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Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi tops list of most expensive footballers in Europe

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CIES Football Observatory have unveiled their annual list of the most expensive footballers in Europe’s top five leagues.

The research group uses a range of criteria including age, achievements, performance and position to rank the top 100 players from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1.

Unsurprisingly, Lionel Messi tops the list with a ranking of £163 million, beating Barcelona teammate Neymar by £8m.

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But the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t in the top two - he’s third, with a valuation of £106m - isn’t the most surprising part of CIES’s list. No, it’s the fact that Liverpool’s young winger Jordon Ibe is ranked above Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus.

Ibe is reportedly valued at £23.43m, while Reus is worth £23.36m.

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This is where CIES’s decision to include age, contract and competition level must come into play, for the statistics show that Reus had a much more productive season than the Liverpool winger.

The German, who won’t represent Die Mannschaft at Euro 2016, scored 19 goals in all competitions and recorded five assists. Ibe, on the other hand, scored four goals for Liverpool and set up two.

But the fact that Ibe is seven years Reus’s junior, has one more year on his contract than the Dortmund star and plays in the fiercely-contested Premier League means he is apparently worth more.

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Well-represented Premier League

Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann ranks fourth (£93m), while Tottenham’s emerging star Harry Kane completes the top five with a valuation of £87m.

Several other Premier League stars are mentioned in the top 100, including Anthony Martial (£86m), Sergio Aguero (£75m), Eden Hazard (£60m), Alexis Sanchez (£58m) and Dele Alli (£58m).

Check out the full list by clicking HERE.

Three Leicester City stars make it

Messi tops the list after enjoying yet another fine season at the Camp Nou. He scored 41 goals as Luis Enrique’s side clinched the La Liga title and lifted the Ballon d’Or trophy for a fifth time in January.

Paul Pogba’s inclusion in the top 10 comes as no surprise but you would have expected him to place higher than seventh. At 23-years-old, the Juventus midfielder has all the makings of a future Ballon d’Or winner, yet is reportedly worth £16m less than Manchester United’s Martial.

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If you had said one year ago that three Leicester City players would make the top 100, everybody would have been telling you that’s a terrible joke. But after miraculously defying the odds to win the Premier League, N’Golo Kante (£34m), Riyad Mahrez (£33m) and Jamie Vardy (£27m) all make the list.

In Kante’s case, he is worth more than Bayern Munich’s Douglas Costa (£34m), Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez (£32m) and Marco Verratti of Paris Saint-Germain (£30m).

Remarkable stuff.

Who will win the 2016 Ballon d'Or? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Topics:
Manchester United
Barcelona
UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid
Football
Liverpool
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi

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