Top 10 Most Valuable Soccer Players in the World (2021)

By Ben Morris in Soccer
| May 18, 2021 10:29 am PDT

Due to the pandemic, soccer players’ market values have taken a significant drop in recent times. But let’s get one thing straight – the most valuable soccer players in 2021 are still worth an absolute fortune!

At 33, Lionel Messi is still valued at €80m. Even at the ripe old age of 36, Cristiano Ronaldo is valued at €50m. However, you may be surprised to learn that neither Messi nor Ronaldo feature among the top 10 most valuable soccer players in the world today.

So, which soccer players boast the highest market values right now?

Join me as I examine the ten most valuable soccer players in 2021, according to Transfermarkt.

10. Kevin De Bruyne (€100m)

Kevin De Bruyne
  • Age: 29
  • Club: Manchester City
  • Country: Belgium
  • Position: Attacking Midfield

Kevin De Bruyne is arguably the most complete midfielder on the planet, so it is hardly surprising that he finds himself among the top ten most valuable soccer players in 2021.

After failing to nail down a first-team spot at Chelsea, the Belgian maestro made a name for himself in the German Bundesliga before joining Manchester City from VfL Wolfsburg for a fee of around €76m.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Three Premier League titles, one FA Cup triumph, and five EFL Cup successes later – De Bruyne is now valued at €100m.

In April, the 29-year-old signed a new contract with Man City, keeping him at the Etihad Stadium until 2025. Just imagine what the assist king could achieve in that time

9. Sadio Mané (€100m)

  • Age: 29
  • Club: Liverpool
  • Country: Senegal
  • Position: Left Winger

At the peak of his powers, Sadio Mané was valued at €150m. However, a below-par 2020/21 season – by his own high standards – has seen his value drop to €100m.

Still, the Senegal star remains one of the most valuable soccer players in the world today.

Mané cost Liverpool just €41m when he swapped Southampton for Merseyside back in 2016. Having played a key role in the Reds’ UEFA Champions League and EPL triumphs, he is now worth well over double that figure.

The winger’s performances may have dipped slightly of late, but there is no doubting his talent. Best known for his explosive pace and ability to get past defenders with ease, Mané will no doubt get back to his best sooner or later.

8. Raheem Sterling (€100m)

Raheem Sterling
  • Age: 26
  • Club: Manchester City
  • Country: England
  • Position: Left Winger

Raheem Sterling has been one of the most valuable soccer players in the world for several years now. The Man City winger has been valued at €100m+ since 2018 and even reached €160m in 2019.

The Jamaican-born England international has not always been at the forefront of Pep Guardiola’s plans this year, and when you couple that with the current economic climate, you can understand why his value has dropped.

That said, if the Cityzens were to sell Sterling, they would still make a tasty profit. The ex-Liverpool star joined Man City for roughly €64m in 2015 and has since clocked up almost 300 EPL appearances, along with 61 England caps.

Capable of scoring and creating goals at a rapid rate, Sterling thoroughly deserves his place on this list.

7. Trent Alexander-Arnold (€100m)

  • Age: 22
  • Club: Liverpool
  • Country: England
  • Position: Right-Back

It is easy to forget that Trent Alexander-Arnold is still just 22. After all, the young right-back is already closing in on a double century of appearances for his boyhood club.

Having made his Liverpool debut as a teenager back in 2016, TAA was pivotal to the Reds’ UCL success in 2018/19 – delivering that corner for Divock Origi to send Jurgen Klopp’s side into the final.

A year later, he contributed four goals and 13 assists (from right-back!) as Liverpool clinched the 2019/20 Premier League title. He also featured in every single one of his team’s 38 EPL matches that season.

Tellingly, TAA is the only defender among the top 10 most valuable soccer players in 2021. That is a testament to his frightening ability.

MOST EPL ASSISTS (2019/20 SEASON)
Player Games Assists
Kevin De Bruyne 35 20
Trent Alexander-Arnold 38 13
Andrew Robertson 36 12
Riyad Mahrez 33 12
Son Heung-min 30 11

6. Jadon Sancho (€100m)

Jadon Sancho
  • Age: 21
  • Club: Borussia Dortmund
  • Country: England
  • Position: Right Winger

Borussia Dortmund is renowned buying low and selling high – and Jadon Sancho looks set to be one of the next beneficiaries of the club’s famous transfer policy.

Understanding that first-team opportunities may be limited at Man City, Sancho made the brave decision to move to Germany in 2017 and further his career at BVB. Needless to say, that commitment has paid off.

Dortmund paid City just shy of €8m to acquire Sancho’s services. Fast-forward to today – the 21-year-old is worth €100m.

The skillful winger has racked up 10+ goals and 10+ assists for three consecutive campaigns and recently became the first Englishman since David Beckham (2000/01) to reach 10 assists in three straight seasons in Europe’s top five leagues.

Unsurprisingly, Sancho has been linked with a move away from Dortmund for quite some time. His value will only increase if he joins one of Europe’s elite clubs.

5. Neymar (€110m)

  • Age: 29
  • Club: Paris Saint-Germain
  • Country: Brazil
  • Position: Left Winger

It only makes sense that the most expensive soccer player of all time is among the most valuable soccer players in the world, right?

It is safe to say that eyebrows were raised when Paris Saint-Germain paid Barcelona €220m (yes, €220 MILLION) to sign Neymar in 2017. Of course, he is an exceptional talent. But is anyone worth that much?

The Brazilian megastar won two La Liga titles and a UCL crown at Barca before moving to France. But for all their big-money players, the Parisians have yet to taste European glory under Qatar Sports Investments’ watch.

Even after his world-record transfer, Neymar’s valuation peaked at €180m. As he approaches his thirties, his market value will only continue to go south.

Believe it or not – Neymar isn’t even the most valuable PSG player on this list. Keep reading to find out which PSG star is worth more than Neymar.

BIGGEST SOCCER TRANSFER FEES OF ALL TIME
Player Year From To Fee
Neymar 2017 Barcelona PSG €222
Kylian Mbappé 2018 Monaco PSG €180
Philippe Coutinho 2018 Liverpool Barcelona €145
João Félix 2019 Benfica Atletico Madrid €126
Antoine Griezmann 2019 Atletico Madrid Barcelona €120

4. Mohamed Salah (€110m)

Mohamed Salah
  • Age: 28
  • Club: Liverpool
  • Country: Egypt
  • Position: Right Winger

Mohamed Salah’s rise to becoming one of the most valuable soccer players on the planet has been interesting to follow.

The Egyptian King failed to make the grade at Chelsea and was shipped out on loan to Fiorentina before joining Roma on a permanent basis. However, Liverpool paid €42m for the winger in 2017 – and he has not looked back since.

Salah’s market value skyrocketed from €35m in 2017 to €150m in 2018 and remained at that level until 2020. For various reasons, he is now valued at €110m. Still, that is an astronomical sum.

In nearly 200 appearances for the Reds, Salah has chalked up well over 100 goals and almost 50 assists. There is absolutely no denying that he deserves to be one of the most expensive soccer players in 2021.

3. Erling Haaland (€110m)

  • Age: 20
  • Club: Borussia Dortmund
  • Country: Norway
  • Position: Center-Forward

If the early stages of Erling Haaland’s career are anything to go by, nobody would be shocked if the Norwegian prodigy ended up becoming the most expensive soccer player of all time.

At just 20, the unstoppable striker already has over 100 club goals to his name. Oh, and he only recently made his 150th appearance.

After scoring 20 goals in 50 games for Molde, Haaland netted 29 goals in 27 matches for Red Bull Salzburg. Naturally, Dortmund poached the goal machine midway through the 2019/20 campaign – and he hasn’t stopped scoring since.

The youngster has all the right attributes to become a truly world-class forward (if he isn’t already). He is scarily quick, freakishly strong, and capable of finishing from almost any position on the pitch.

It is now a question of when, and not if, Haaland will leave BVB for an elite club. But where will he go next?

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2. Harry Kane (€120m)

Harry Kane
  • Age: 27
  • Club: Tottenham Hotspur
  • Country: England
  • Position: Center-Forward

Pre-COVID, Harry Kane was valued at €150m. Due to the unprecedented circumstances, he is now worth €120m. But that still makes him the most valuable player in the EPL – and the second-most valuable soccer player in the world today.

Viewed as the best out-and-out striker in the game, Kane’s loyalty to Tottenham has been admirable. However, the 27-year-old has recently dropped some big hints about leaving North London.

Kane has continuously expressed his desire to win trophies and play at the highest level. Let’s face it – if he stays at Spurs, he isn’t likely to pick up any silverware anytime soon.

With clubs like Man City, Man Utd, and Chelsea reportedly interested in the England captain, Kane could soon become of the most expensive soccer players in history.

1. Kylian Mbappé (€160m)

  • Age: 22
  • Club: Paris Saint-Germain
  • Country: France
  • Position: Center-Forward

It’s official – Kylian Mbappé is the most valuable soccer player in 2021.

The Frenchman – who is also the second-most expensive soccer player of all time – is widely regarded as the heir to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s throne, and his outrageous record certainly backs up that theory.

Mbappé joined PSG from Monaco for €180m in 2018 and has since notched up 130 goals and 60 assists in under 170 appearances for the club.

At just 22, Mbappé’s market value is only going to rise. The World Cup winner has proved that he has what it takes to become the best soccer player in the world, so it is no real surprise that he has continuously been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Wherever his career takes him, Mbappé is set to be the most valuable soccer player in the world for a little while longer; that is for sure.

Summary

There are some interesting trends to discuss when it comes to breaking down the top ten most valuable soccer players in 2021.

Liverpool has three representatives on the list, while Man City, Dortmund, and PSG each have two. Tottenham is the only club with one player in the top ten.

The list comprises seven European players, four of whom are Englishmen. Neymar is the only South American, while Mané and Salah are flying the flag for Africa.

It is also worth noting that four players are aged 22 or under. TAA, Sancho, Haaland, and Mbappé all have extremely bright futures ahead of them.

Stars like Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes (€90m), Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich (€90), and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (€80m) narrowly miss out on making it into the top ten most valuable soccer players in the world.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you check out the top 10 most valuable Major League Soccer players in 2021.

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