Pluri Sportmetric, a research company in Portugal, have calculated the most valuable players who will be competing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. One Englishman makes the list, perhaps controversially, as he is ahead of two of the Premier League's top scorers of the current season: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City and Luis Suarez of Liverpool.
The data demonstrates that reigning World Cup holders Spain still contain the most well-balanced team based on current market valuations as La Furia Roja contain four members of the top 20, as detailed below. Argentina, though, have the most expensive strike force at €183.3m while Brazil are not far behind with their first-choice pairing valued at €113.6m
According to the Pluri analysis report, players were considered based upon 77 evaluation criteria with the most important factors considered to be, in no particular order: 'age, technical quality, tactical aspects, strength and conditioning, discipline and team ethic, playing position, level of championship, international experience, achievements to date, adaptability and current market demand.'
Out of all the Premier League players available, who do you believe to be the most valuable? Pluri Sportmetric's calculations may surprise you…
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Portugal||Real Madrid||€104.2m|
|Radamel Falcao||Colombia||AS Monaco||€59.1m|
|Mario Gotze||Germany||Bayern Munich||€48.4m|
|Wayne Rooney||England||Manchester United||€48.2m|
|Franck Ribery||France||Bayern Munich||€46.8m|
|Thomas Muller||Germany||Bayern Munich||€46.6m|
|Hulk||Brazil||Zenit St Petersburg||€46.2m|
|Sergio Aguero||Argentina||Manchester City||€43.7m|
|Robin van Persie||Netherlands||Manchester United||€40.3m|
Two of the most renowned players in world football - Gareth Bale and Robert Lewandowski - were considered in the valuation process but ultimately did not make the cut on the final table as neither Wales, nor Poland, succeeded in obtaining progression to the tournament finals next summer, in Brazil.
However, if they did make the trip, Bale would have been valued at €76.3m, ranking him third ahead of Brazil's Neymar, while Lewandowski would have slotted in at position 19, with a €42.4m, pushing Vidal to 20th and Robin van Persie out of the top 20.
image: © Aitor Escauriaza