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Messi worth £69m more than Ronaldo, according to study

ESPN staff
January 6, 2015
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are worth a combined £277 million, according to the study © Getty Images

Lionel Messi is the most valuable player in the world, well ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, according to a study by the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) Football Observatory.

The study used an algorithm based on 1,500 fee-paying club transfers since 2009 to determine that Messi's current transfer value is €220 million (£173m), while Ronaldo trails far behind at an estimated €133m (£104m).

Messi, 27, has been increasingly linked with an exit from Barcelona, with both Manchester City and Chelsea reportedly interested in signing the four-time Ballon d'Or winner.

The Argentina captain endured a frustrating 2014 as Barcelona lost the Copa del Rey final and were beaten to the league title by Atletico Madrid, before Messi finished the World Cup with a runners-up medal after losing the final to Germany.

By contrast, Ronaldo, 29, lifted the Champions League trophy with Real Madrid and ended the year with more than 60 goals in La Liga, with many observers backing him as the heavy favourite to lift the 2014 Ballon d'Or - an award the Real Madrid forward will contest with Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Chelsea have three representatives in the study's top 10, with Eden Hazard - at €99m (£78m) - third in the list, Diego Costa - €84m (£66m) - fourth, and Cesc Fabregas - €62m (£49m) - in eighth.

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba is reportedly worth €72m (£57m) after leaving Manchester United for nothing in 2012, while CIES believes Raheem Sterling would set Real Madrid back some €63m (£49m) should they decide to target the Liverpool forward - which is more than Manchester United paid for the Premier League's record signing Angel Di Maria, who is apparently worth €57m (£45m) - far less than what the Old Trafford club paid for him.

There are six Premier League players in the top 10 overall, with Manchester City talisman Sergio Aguero - €65m (£51m) - sixth and Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez - €61m (£48m) - in ninth.

Former Tottenham forward Gareth Bale is valued at just €60m (£46m) by CIES after signing for Real Madrid for a world-record €100m (£86m) in the summer of 2013, although Real have the most representatives in the top 100, with 11 players.

Luis Saurez, who cost Barcelona a reported €95m (£75m) from Liverpool in the summer, is now worth €48m (£58m).

The variables included in CIES' econometric model refer to player performances (matches, goals, dribbles, etc), their characteristics (age, position, contract duration, etc) as well as competition level and results achieved by both their clubs and national teams.

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