Neymar is most valuable player in Europe

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After leaving Barcelona in order to escape the shadow of Lionel Messi, Neymar has beaten the Argentine in one measure – being rated the world’s highest value player.

The CIES Football Observatory has published its annual rankings of how much players in the top five European leagues – the Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga – are worth, based on factors including age, position, contract duration, performance and international status.

The list, published every January, ranks Neymar top, with a value of €213million, or £188million, while Messi trails in second, worth €202.2m (£178.5m).

Harry Kane’s increasing status in world football is reflected by being ranked third by the Football Observatory, with the Tottenham Hotspur striker valued at €194.7m (£172m).

Kane leads an impressive showing by the Premier League on the list, with five of the top 10 players coming from the English top division. There are two from La Liga, two from Ligue 1 and one from Serie A.

Dele Alli, Kane’s team mate for Tottenham and England, is sixth on the list, with the play maker valued at €171.3m (£151.25m). Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba are ranked seventh, eighth and tenth most valuable respectively.

According to the list, although Manchester United spent £89m on Pogba, then £75 on Lukaku last summer, they actually got a good deal with both – the French midfielder is valued at £130m, and the Belgian striker at £145.5m.

There are two PSG players in the top four – as well as Neymar, Kylian Mbappe makes a strong showing, valued just shy of £170m, having joined the Parisians from Monaco last summer.

The other La Liga player alongside Messi in the top 10 is Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann, who is priced at £132m, while the most valuable Serie A star is judged as being Paulo Dybala of Juventus, who is given a tag of £154m and is fifth on the list.

There are some big names further down the table, most notably Ballon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who surprisingly is only the 49th most valuable player in Europe, say the Football Observatory.

Perhaps due to his age – 32 – or his below par performances this season, the Real Madrid star is valued at £71m – a drop of more than £40m on his January 2017 valuation, and nearly £10m less than Real paid for him initially.

Philippe Coutinho, who has just completed his Spanish-record £145m move from Liverpool to Barcelona, is also fairly lowly at 16th. He is valued at £108.6m – a substantial amount less than what the Catalan giants had to shell out.

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