Football was very different 10 years ago.
Fernando Torres was still thriving at Liverpool, while Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery were just about to become an iconic duo for Bayern Munich.
But who was the most valuable player in the world a decade ago?
Transfermarkt have recently been listing the most valuable players in the world from every year after 2004.
25. Karim Benzema | Real Madrid | €35m
24. John Terry | Chelsea | €35m
23. Xabi Alonso | Real Madrid | €35m
22. Gerard Pique | Barcelona | €35m
21. Sergio Aguero | Atletico | €36m
Benzema had struggled during his first season at Real Madrid but just sneaked onto the list.
Terry was approaching his 30th birthday but was still the most valuable defender in the world, along with Pique.
Aguero had not yet made his move to Man City but, at the age of 21, had already established himself as one of the best strikers in the world.
20. Michael Essien | Chelsea | €38m
19. Daniele De Rossi | Roma | €38m
18. Gonzalo Higuain | Real Madrid | €38m
17. Didier Drogba | Chelsea | €38m
16. Samuel Eto’o | Inter Milan | €40m
Remember Essien? What a player he was in his prime. Unfortunately, he would battle injuries that would curtail his ability.
Drogba, at the age of 32, was still the 17th most valuable player in the world.
15. Arjen Robben | Bayern | €40m
14. Wesley Sneijder | Inter Milan | €45m
13. Frank Lampard | Chelsea | €45m
12. Zlatan Ibrahimovic | Barcelona | €46m
11. Steven Gerrard | Liverpool | €50m
Sneijder emerged into one of the best players in the world in 2010 as he guided Inter to the Champions League.
Ibrahimovic was having a poor first season at Barcelona but was still the 12th most valuable player in the world.
Gerrard was marginally more valuable than his England teammate, Lampard.
10. Franck Ribery | Bayern | €50m
9. Fernando Torres | Liverpool | €50m
8. David Villa | Barcelona | €50m
7. Wayne Rooney | Man United | €55m
6. Cesc Fabregas | Arsenal | €55m
Despite numerous injury problems around this time, Torres was still one of the most feared strikers in the world.
Rooney was reaching his peak at Man United and was the most valuable striker in the world.
He was also the Premier League’s most valuable player in 2010, along with Fabregas.
5. Kaka | Real Madrid | €60m
4. Andres Iniesta | Barcelona | €60m
3. Xavi | Barcelona | €65m
2. Cristiano Ronaldo | Real Madrid | €90m
1. Lionel Messi | Barcelona | €100m
Kaka had recently made the €68.5 million to Real Madrid but would never replicate the form he displayed at AC Milan.
Barcelona were now the best team in the world and Xavi and Iniesta were easily the world’s best midfield duo.
Ronaldo and Messi were reaching the peak of their powers but it was the Argentine that was the most valuable player in the world, beating his eternal rival by €10m.
Messi also became the first player to ever reach a market value of €100m.
Market values have changed a lot now.
18 players currently have a value of €100m or over.
The most valuable player in 2020, Kylian Mbappe, is worth €200m. That’s double the amount Messi was in 2010.
- Most valuable players in the world in 2008
- Most valuable players in the world in 2006
- Most valuable players in the world in 2004