Top five: Most valuable footballers

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With recent high-profile and big-money football takeovers, huge transfer fees are now commonplace in world football.

Here are five players who would command some of the biggest transfer fees ever if they were to be sold.

Lionel Messi | Barcelona

The three-time reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, five-time La Liga champion and three-time Champions League winner is consistently rated as the best player in world football.

At just 25-years-old he has already become Barcelona's all-time top scorer in all official club competitions, as well as the youngest player to score 200 La Liga goals.

He is also the captain of Argentina, one of the best footballing nations in the world. While it is almost impossible to see Messi leaving Barcelona he was recently the subject of a £205m bid from an unnamed Russian side, thought to be Anzhi Makhachkala, which triggered his automatic release clause. However, he turned the move down.

Cristiano Ronaldo | Real Madrid

In 2009, Ronaldo became the most expensive player in world football for £80m when he signed for Real Madrid from Manchester United.

The Portuguese forward has had an incredibly successful career thanks largely to his blistering pace and technical ability, as well as strength, jumping, finishing, incredible free-kick and dedication to the sport.

He has three Premier League titles to his name as well as one La Liga title and a Champions League victory. He is also the winner of FIFA World Footballer of the Year award and has over 100 caps for Portugal. It is unclear whether Ronaldo will stay at Madrid, but a move back to the Premier League has been rumoured.

Neymar | Santos

The Brazilian striker, who plays for Santos, has been linked with big-money moves to Europe for a number of seasons, but nothing has yet materialised.

Neymar is untested in Europe yet is already hailed as one of the future stars of world football. He has been impressive on the national stage, netting 19 goals in just 31 appearances. He also has over 130 goals for Santos in Brazil.

He has an extremely high reputation in his home country and is expected to sign for a club for a fee in excess of £50m. A recent rumour suggested Bayern Munich were plotting a move for Neymar for £86m, which would be a huge fee for such a 21-year-old, and would make him the most expensive signing in world football. 

Radamel Falcao | Atletico Madrid

The Colombian is in the form of his life. Since moving to Atletico Madrid he has become one of the best number nines in the world.

His ability to score with his left foot, right foot or head means he is one of the deadliest finishers in football. He has scored 64 goals in 83 matches across just two seasons in La Liga. He had previously played at River Plate and Porto where he also impressed. He has been strongly linked with a move to a host of top clubs in Europe, with his most likely destination looking to be England.

He had previously been linked with a swap deal involving Fernando Torres moving to boyhood club Atletico Madrid and Falcao arriving at Chelsea, although in recent days he has been linked with a move to Manchester United.

It is thought he could cost as much as £51.25m, which is reportedly his buyout clause.

Edinson Cavani | Napoli

The Napoli and Uruguayan frontman is one of the most highly-rated strikers in Europe. He has spent seven excellent seasons in Serie A with Palermo and Napoli, but it is his form since moving to Naples that has left him so highly regarded.

He has 97 goals in just 131 matches and has been linked with a move away. It seems he has been linked with all of Europe's top clubs at some point including Juventus, Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Arsenal. It is unclear what his transfer fee will be with figures ranging between £30m and £60m, with a figure closure to the latter more likely.


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