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The Most Expensive Athlete In The World Is Valued At $260 Million

Lionel MessiGetty ImagesIt would cost a team a lot of money to acquire Leo.

With the transfer window now open in many of the world’s top soccer leagues, the CIES Football Observatory has released their semi-annual list of the most valuable football players in the world.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona in Spain’s La Liga tops the list with a staggering transfer value of $US262 million (€220 million) and nobody else is even close.

And that would just be the estimated cost of acquiring the rights to the Argentinean footballer. If a team were able to convince Barcelona to sell Messi, the new club would then have to negotiate a new contract with the player.

Messi reportedly makes slightly more than $US50 million per year with his current contract at Barça.

There are a lot of valuable athletes in North America, and while this side of the Atlantic uses a different means of transferring players between teams, it is hard to imagine any team would pay $US262 million for their rights and then give them a $US50 million annual salary.

Messi’s transfer value is calculated by examining transfer fees since 2009 and variables such as recent performance, age, position, current contract, and team performance.

For many of the world’s top association football leagues, January marks the mid-season transfer window where clubs are given approximately one month to add players from international leagues.

Here is the rest of the top 10:

  1. Lionel Messi, Barcelona (Spain) — $US262 million (€220 million)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid (Spain) — $US158 million (€133 million)
  3. Eden Hazard, Chelsea (England) — $US118 million (€99 million)
  4. Diego Costa, Chelsea (England) — $US100 million (€84 million)
  5. Paul Pogba,  Juventus (Italy) — $US86 million (€72 million)
  6. Sergio Agüero, Manchester City (England) — $US77 million (€65 million)
  7. Raheem Sterling, Liverpool (England) — $US75 million (€63 million)
  8. Francesc Fàbregas, Chelsea (England) — $US74 million (€62 million)
  9. Alexis Sánchez, Arsenal (England) — $US73 million (€61 million)
  10. Gareth Bale, Real Madrid (Spain) — $US71 million (€60 million)

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