Spain pip Brazil as most expensive squad
Spain, Argentina and Brazil have the most expensive squads of the 32 sides competing in the World Cup in June, Brazilian financial daily Valor reported on Monday.
The squad of reigning champions Spain is worth an estimated €486.9 million, ahead of €474.1 million for Argentina and €470.2 million for hosts Brazil, according to sports analysis consultancy Pluri Consultoria.
The company valued Germany’s squad at €445.6 million with France coming in ahead of England at €398.6 million for Les Bleus to €354.2 million for Roy Hodgson’s hopefuls.
Belgium’s squad outranks Italy at €336.1 million to €322.4 million for the Azzurri.
The report ranked Argentina and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi as the highest-valued player at €138.1 million despite a 1.4 percent drop in his estimated price over the past year.
Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo saw his estimated value rise 11.4 percent over the past year after he landed the world player of the year accolade - but he still trails Messi by more than €30 million.
At €107.3 million, Ronaldo’s estimated current market value is more than a third of the €287 million for the entire Portugal squad.
Honduras bring up the rear with their squad valued at just €32.3 million - or less than one quarter of Messi and half the estimated €67.4 million for Brazil and Barcelona star Neymar, whose price tag is up 22.5 percent on last year.
The values are based on 77 criteria including age, technical ability, fitness and also marketing clout up to the date of the participating nations’ last outings.
The consultancy will update its values after the final squads are unveiled on May 7.
Iker Casillas of Spanish national football team holds the trophy during the Spanish team’s victory parade following their victory over the Netherlands in the 2010 FIFA World Cup on July 12, 2010 in Madrid, Spain.