In football, cash is king, and while the World Cup is a welcome break for most of us from the ludicrous transfer fees and ever rising price of replica shirts, there’s still an awful lot of money involved.
But which team at this summer’s World Cup, which starts on Thursday in Moscow, is worth the most money in the market?
Using data from football data site Transfermarkt, analysts at Dutch bank ING have calculated that around £9 billion ($12 billion) will be on show at the tournament, with Spain being the most valuable team — it’s worth more than £900 million ($1.2 billion).
Big European and South American sides dominate the upper echelons of player worth, while minnows like Panama and Saudi Arabia dwell at the bottom end of the charts.
In fact, the world’s top three players — Neymar, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo — are worth more than the nine least valuable teams combined, ING calculated.
„Some say the football market is highly inflated — and it’s certainly astonishing to see the significant increase in team values from the last World Cup,” Ian Bright, a senior economist at ING said. „But whether you truly get value for money is a question that only fans can answer.”
Check out how much every squad at the World Cup is worth below.