d also surely be Brazil’s first choice as well. However, at the moment he’s just behind the Liverpool man in the country’s pecking order. A very safe pair of hands, Ederson’s consistency is one of his biggest attributes.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

27. Aymeric Laporte €104.3 million ($120.3 million)

Bizarrely Aymeric Laporte has yet to play for France because manager Didier Deschamps thinks his personality is too withdrawn to work with the squad. Well, that’s crazy talk because the centre back is one of the two best defenders in the league right now.

He might not win the same amount of headlines as Virgil Van Dijk, but he’s supremely important for Manchester City. Their most consistent defender, he’s a guaranteed starter. Offering composure on the ball, superb positioning and the ability to play at left back when necessary, you could almost say he’s underrated. Phenomenal player.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

26. Lorenzo Insigne €104.7 million ($120.7 million).

The 28-year-old Italian is an attacking force. He captained Napoli to second place in Serie A last season, scoring 14 goals in 28 appearances last season. That’s one in every two games, a phenomenal scoring record. While he’s physically diminutive, he’s very fast and skilful.

Insigne prefers to cut inside from the left side onto his right foot and is capable of brilliance. Hence his nickname: Il Magnifico. His low centre of gravity gives him superb ball control and he has been called the ‘Italian Messi.’ It’s not a bad comparison for a man who is entering his prime.

Mandatory Credit: Twitter.

25. Alisson Becker €105.6 m/$121.7m

Winner of the Premier League Golden Glove award after his debut season at Anfield, Alisson became the first Liverpool goalkeeper to do so since Pepe Reina. The Brazilian was the final piece in their defensive puzzle. He arrived for a then-world record of €62.5 million and it looks like money well spent.

The keeper had a massive role in their Champion’s League run. A massive save against Napoli ensured Liverpool got out of their group. His fantastic saves against Barcelona and calm and composure in the final against Spurs helped the Reds get the job done.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

24. Virgil Van Dijk  (€107m/$123m)

Many betting companies have the Liverpool centre back as the favourite to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award. If he does, then you can bet that he will soar up this list as his value increases. The Dutch defender is an absolute Rolls-Royce of a player. Everything he does is with composure and class.

No player went past him in the entire season, as he went on to help Liverpool win their 6th Champion’s League trophy. Van Dijk also makes the players around him better. Many fans believe that he should captain the Reds in the future. The best defender in the world right now.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

23. Luis Suarez €109.3m/$126m

The game’s ultimate pantomime villain, Luis Suarez might be 32 now, but he’s still one of the best players – and most controversial – in the game. He enraged Liverpool fans by celebrating against them after scoring in Barcelona’s win at Camp in the Champion’s League semi-final.

He was given a hostile reception in the historic return leg which saw him deliberately injure Andy Robertson. Suarez constantly lives on the edge. Approaching the twilight of his career, the Uruguayan is still producing great numbers, with 21 goals last season in Barcelona’s La Liga win.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

22. Jadon Sancho (€112.6m/$129.75 m)

You’ve got to give Sancho credit for escaping from his comfort zone and moving to Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City. It’s a transfer that has paid off for the young England attacker as 2018/19 became his breakthrough season.

After 13 goals and even more assists, he was named in the Bundesliga team of the season and has inspired several more young British players to make the move to Germany. He’s also established himself in the England team and looks set to have a very bright future in the game.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

21. Trent Alexander-Arnold (€117.2 m/$135 m)

Can you believe that Trent Alexander-Arnold is still only 20? He’s already been to a World Cup and played in two Champion’s League finals. The right-back also set a new record for the most assists in a league campaign with 12 assists. For such a young player he’s incredibly mature and composed.

Jurgen Klopp loves him because of his attacking threat. Alexander-Arnold’s deliveries are superb. His foot is like a heat-seeking missile, as they almost always end up in a dangerous area. He’s also one of the best set-piece experts in his squad. The Scouser could be England’s first choice right-back for the next ten years.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

20. Ousmane Dembele (€120.3 m/$138.5 m)

The least famous of Barcelona’s current attacking three, French forward Ousmane Dembele took time to settle at Camp Nou and was very unlucky with injuries. Now though he’s finally contributing to the success of the Catalan giants and his value has risen as a result.

Some critics have said that Barcelona’s attack is overloaded and that one of their players needs to go. If Dembele is offered the chance to leave, you can bet that the Catalans will make a massive amount of money off of his sale. Still just 22, his ceiling is very high.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

19. Cristiano Ronald0 €127.2 m/$146.5 m.

As he enters the twilight years of his career, Ronaldo’s value on the market continues to drop. However, do not doubt how valuable he still is. Juventus did pay $100 million for the 34-year-old as they looked to finally win the Champion’s League.

While that didn’t work out the way they wanted, Ronaldo still had a great personal campaign. He scored 21 goals in 31 appearances for the Old Lady. The five-time world player of the year shows few signs of slowing down. His marketability is such that Juventus have actually changed their shirt design just to increase sales in the US with his name on the back.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

18. Paul Pogba €130.3 million ($150 million).

The Frenchman is possibly the most frustrating player on this list. Capable of the extraordinary, he played a key role in France’s 2018 world cup win. However, at club level, he can be remarkably inconsistent and his motivation has been questioned. A falling out with Jose Mourinho hastened the Portuguese manager’s departure from Manchester United.

For a few weeks after Ole Gunnar Solksjaer returned, Pogba looked back to his brilliant self, but he declined again towards the end of the season. 16 goals from midfield still isn’t a bad return. He’s also one of the most marketable players on the planet as well.

Mandatory Credit: Twitter.

17. Bernardo Silva €133.2m/$153.4m

The Portuguese maestro could be more important to his country right now than his iconic but ageing teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. His class is evident as soon as the ball reaches his feet. Last season he was one of Manchester City’s key players and a major component in their success.

53 appearances across all competitions were more than any other player for the Citizens. The playmaker scored 13 goals. He was also named the best player in the European Nation’s League as Portugal won the inaugural tournament. He’s just going from strength to strength.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

16. Gabriel Jesus (€134.6 m/$155 m)

There have been reports linking Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City, but it would be a major surprise if the Brazilian forward left the Premier League champions. He signed in January 2017 for €32 million and it’s been a bargain so far as he’s taken the Premier League by storm, with 27 goals for Manchester City so far.

Jesus led the line for Brazil at the World Cup in Russia and looks to have a very bright future in the game. While he had to endure lengthy spells on the bench last season, at club level, because of the brilliance of teammate Sergio Aguero, if he shows patience he could become one of the best in the world.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

15. Sadio Mane

It’s easy to forget that before Mohamed Salah arrived on the scene, Sadio Mane was Liverpool’s most exciting player. He reminded the entire league just how good he is as an individual last season when he truly stepped up into the world-class bracket.

His numbers were phenomenal. Mane was the English top-flight’s joint top scorer alongside teammate Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre Emerick Aubemeyang. As defenders tended to focus on Salah, the Ghanaian forward found the space to run at fullbacks and cause absolute chaos. Named in the PFL team of the year.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

14. Roberto Firmin (€145.6 m/$167.9 m)

The most underrated and arguably the most important member of Liverpool’s highly vaunted front three, Firmino is one of the most unique forwards in world footballer. He is the man who starts off Jurgen Klopp’s gegenpressing. When he plays well, the whole team plays well.

The 28-year-old is also famed for his no-look goals. Described by Klopp as Liverpool’s engine, his work rate and positional sense are so good that his other attributes often pass unappreciated. When he’s in the team, the Reds are so much better.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

13. Dele Alli (€150.2 m/$173.3 m)

England midfielder Dele Alli only cost Tottenham Hotspurs $7 million or £5 million from MK Dons. That could be one of the bargains of the century. One of the most talented players of his generation, his versatility is his key asset. He can play as a second striker or deeper as an out-and-out midfielder.

Offering a dangerous goal threat, his ability to get into the box unmarked has been noticed by pundits like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. Just 23-years-old, he’s still a little bit inconsistent, but when he fixes that he’ll be one of the best players in the world.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

12. Antoine Griezmann (€155.2 m/$179 m)

His move to Barcelona looks like a certainty. Griezmann is such a watchable player. He floats around the pitch producing moments of magic. Consistency is a key part of his game: the French forward has scored over 20 goals for the past five seasons with Atletico Madrid and is capable of the sublime.

A World Cup winner with France, Griezmann has also claimed a Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, and Spanish Super Copa with Atletico. He sees a move to Barcelona as the next step towards immortality. It could take him to the next level.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

11. Leroy Sane €156.1 m/$180 m.

Heavily linked with big money move to Bayern Munich, Sane is one of the most exciting young attackers in world football today. He played a big part in Manchester City’s domestic success last season. Possessing phenomenal pace, you can’t take your eyes off of him as he charges at full backs.

Capable of extraordinary moments of brilliance, he brings a different dimension to his team’s attack. There was outrage in Germany when he was left out of their world cup squad last year. Only 23, he was named the PFA young player of the year two seasons ago.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

10. Philippe Coutinho (€157 million – $180.8m)

He was supposed to be a direct replacement for club legend Andres Iniesta, but it hasn’t turned out like that so far for Phillipe Coutinho. The Brazilian playmaker signed for massive money from Liverpool. But after the Reds used that fee to sign Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson Becker, it looks like they got the better half of the deal.

Although Coutinho continues to be linked with a return to the Premier League and even a move to PSG, it’s more than likely that he’ll get one more chance to prove himself at Camp Nou. Even if he does leave, it won’t be on the cheap. He’s still one of the ten most expensive players in the world.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

9. Romelu Lukaku (€162m – $185.8m)

It hasn’t entirely worked out for Romelu Lukaku at Manchester United just yet, but he’s still worth a LOT of money. The big Belgian was excellent for Everton and has had purple patches at Old Trafford but lacks consistency. Even so, he’s still got the capability of being one of the best forwards in the world and his value reflects that.

A powerhouse of a centre forward, he needs to just watch Didier Drogba videos on Youtube and copy the iconic Ivorian. 12 goals last season was an underwhelming return for the big man who is being heavily linked to Inter Milan.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

8. Paulo Dybala (€171.9 m/$197.2 m.)

The little Argentinian might not have had the best 2018/19  but he’s still one of the most valuable players on the planet. The shock signing of a certain Cristiano Ronaldo by Juventus stifled his role in the team, but with a new manager incoming, things could be looking up for the former Palermo man.

Dybala was actually ranked higher in value than Lionel Messi by Forbes at the start of the year. After a frustrating campaign, he slips just behind his international teammate. This could be a massive turning point for the exciting forward as the Jewel only scored 5 goals last season.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

7. Lionel Messi (€175m/$200m).

Barcelona’s talisman makes the impossible seem normal. He’s arguably the best player on the planet right now and quietly had one of the best personal campaigns of his career last season. Messi scored 36 goals in 34 league appearances for the Catalans as he truly entered the prime of his career.

If he was three years younger he’d definitely be the most expensive player on the planet, but at the age of 31, we should enjoy him while he lasts. For Barcelona, the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner is invaluable.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

6. Eden Hazard (€180m/ $203m)

The former Chelsea forward has charged up this list after becoming Real Madrid’s latest Galactico signing. They picked him up for what could end up being a $110 million bargain. While that may seem crazy, it’s really not. You could throw another $100 million onto his value and it would seem reasonable in the current market.

Hazard had a remarkable campaign last season. He scored 16 goals in the league last season and was Chelsea’s main shining light in what was an inconsistent campaign for the Blues. He’s an outrageous talent and it will be so exciting to see what he can achieve at the Bernabeu.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

5. Mohamed Salah (€184.3m/ $207m)

The Egyptian is adored by the Anfield crowd and rightly so. After an outstanding debut season for Liverpool, where he scored an insane 42 goals across all competitions, he followed it up with another season of brilliance. Alongside teammate Sadio Mane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang, he won the Premier League Golden Boot.

Then he capped off his individual success with the first major trophy of his career, helping to claim the Red’s sixth Champion’s League trophy. As the club’s star man, there’s no disputing that he’s one of the biggest names in world football right now and his value will continue to soar.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

4. Raheem Sterling (€200m/ $225m.)

The English forward had the season of his life in 2018/19, playing a massive role in Manchester City’s back-to-back Premier League title win. While he may have actually scored one goal less than the previous year, his overall play definitely improved and he won the FWA Footballer of the Year award and was named in the PFL team of the year.

Pep Guardiola has definitely got the best out of Sterling, and at the age of 24, he still has a long way to go. His pedigree and potential for even greater things make him one of the top five most expensive players on the planet right now.

Harry Kane. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

3. Harry Kane ( €204 m/$231 m)

Just by virtue of being England’s leading man, Harry Kane earns his place at number three on this list. The Spurs striker is one of the most consistent attacking threats in the world and captain of both club and country. Despite not having won a trophy with his club yet, he’s still managed to capture individual honours like the PFA Fan’s Player of the Year and the Premier League Golden Boot in 2016/17.

He was also the top scorer at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. English players cost a lot of money and there’s no doubt that if he ever moves it will be for a massive premium. Both Manchester United and Real Madrid have been linked with the Spurs youth product in the past.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

2. Neymar (€210 m/$240 m)

Is there a more marketable player on the planet than Brazil’s Neymar? The answer is no. While he has justifiably come in for a lot of criticisms from fans of other teams because of his petulant attitude at times, and tendency to go down under the lightest pressure, his statistics speak for themselves.

Still just 27-years-old, he’s played an incredible 97 times for Brazil, scoring 60 goals. That’s outrageous. While he currently plays for PSG, you can bet that he’ll push for a move in the future. He’s going to cost an absolute bomb. Possessing breathtaking skill, he’s one of the most exciting talents in the world.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

1 Kylian Mbappe (€218.5 m/ $250 m)

What an outstanding 2018 Kylian Mbappe had. The powerful pacey forward is the most valuable player on the planet right now. At age of 20, he’s already won a cup treble in France with his club Paris Saint Germaine. His biggest achievement so far though is winning the world cup. His first half against Argentina in Russia will one day be iconic.

Mbappe has all the attributes to be the next megastar when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo finally hang up their boots. Powerful, skilfull and possessing phenomenal pace, there’s a reason he’s already been nominated for the Ballon d’Or. He possesses remarkable maturity for such a young man. Real Madrid continues to be linked.

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