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Messi down in 8th and Cristiano Ronaldo just scraping into top 50! Football boffins name game's most valuable stars

Messi down in 8th and Cristiano Ronaldo just scraping into top 50! Football boffins name game's most valuable stars
Football statisticians have compiled a list which they claim shows the highest-valued players on the planet – with Lionel Messi only just making the top 10 and rival Cristiano Ronaldo nowhere to be seen near the top of the charts.

Boffins at the CIES Football Observatory have posted their traditional list of the 166 most expensive players across Europe’s top five leagues, using what they say is a complex algorithm fine-tuned over the course of a decade.

This year’s estimates are topped by France and Paris Saint-Germain hotshot Kylian Mbappe, 21, who is valued at just over €265 million (US$295 million).

While many would agree with that given the prolific youngster’s goalscoring form, the names further down the list make for some interesting reading.

Manchester City and England winger Raheem Sterling – who is enjoying a superb season – is ranked second at just over €223 million, while Liverpool and Egypt ace Mohamed Salah rounds out the top three at a touch over €175 million.

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England and Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho, 19, comes in fourth at €168.9 million, with Liverpool and Senegal hitman Sadio Mane fifth with a suggested transfer value of €155.6 million.

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Beyond that are Tottenham and England sensation Harry Kane (€150.5 million) and Manchester United ace Marcus Rashford (€134.3 million).

Perhaps a victim of his advancing years, current Ballon d’Or holder Messi, 32, is only down in eighth with a value of €125.5 million.

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His Barcelona teammate Antoine Griezmann is ninth, while Inter Milan’s Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez completes the top 10.

Juventus and Portugal legend Cristiano Ronaldo – who bagged a hat-trick for Juve on Monday to kick-start his 2020 – is way down in 49th place on the list with a value of €80.3 million.

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That is likely reflection of his age (34) and what is now deemed to be limited sell-on value after he joined Juve for around €100 million in the summer of 2018.

READ MORE: Keep Ron going! Juventus considering new deal to keep Cristiano Ronaldo at club until age of 38 – reports

Some surprise names near the top of the table include Leicester City midfielder James Maddison – supposedly a Manchester United target.

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The 23-year-old England midfielder has a value of €112.4 million, according to the team at CIES Football Observatory, making him the most expensive midfielder on the list.

That even puts him ahead of highly-rated Liverpool and Brazil frontman Roberto Firmino, 28, who was two places lower at €111.5 million.

Positionally, Liverpool's Dutch colossus Virgil was valued as the world's most expensive defender (€92.7 million), with Reds teammate Alisson being given the highest price tag for a 'keeper at €87.6 million.   

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