Vinicius Jr named world’s most valuable player by leading study ahead of Phil Foden and Erling Haaland

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  • Vinícius Júnior
    Brazilian association football player
  • Phil Foden
    English association football player
  • Erling Haaland
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior has been named the world’s most valuable player by a leading study.

CIES Football Observatory calculate each player’s worth by aggregating their on-pitch performance with factors such as club, age and remaining contract length.

And, in a report released for the start of 2022, Brazilian winger Vinicius has come out on top. The 21-year-old is worth a whopping £138.5million, according to the formula used by CIES.

That places him above Manchester City playmaker Phil Foden (£127m) and Erling Haaland (£119m) on the podium.

It is something of a surprise to see Borussia Dortmund’s Haaland not lead the way but his contract is thought to contain a relatively cheap release clause, while Vinicius is tied to Real until 2025 - one year longer than the Norwegian’s deal. Foden’s runs to 2027.

Mason Greenwood arrives in fourth place (£111.75m) before teenagers Florian Wirtz (£111m) and Jude Bellingham (108.5m), who both ply their trade in the Bundesliga.

Manchester City defender Ruben Dias (£100.5m) and Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong (£96m) are the oldest players in the top ten, both aged 24, which also features Alphonso Davies and Golden Boy 2021 winner Pedri.

Kylian Mbappe, who is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain in June, is way down the list at just £60m despite his talents - placing him below Timo Werner, Gabriel Jesus and Diogo Jota. Even lower is Mohamed Salah at a value of £55m.

Harry Kane, having previously been among the study’s top stars, languishes in mid-table at £47.5m - although neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo made the top 40 attackers in the rundown of Europe’s big five leagues.

Foden topped the CIES study in June 2021, ahead of Greenwood and Marcus Rashford. The United forward’s value in the formula has dropped by a whopping £51m in the past six months.

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