Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi feature in the 25 most valuable players in 2008

The world of football was very different 12 years ago.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the sport for the past decade but weren’t yet at the peak of their powers in 2008.

Ronaldinho’s career at Barcelona was coming to an end, while Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney were smashing in the goals in the Premier League.

But who were the most valuable players in the world back then?

Transfermarkt have recently been listing the most valuable players in the world from every year after 2004.

Below is their list for the 25 most valuable players for 2008.

25. Gianluigi Buffon | Juventus | €33m

24. John Terry | Chelsea | €33m

23. Rio Ferdinand | Man United | €33m

22. Andres Iniesta | Barcelona | €34m

21. Daniele De Rossi | Roma | €35m

Buffon, who was 30 years old in 2008 and in his prime, is the only goalkeeper to make the list.

John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, adversaries for so long in the Premier League, were level on €33m and the only two defenders to make the top 25.

20. Wesley Sneijder | Real Madrid | €35m

19. Robinho | Real Madrid | €35m

18. David Villa | Valencia | €35m

17. Thierry Henry | Barcelona | €35m

16. Andrea Pirlo | AC Milan | €36m

Robinho was coming to the end of his Real Madrid spell and made the €42 million to Man City in the summer.

Henry, now in his 30s, makes the list having left Arsenal for Barcelona the year prior.

15. Arjen Robben | Real Madrid | €36m

14. Xavi | Barcelona | €38m

13. Frank Lampard | Chelsea | €38m

12. Cesc Fabregas | Arsenal | €38m

11. Wayne Rooney | Man United | €40m

Xavi was valued at €4m more than his Barca midfield partner, Iniesta.

Two Premire League greats, Lampard and Fabregas, were valued at the same in 2008.

Rooney, who scored 18 goals in 43 games for Man United during the 2007/08 season, just missed out on a spot in the top 10.

10. Francesco Totti | Roma | €40m

9. Samuel Eto’o | Barcelona | €40m

8. Didier Drogba | Chelsea | €40m

7. Fernando Torres | Liverpool | €40m

6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic | Inter Milan | €45m

Drogba and Torres, two of the best strikers in the Premier League at the time, were both valued at €40m.

Ibrahimovic was approaching his peak in the 2007/08 season, where he scored 22 goals in 34 games and joined Barcelona a year later.

5. Steven Gerrard | Liverpool | €45m

4. Lionel Messi | Barcelona | €60m

3. Cristiano Ronaldo | Man United | €60m

2. Kaka | AC Milan | €70m

1. Ronaldinho | Barcelona | €80m

Gerrard was the Premier League’s most valuable player in 2008, beating Drogba and Rooney by €5m.

Messi and Ronaldo, interestingly, were valued the same, with the latter beating out his eternal rival to the Ballon d’Or later that year.

Kaka had guided AC Milan to the Champions League title the year prior and had firmly established himself as one of the best players in the world.

But taking top spot was arguably football’s greatest ever showman, Ronaldinho. The Brazilian had been Transfermarkt’s most valuable player for five years running.

That streak was set to end, though, as he left Barcelona that year and was never the same again.

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