The soccer market has seen stratospheric signings of Latin American players, these are the ones that would cost the team the most to have their services
Football as an industry has been characterized, throughout the twentieth century and so far in the twenty-first century, for being of many gains and large expenses. The organization of the cups, their transmission through the media, the merchandising of the teams and the teams themselves constitute one of the most profitable models in the world.
Leer en español: Los futbolistas latinoamericanos más caros: ¿Messi todavía lidera?
It is worth remembering the lists that Forbes has published about the most valuable football teams in the world , with a surprising first place in 2018 occupied by Dallas Cowboys (4.8 billion dollars), followed by Manchester United (4.12) billions) and Real Madrid (4.09 billion), respectively. The figures that are handled in this sport can become scandalous and, even more, within the signings.
The transfer market during the 21st century has seen an exponential growth compared to what was experienced in the previous century. The teams are increasingly willing to spend without control, to pay figures that in another would not have been only impossible, but even ridiculous. Interestingly, within this excessive market, which imposes rescission clauses on increasingly high contracts and with institutions willing to pay them, Latin American footballers have stood out as one of the most expensive in the history of this sport.
Two factors can be taken into account to determine the value of a player: their current market value and the value of the signing at the time. The first factor is a little more objective than the second, since the latter responds directly to the circumstances of the moment and may be much higher or lower than the price at which the player was assessed. Under this parameter, these are the most expensive Latin American players currently, according to the specialized portal Transfermarkt.
Lionel Messi and Neymar are on another level
Lionel Messi, with a value of 180 million euros, tops the list. The 31-year-old Argentine star, a lifelong Barcelona player, continues to set the trend in Europe. Priced at exactly the same value is Neymar, the Brazilian star who, for a few years, has been the promise of both his club and Brazil to be crowned champion of the highest international competitions.
Behind these two players, a few positions down, on 9 and 10 respectively, are the Brazilian Philippe Coutinho and the Argentine Paulo Dybala, values at 120 and 110 million euros, respectively. These young players have emerged as one of the best bets of their teams and have shone in their clubs, Barcelona and Juventus, although they have not won any international titles, only the local leagues.
To complete the top 10 players are Mauro Icardi, Argentine, rated at 95 million. Gabriel Jesús, Brazilian, Roberto Firmino, Brazilian, James Rodríguez, Colombian and Sergio Agüero, Argentine, the four valued at 80 million. Finally, there is the Uruguayan Luis Suarez, closing this list, valued at 70 million.
This is the list:
1. Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Neymar (Brazil): 180 million euros
2. Philippe Coutinho (Brazil): 120 million euros
3. Paulo Dybala (Argentina): 110 million euros
4. Mauro Icardi (Argentina): 95 million euros
5. Gabriel Jesus (Brazil), Roberto Firmino (Brazil), James Rodriguez (Colombia) and Sergio Agüero (Argentina): 80 million euros
Latin America stays behind in spending
A phenomenon that is striking is that this power is concentrated only in Europe, with some exceptions such as the US MLS and the Chinese Super League, which leaves out the Latin American teams to carry out these transactions or bring big stars to their teams.
If you review the historical signings of football, at least in the 21st century, it is obvious that there is no purchase comparable to what European clubs do year after year. Furthermore, the stars that Latin American teams buy are great national players who, in the twilight of their career, decide to return to their homeland. This happens more frequently in Brazil than in any other country, with examples such as the signing of Alexandre Pato for Corinthians in the 2012-2013 season for 15 million euros, or the purchase of the promise Goose in the same season by of Sao Paulo for a value of 9.1 million euros.
It is not risky to say that Latin America is currently an exporting power of high-level soccer players, who usually stop at European clubs willing to pay their million-dollar rates. However, the Latin American football market does not have an economic arm that comes close to competing with its European counterparts, so the development of its leagues must be based on quality and not on the strength of money.
LatinAmerican Post | Jorge Ovalle
Translated from “Los futbolistas latinoamericanos más caros del mundo: ¿Messi todavía lidera?”
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