Although they each compete in the same competitions, the gulf in size and class between the top teams and the rest of the pack in Europe’s “big-five” leagues is clear.
Those teams that regularly feature in the Champions League enjoy a big advantage over many of the side’s that they play on a weekly basis in their domestic competitions.
As Rennes’ 2-0 Ligue 1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday proved, though, nothing is ever certain in football. Goals from Gaetan Laborde and Flavien Tait saw the Parisian giants drop points for the first time this season on an afternoon that will live long in the memory of the home fans.
The magnitude of Rennes’ achievement at the weekend becomes even more impressive when you consider the chasm between the two clubs in terms of the value of their playing staff.
This week, CIES Football Observatory published the estimated transfer value for the squads of all 98 clubs across Europe’s five biggest leagues.
According to the data specialists, the figures calculated for each team include the combined approximate value of their players as of October 1 of this year – and do not take account of players on loan.
Let’s now have a closer look at their findings, beginning with the French top-flight.
With a squad of superstars worth an estimated €808 million (£688m), the total appraised value of PSG’s players dwarfs that of Rennes by €525m (£447m).
So valuable is Mauricio Pochettino’s contingent, in fact, that they outrank the closest two sides to them (Monaco and Lille) combined by a massive €175m.
PSG’s most valuable asset, per the survey, is considered to be Kylian Mbappe – whose €120m price tag is greater than the total value of a staggering 13 of Ligue 1’s squads. No wonder PSG are expected to saunter to the title this season.
Both Manchester clubs both manage to break the €1 billion mark in terms of overall squad value, with Chelsea coming in just shy of that mark. Pep Guardiola’s men top the tree overall.
A major takeaway from these figures is that each Premier League club was to cash in on every one of their player’s today, it is estimated that they could fetch close to €9 billion. That total is the highest of any of the big-five leagues.
There is still a very obvious inequality between the top sides and those at the bottom of the rankings, though.
Calculated to be worth €150m by the survey’s algorithm, Manchester United playmaker Bruno Fernandes is perceived to be worth more than the entire playing squads of Norwich, Everton and Watford.
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Bayern Munich – who are looking for a 10th straight Bundesliga title this season – predictably head up the list in the German top division with a playing staff believed to be worth €890m.
Their nearest pursuers on the list are Borussia Dortmund, whose combined €687m valuation is helped considerably by Erling Haaland (€200m) and Jude Bellingham (€120m).
Barcelona might be going through their leanest spell on the pitch in recent memory, but they still have the most valuable squad in La Liga according to this survey.
The Blaugrana may have lost some big names over the last few months, but the presence of youngsters in their squad such as Pedri (€150m) and Ansu Fati (€50m), combined with established stars such as Memphis Depay (€70m) and Frenkie de Jong (€120m), see them come out with an overall squad value of €896m.
As has been well-documented recently, Barca could seriously do with realising some of the estimated value of their playing staff into cash.
Real Madrid sit just €50m behind their great rivals on the list, with their neighbours Atletico back in third position.
One of the more balanced leagues when it comes to the distribution of squad wealth, Juventus lead the way in Italy with a playing staff estimated to be worth €618m.
That figure is the lowest among the divisional leaders in the big-five leagues. However, the likes of Napoli, Roma, AC and Inter Milan all boast squads with a value of over €350m, contributing to a total for all Serie A players according to the survey of €4.4 billion.
As mentioned above the Premier League dominates the overall standings, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea occupying the top three spots. In total, the English top-flight is able to boast seven out of the top 20 most valuable squads in Europe per the survey.
With several more English sides sitting just outside the elite 20 this time around, it would be little surprise to see more Premier League representation in next year’s rankings.
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