Live graphic of the 10 most valuable footballers between 2004 and 2019

Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo dominate for a while

The value of footballers has increased dramatically in the last 15 years.

Back in 2004, the £46m Real Madrid had paid for Zinedine Zidane three years previous still looked staggeringly high.

By 2009, the £80m Los Blancos coughed up for Cristiano Ronaldo was even thought to be too much, despite the Portuguese being one of the best players in the world.

In the present day - thanks in part to the beauty of inflation - those prices look like pennies for players of their ability.

The most valuable player in world football right now is Kylian Mbappe, who is valued at around €200m.

And in a brilliant live graphic from YouTuber StatsTube, we can see how the value of the top 10 players has changed between 2004 and 2019.


At the start of the video, Ronaldo Nazario is the highest valued player on €40m, with Thierry Henry just behind on €38m.

By the end of 2007, Barcelona legend Ronaldinho sits on top of the pile with a value of just over €79m.

Once 2009 rolls around, Ronaldinho and fellow Brazilian Kaka are usurped by Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Ronaldinho & Kaka

The pair sit in the top two all the way up until 2017 - when Neymar bursts onto the scene.

He takes over from Ronaldo, with Messi still at the top with a value of over €150m.

The Argentine maintains top spot throughout 2018 and at the start of 2019, with a price tag of over €170m.

Messi dominates the top spot for a long, long time

But as we go through 2019, both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe take control and move into the top two positions.

By the end of the video, Mbappe (€200m), Neymar (€180m) and Messi (€160m) are the top three, with Ronaldo not even making the top 10.

Mohamed Salah interestingly sits in fourth spot with a valuation of €150m, just €2m ahead of Harry Kane.

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